Taylor Swift showed affection to DJ-producer-singer Calvin Harris at the Billboard Music Awards while the cameras were rolling. Swift kissed her rumoured boyfriend on the cheek and gave him a hug before winning the award for top Billboard 200 album Sunday night.
“I am so happy to win this for 1989,” Swift said at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. “To the fans who I talk to online and the ones I see at the shows, I love you so much more than I’ll ever be able to say to you.”
Swift, who sat next to Harris, kicked off the awards by debuting her action-filled music video for Bad Blood that stars Selena Gomez and Lena Dunham, and showcases Swift as a fighting vixen.
The video opened with Swift and Gomez fighting men in an office and then fighting each other. It ended with Swift’s and Gomez’s armies going head to head. Other stars in the clip included Mariska Hargitay, Ellen Pompeo, Jessica Alba and Ellie Goulding and Hayley Williams of Paramore.
Swift swapped her first two verses with new ones from rapper Kendrick Lamar for Bad Blood, a song rumoured to be about Swift’s friendship with Katy Perry.
“I am so excited I got to show the world,” Swift told the audience.
One Direction, which recently downsized to four members, won the night’s first award for top duo/group.
“There is one more person to share this with, and that’s our brother Zayn,” Liam Payne said of Zayn Malik, who left the group.The boy band also won top touring artiste.
Iggy Azalea won top rap song for Fancy as her NBA player boyfriend, Nick Young, watched her with emotion. Azalea also won top streaming artist and rap artiste.
Van Halen was the night’s first performance and rocked the crowd with its 1984 hit Panama.
Mariah Carey sang her first hit, Vision of Love, which was pitchy. She followed it with new single, Infinity, where she also struggled. She ended with a strong high note, though.
Britney Spears was energetic when she performed her new single, Pretty Girls, in a sheer black cat suit alongside Azalea.
Swift and Zendaya sang along as Nicki Minaj mainly danced, barely singing or rapping live and relying on a backing track during Hey Mama and The Night Is Still Young.
Meghan Trainor performed a duet with John Legend and won hot 100 song for All About That Bass. She was teary and shaky onstage, as was her friend and collaborator Charlie Puth, who performed See You Again with Wiz Khalifa earlier in the show.
Other performers included Pitbull with Chris Brown, Little Big Town with Faith Hill, and Ed Sheeran. Kanye West was set to close the three-hour show on ABC.
Hosts Ludacris and Chrissy Teigen offered some jokes Sunday night: The rapper described why he’s a good host, namechecking his music and acting credits. Teigen, a model, replied, “And I bang a musician” as her husband, John Legend, stood up.
Legend later won top radio song for his No 1 hit, All of Me.”I have to thank, of course, my beautiful co-host, my lovely wife, Chrissy Teigen,” he said. “I am so proud that we won this award together tonight.”
Ludacris offered some words about the late BB King and his renowned career while the camera panned to a guitar on an empty stage.
Swift was the lead nominee with 14 nominations, including top artist, pitting her against Sam Smith, Sheeran, One Direction and Ariana Grande. Swift won awards that didn’t make the broadcast, including top Hot 100 artist, billboard 200 artiste and digital songs artiste.
Smith, who recently had vocal surgery, didn’t attend the show. He won top male artiste and wrote his thank you speech on cue cards, which aired via video.