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Post Malone takes 9 honors at delayed Music Awards event

Post Malone accepts the top artist award at the Billboard Music Awards on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

CHRIS PIZZELLO, INVISION/AP

By MESFIN FEKADU | Associated Press | Published: October 15, 2020

Walking into the show with 16 nominations, Post Malone won nine honors at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards, where John Legend gave a heartfelt performance that was dedicated to his wife.

With his voice aching as he sang passionately from the piano, Legend told viewers “this is for Chrissy” before singing “Never Break,” which includes the lyrics “we will never break.” The performance comes two weeks after Chrissy Teigen announced she had a miscarriage, explaining in a heart-wrenching social media post that she and Legend drove “home from the hospital with no baby.”

“John, that was so beautiful,” host Kelly Clarkson said following Legend’s performance. “All my love to you and Chrissy.”

It was one of several performances that were pre-taped for Wednesday’s show. Other musicians attended and performed at the empty Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles during the three-hour show, which aired on NBC.

After announcing that Malone won the show’s biggest honor, top artist, Clarkson wheeled out eight more trophies for the hitmaker.

“I’m honestly blown away by the love everyone’s shown to me,” said Malone, who also won top rap artist, top male artist and top rap album. “It’s kind of big deal to me and everybody involved because we work our (butts) off.”

He beat out Eilish for the top prize, but she was still a winner, taking home top Billboard 200 album, top female artist and top new artist.

The 18-year-old, wearing a face mask, told viewers to “please vote, please wear a mask, please wash your hands.”

Others had similar messages. Khalid, who won five honors, told fans “your voice matters now more than ever.” And Lizzo wore a black dress with “vote” printed across it.

She also gave an encouraging speech, telling viewers to find their voices and don’t change to meet society standards.

“I just want to say I’ve been thinking a lot about suppression and the voices that refused to be suppressed. And I wonder, ‘Would I be standing here right now if it weren’t for the big Black women who refuse to have their voices be suppressed?’ And I just want to say right now, if you’re at home watching this and you were thinking about changing yourself to feel worthy, this is your sign to remain true to who you are,” Lizzo said onstage after winning top songs sales artist.

“Let me tell you all something — when people try to suppress something, it’s normally because that thing holds power. They’re afraid of your power. There’s power in who you are. There’s power in your voice. So whether it’s through music, protest or your right to vote, use your power, use your voice and refuse to be suppressed.”

Other winners included Lil Nas X, who took home four honors and was on hand to accept top Hot 100 song for “Old Town Road,” which set the record for most weeks at No. 1. Kanye West, who released two gospel albums last year, also won four prizes: top gospel artist, top gospel song, top gospel album and top Christian album.

Luke Combs followed with three wins, and after his performance he offered positive words to his fans and the crew working on the awards show.

“I know that everybody has been through so much this year. I wanna thank the crew that is working on this show tonight because they have gone through some insane stuff to make this happen for you guys. I hope everybody is staying safe there at home,” he said.

Garth Brooks accepted the Icon Award from Cher, who called the country star “a true music legend and my friend Garth Brooks.” Brooks, who is the only artist to have nine of his albums sell more than 10 million units each and reach diamond status, performed a medley of his hits.

Other performers included BTS, Alicia Keys, Kane Brown, Khalid, Swae Lee, Sia, Brandy, Bad Bunny, Doja Cat, SAINt JHN, En Vogue and Demi Lovato, who sang her new song aimed at President Donald Trump called “Commander In Chief.”

Guitar rock legend Eddie Van Halen, who died last week, was honored as the show aired a clip of his Billboard Awards performance from 2015. And rapper-activist Killer Mike received the Change Maker Award.

This year’s Billboard Awards were originally supposed to take place in April but were postponed because of the pandemic.

Billboard Music Awards top winners

Top Hot 100 song: “Old Town Road,” Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus

Top Billboard 200 album: Billie Eilish, “When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”

Top artist: Post Malone

Top new artist: Billie Eilish

Top female artist: Billie Eilish

Top male artist: Post Malone

Top streaming songs artist: Post Malone

Top song sales artist: Lizzo

Top radio songs artist: Jonas Bros.

Top duo/group: Jonas Bros.

Top R&B artist: Khalid

Top rap artist: Post Malone

Top country artist: Luke Combs

Top rock artist: Panic! at the Disco

Top Latin artist: Bad Bunny

Top dance/electronic artist: The Chainsmokers

Top Christian artist: Lauren Daigle

Top gospel artist: Kanye West

Top social artist: BTS

Top touring artist: Pink

Chart achievement award: Harry Styles

Icon award: Garth Brooks