Billboard gongs for Rihanna, Swift
Published 23/05/2011 | 05:18
Rihanna and Taylor Swift were two of the key winners at the Billboard Music Awards, which returned after a five-year hiatus with a major dose of star power, featuring Beyonce, U2 and the Black Eyed Peas.
The show was packed with performances - a piano-levitating Cee Lo Green, a scantily clad Rihanna on S&M joined by Britney Spears, a much-bleeped out Lil Wayne with Mary J Blige, and Neil Diamond leading the audience in a sing-a-long to Sweet Caroline and America.
Among Rihanna's wins were the gongs for radio artist of the year and top female artist.
Swift won the evening's first award, top album artist, and she also took the top country artist gong.
"The impact of an album is all determined by the fans," she told the audience when she picked up her first. "You've just given me another reason to be completely in love with you."
Other award winners included Justin Bieber, Lady Antbellum and the Black Eyed Peas.
Beyonce received a special Millennium Award for her career achievements, and she was hailed in a video by an array of legends including Stevie Wonder, Barbara Streisand, Bono, Lady Gaga and US First Lady Michelle Obama.
"This is a moment I have to soak in because it's gonna be - and it is - one of the best moments of my life," Beyonce said after receiving the award from her mother, Tina Knowles. Beyonce also performed her new song Run the World (Girls).
U2 were honoured for their blockbuster 360 tour as the top touring act of 2010, while Diamond received Billboard's Icon award.