Adele was the big winner at last night’s Billboard Music Awards, taking home 12 awards.
On a night where big record sales mean big wins, it’s no surprise the singer’s 21, which just passed the 9 million mark, ruled the night. With wins for Top Billboard 200 Album, Top Female Artist of the Year and Top Radio Songs Artist for “Rolling in the Deep,” Adele–who didn’t attend the show–only lost five out of the 17 categories she was nominated for. She even managed to beat herself in the category for Top Pop Album where her first record, 19, was also in the running. LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” was the next highest winner with five awards, even winning over Adele for the Top Digital Song and Top Pop Song. Colplay picked up four awards, while Beyoncé, Rihanna and Lady Gaga—who earned two—also went home winners.
Last night’s Billboard Music Awards also reacted quickly to the passing of Bee Gees member Robin Gibb, with the show’s co-host, Modern Family co-star Julie Bowen saying that “His voice, and the music of the Bee Gees will live on forever.” It wasn’t the only tribute to a recently departed music legend during the night.
Pop singer Natasha Bedingfield paid tribute to Donna Summer, who passed away last week, singing Summer’s “Last Dance.” Whitney Houston got a somewhat more elaborate tribute, with R&B star John Legend performing her “The Greatest Love Of All” backed by an orchestra, followed by former American Idol winner Jordin Sparks (who co-starred with Houston in her final film, Sparkle) performing “I Will Always Love You.” Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina, accepted Billboard’s Millennium Award for her mother.
One other musical tribute was dedicated to the late Beastie Boys member Adam Yauch, with The Voice judge Cee Lo Green and his hip-hop group Goodie Mob performing an excerpt of The Beastie Boys “Fight For Your Right” during their song “Fight To Win.”
Happily, one music legend who was being honored was there in the flesh: Stevie Wonder. The Motown legend received the Billboard Icon Award, and performed his classics “Overjoyed” and “Higher Ground” with multi-platinum superstar Alicia Keys.
— Brian Ives and Shannon Carlin, CBS Local