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Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift Big Winners At Billboard Awards

posted 20 May 2013, 05:37 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 20 May 2013, 05:38 ]

Big night in Vegas for Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift at the Billboard Music Awards

LAS VEGASNEVADAUNITED STATES (MAY 19, 2013) - International singing phenomenon Justin Bieber and country-pop star Taylor Swift won the big prizes on Sunday (May 19) at the Billboard Music Awards, with Swift taking the artist of the year award at a ceremony which also honored legendary performers Madonna and Prince.

Clad all in black and sporting reflective aviator sunglasses, Bieber performed at the show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and was named top male artist. He also took home Billboard's first-ever Milestone Award, voted by fans, for musical innovation and ingenuity.

"I'm 19 years old. I think I'm doing a pretty good job, Bieber said. "It should really be about the music... This is not a gimmick," he continued. "I'm an artist and I should be taken seriously. And all this other bull should not be spoken of."

The teen heartthrob did not elaborate, but in recent months he has been at the center of several high-profile incidents ranging from driving offenses to reports of hard partying and drugs being found on his tour bus in Sweden.

His remarks drew a mix of applause and what was apparently sustained booing from the audience.

Swift won the top award of the night, artist of the year, thanking her fans by telling them "You are the longest and best relationship I've ever had."

Pop diva Madonna was honored as top touring artist for her "MDNA Tour," 2012's highest-grossing concert series.

Madonna strode onstage to accept the accolade from will.i.am, wearing black fishnet stockings, garters and a padlock choker.

The MDNA tour grossed more than $305 million from 88 sold-out shows and attracted an audience of 2.2 million people. Madonna acknowledged her fans, saying: "They say that it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it took several international villages to put my show together, and I would be here all night if I was going to specifically thank the so many people that were there to walk through the fire with me."

Early awards went to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis who won top rap song for "Thrift Shop," and Nicki Minaj who took home the top rap artist honor.

Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" was named top digital song, while Swift took home the top Billboard 200 album award for "Red."

French producer and DJ David Guetta was named top EDM, or electric dance music, artist.

Rihanna and Gotye won four awards each. Rihanna claimed top radio songs artist, top R&B artist, top R&B album and top R&B song. The partnership between Gotye and Kimbra on the hit, "Somebody That I Used To Know," won the pair top hot 100 song, top radio song, top streaming song (audio) and top rock song. Neither Rihanna nor Gotye were in attendance at the ceremony, hosted by "30 Rock" actorTracy Jordan.

The show ended with the Icon Award for Prince, in recognition of his unique career and accomplishments in the music industry. Prince performed a medley to close the show but did not deliver an acceptance speech.