Sunday night was Drake’s night at the annual Billboard Music Awards, held this year in Las Vegas, Nevada and hosted by Ludacris and former High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens. The rap mogul took home 13 awards including Top Artist, breaking Adele’s previous record for most prizes picked up by an artist in a single night.
It was a hefty, three-hour-plus show stacked with live performances (Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, The Chainsmokers, Lorde, Imagine Dragons, John Legend and Florida Georgia Line, Sam Hunt, Camila Cabello, Halsey, Julia Michaels). There were meaningful tributes (Celine Dion, Cher) and remembrances (Biggie, Chris Cornell), and plenty of social media uproar (courtesy of K-pop boy band BTS).
In his first acceptance speech, Drizzy tossed a compliment to the evening’s co-host Vanessa Hudgens; Nicki Minaj’s comic reaction spawned one of the night’s best memes.
— Renato Mazariegos (@RPMSports18) May 22, 2017
He also made nice with Ludacris, in an attempt to settle their long-standing beef. But there was more to come from the More Life creator, starting with his literally fiery performance of “Gyalchester” from the center of the famous Bellagio fountains. Backgrounded by sprays of water, flames, and fireworks, he outdid even Britney Spears with his antics. (She pioneered the Bellagio fountains approach in 2001.)
Then, for his big win of the night for Top Artist, two important things happened on the stage: first, he claimed Nicki Minaj was the “love of his life.” And then he took a shot of Virginia Black whiskey straight from the bottle, because it’s Drake’s world, and he makes the rules. As he said, “Life is like toilet paper. You’re either on a roll or you’re taking sh– from an a–h—“, a sentiment that was bleeped out on live TV (and was the night’s realest — and funniest — moment.)
— Nicki Minaj News (@NickiData) May 22, 2017