The Best And Worst Moments At The 2019 Billboard Awards

The 2019 Billboard Music Awards, broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, featured some of today's biggest names in music. Taylor Swift? Check. Ariana Grande? Check. Drake? Check. BTS? (Holds for screams) Check. The three-hour celebration of album sales and song popularity had a ton of memorable moments and didn't even run long. You have to love that.

The show had a little something for everyone: Juice Wrld took home Top New Artist; Ciara brought pack shoulder pads; Cardi B and Offset did what they do best; and even Karate Kid and his bully made an appearance. And we think recently retired New England Patriot Rob Gronkowski just started his acting career. And Paula Abdul almost decapitated Julianne Hough with a hat. Did we mention BTS were there? (Holds for screams). 

Hosted by Kelly Clarkson, there was never a dull moment at the 2019 Billboard Awards, so here are a few that viewers couldn't stop talking about. What was that? Yes, we're going to discuss BTS, don't worry. 

Taylor Swift, we're going to let you finish...

The opening had to be good, right? Taylor Swift kicked off the 2019 Billboard Awards performing her new single "ME!" featuring Panic! At the Disco's, Brendon Urie. The colorful performance included a drum line, Urie flying in on an umbrella, glitter, a truckload of confetti, and the pair whisked away by, you guessed it, another umbrella.

The crowd seemed to be fans of what they were witnessing, but some on social media had other thoughts. Specifically, those that believed Swift's performance was a little too reminiscent of Beyonce's legendary Coachella show. "This is honestly too pathetic. can't wait for k. michelle to knock that wig right on off with one yodel!" Afropunk's Myles E. Johnson tweeted. "I don't know if y'all are seeing this but Taylor Swift is gentrifying Beyonce's Coachella performance right now," user @Chuck_Des wrote.

We checked, and it looks like Beyonce didn't invent marching bands or posing, so we're not too sure about this one. 

Kelly Clarkson, in general

The second performance of the night came courtesy of the show's host, Kelly Clarkson. Much like her time on American Idol, the "Because of You" singer took other artists' songs and made them better. Performing a powerful medley of 2018's biggest hits — including "Meant to Be," "East Side, "Boo'd Up," "Girls Like You," "The Middle," "One Kiss," "Tequila," and "High Hopes" — Clarkson brought the house down. She also paid tribute to two legends in the audience, Madonna and Mariah Carey, by belting out two of their chart-topping smashes — "Material Girl" and "Touch My Body." Clarkson then rapped, in Spanish, to "I Like It."

Anybody else would take a rest after that, and enjoy the show, but the Voice coach and pop superstar had enough energy to host the remaining three hours. Oh, and later in the evening, Clarkson performed "Broken & Beautiful," and tore the roof yet again. Is there anything Clarkson can't do? 

Imagine Dragons brought awareness

We can argue about Imagine Dragons beating Queen for Top Rock Artist another time, because instead of expressing the usual gratitude to God and their agents (not necessarily in that order) when they took the stage to accept, singer Dan Reynolds used his platform to speak out against US states that allow LGBTQ conversion therapy.

"I just want to take this moment to say there are still 34 states that have no laws banning conversion therapy, 34," he said. "And on top of that, on top of that, 58 percent of our LGBTQ population live in those states. This can change," he continued. "This can change, but it's going to take all of us talking to our state legislation pushing forward laws to protect our LGBTQ youth. Lastly, I just want to say, we have seen what conversation therapy that our LGBTQ youth have doubled the rate of depression [and] tripled the rate of suicide after conversation therapy. It's not working, needs to change."

Drake is the new Billboard Awards king

Move over Taylor Swift. After walking into the 2019 Billboards Awards with a whopping 17 nominations on the night (taking home 12), Drake left surpassing Swift as the most-winningest artist in the show's history with 27. God's plan?

Picking up the trophy for Top Male Artist, Drake alluded to the recent tragic deaths of Nipsey Hussle, Mac Miller, and other artists to spread a message of love. "We've obviously had an unfortunate series of losses within our business," said the "Scorpion" rapper. "I just want to encourage everybody to let other artists know how you feel about them, let them know that you love and respect them ... while we're all still here." After shouting Offset and other friends in the audience, he continued, "To all of us, you know, we put in a lot of work together, this is our thing, we gotta protect it, so I just encourage you tonight to show somebody some love, tell somebody you love their music, you love what they do."

