By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Music’s biggest party of the summer has finally arrived!
The 2014 Billboard Music Awards returned to Sin City with a vengeance as its celebrated the best in the Billboard charts.
Pitbull recruited both Jennifer Lopez and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte and they successfully brought the World Cup to the MGM Grand Arena. Once, they left the stage…host Ludacris recounted the first time, he received word about his first song making the top of the charts.
Country icon (and current Las Vegas performer) Shania Twain presented the Best Rock Album to Imagine Dragons. The band thanked their fans and the native home or their support. One Republic tackled “Counting Stars,” a song that peaked at number one on both the Mainstream Top 40 and Adult Top 40 Billboard charts.
Two of the hottest female artists on the radio, Iggy Azalea and Ariana Grande, debuted two of their hottest tracks! The Australian MC debuted “Fancy,” her collaboration with Charli XCX, before tossing it over to Ariana Grande…who strutted and delivered stunning vocals on “Problem.”
Florida Georgia Line brought the pyro and Luke Bryan to the party as they performed “This Is How We Roll.” I loved hearing the vocal harmonies between the country artists and they definitely rocked Vegas. Before getting ready for her duet with Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert introduced the soon-to-be-exiting Voice coach Shakira. The “Don’t Bother” singer sang “Empire” and showed some skin!!
As Justin Timberlake lead his crew in singing “Thank You” for winning the Billboard 200 Album, 5 Seconds of Summer made their American debut, as they performed their hit single: “She Looks So Perfect.” I think the guys cannot only rock the charts, but also can be superstars-in-the-making because they have fantastic showmanship and artistry.
Carrie Underwood awarded one of the night’s biggest awards, Top New Artist, to Lorde. As everyone gave her a standing ovation, the “Royals” singer was very grateful for receiving this award. The show transported to England as Katy Perry debuted “Birthday” to an audience of thousands!
Las Vegas natives Imagine Dragons debuted a new track off of Night Visions exclusively for the Billboard Music Awards: “Tiptoe.” It had strong percussion and featured sturdy vocals from Dan Reynolds. After the band exited the stage, Phillip Phillips presented Luke Bryan with the Top Country Artist award.
The Rising Star panel (Ludacris, Kesha and Brad Paisley) made their debut and introduced a performance that I have been looking forward to…a performance from Michael Jackson. When I heard that they were going to use a hologram of the King of Pop, I was a little hesitant…but when I watched the performance, my jaw dropped in delight as the Jackson hologram delivered an unbelievable performance of “Slave to the Rhythm.”
After Sarah Hyland and Lindsey Stirling awarded Lorde with the Top Rock Song award, Ricky Martin ignited the audience with his hit: “Vida.” In one of the night’s biggest shockers, Katy Perry bested the likes of Beyoncé, Lorde and Rihanna and grabbed the Top Female Artist award.
Former Idol judge Nicki Minaj introduced Lorde as a 21st Century success story! The New Zealander proved to the MGM Grand audience that artists did not need backup dancers to deliver a stunning performance. With an intro from Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood debuted their smoking duet “Somethin’ Bad.”
As Miley Cyrus earned the Streaming Artist award, John Legend delivered two chill-worthy performances including “All of Me” and “You & I (Nobody in the World).” Another first of the night was Robin Thicke’s “Get Her Back,” this song was dedicated to Robin’s longtime (and currently estranged) wife, Paula Patton.
Jennifer Lopez closed the night by receiving the Icon Award! After hearing praise from her American Idol colleagues and superstars including Britney Spears, Cameron Diaz, Mary J. Blige, Pitbull and Taylor Swift, Jenny from the Block took the stage and delivered an explosive performance of her latest single: “First Love.”