Earlier in the night, Drake took home the Top Billboard 200 Album award, and had a special message for everyone's favorite fictional assassin. "Shout out to Arya Stark for putting in that work last week!" he said. This can only mean one thing: the Drake curse doesn't bode well for Arya's survival.

Mariah Carey is the icon

Only a true icon can wipe tears from their eyes and throw the tissue in the crowd. And that's just what Mariah Carey did when accepting the Icon award after singing a medley of some of her biggest hits including "Always Be My Baby," "Emotions," "We Belong Together" and "Hero." If she performed all of her hits, the show would have to be three days long.

Her acceptance speech was perhaps the greatest of the night. "Icon? I really don't think of myself in that way. I started making music out of a necessity to survive and to express myself. I just wanted to create something so I could feel worthy of existing," she said. "I guess I've always felt like an outsider: someone who doesn't quite belong anywhere. And I still feel like that lost, interracial child, who had a lot of nerve to believe I can succeed at anything at all in this world. But, and this is the truth, but I did believe because I had to. The truth is: I've dedicated my life to my music, my saving grace and to my fans, who are unlike any other entity that I've ever known. They've lifted me out of the depths of hell and brought me out with their devotion and love." She ended with, "To anyone who's ever told me that a song I wrote helped save your life, I thank you, because you saved mine, and I'll be eternally grateful."

Everyone is in the BTS Army

K-Pop sensation BTS was pretty much everywhere during the 2019 Billboard Awards, and we're almost positive most of the crowd were BTS fans (trust us). Tom Holland and Sophie Turner waited in line to meet them. Terry Crews had no chill. The person Julianne Hough asked to take their picture panicked. The Jonas Brothers serenaded them. This was all before they performed their hit single "Boy with Luv" with Halsey, and "the audience broke into ear-piercing screams and cried" (per People). 

Later in the evening, the guys became the first Korean act to win Top Duo/Group. All the members — V, Jungkook, Jimin, Suga, Jin, RM, and J-Hope — took the stage to accept the honor. "Thank you, ARMY. Still can't believe we're here on this stage with so many great artists, oh my god," RM said. "This was only possible because of the little things we shared together — the BTS and ARMY power, right? And we're still the same boys from six years ago. We still have the same dreams. We still have the same feelings; we still have the same thoughts. So let's keep dreaming the best dreams together. Thank you. I love you all."

The Jonas Brothers reunited

The Jonas Brothers took the stage together for the first time in more than a decade to perform their new hit single "Sucker." However, before the crowd got to see the trio reunited (per People), "Nick kicked off the performance with his hit song 'Jealous,'" then "Joe ran up on the stage to join him" and "launched into DNCE's 'Cake by the Ocean.'" Nick even found the time to sneak a kiss to his wife, Priyanka Chopra, during the performance.

Serving as the unofficial kickoff of their 40-date North America tour, Nick, Joe, and Kevin proved they still got it. "The @JonasBrothers are BACK and they just delivered an explosive #BBMAs performance," the official Billboard account tweeted. What can we expect from The Jonas Brothers 2.0?

"We worked with a lot of really talented writers and producers. In the sessions, we'd walk in, say we're trying to bottle happiness and bring it to the world," Nick told E! News on the red carpet. "There's so much negativity out there and if we can provide a little light in people's eyes, we're doing our job."

Paula Abdul closed the show with a bang

In 1988, Paula Abdul released her debut album Forever Your Girl, which produced four No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 singles: "Straight Up," "Forever Your Girl," "Cold Hearted," and "Opposites Attract." To close out the 2019 Billboard Music Awards, the former American Idol judge performed a six-minute medley of her biggest hits, and the 56-year-old did not disappoint. Tearing up the stage with her backup dancers, Abdul had the crowd on their feet with moves like this. Again, she's 56. The iconic performance ended with a standing ovation from the crowd.

Before the show, Abdul discussed her long-awaited return to the stage. "For me, I think if you align yourself in that heart space what you love to do, then you're on the right path," Abdul said on the red carpet (via People). "You have to be willing to make sharp left turns and sharp right turns ... It's hard to make it in this business. You can't take things too seriously, and as I get older the more I'm in the moment, the more I appreciate everything that's going on."

And don't worry, Julianne Hough is fine. She tweeted a pic with her wearing a fake neck brace with the caption, "The result of the honor of being hit in the neck by @PaulaAbdul 's flying hat! Love you, babe!!!  #BBMAs." Abdul responded, "OMG IM PEEING MY PANTS!!!!! You know it was with love xoP."