Because the show had been on hiatus for the past five years due to low ratings, Billboard made sure to invite all the big name celebs and unlike The American Music Awards, most of them actually showed up. Among those in attendance were Rihanna, Justin Beiber, The Black Eyed Peas, Usher, Lady Antebellum, Beyonce and even the reclusive Britney Spears.
Most of the artists mentioned above gave performances, though none as stellar as that of Beyonce. The singer was presented with a Millennium Award tonight and an award that big deserved a big performance and Beyonce came with it all the way. Standing in front of a white screen, the singer gave a visually stunning performance that had to be seen to be believed.
Other notable performances were also given by Mary J. Blige, Nicki Minaj and show opener, Rihanna. Both Nicki and Rihanna performed songs that featured Britney Spears, though Nicki seemed to need the big name pop diva’s assistance more than Rihanna did.
As per every award show she has performed on, Nicki struggled to command the stage and often looked out of place. Her vocals were pre-recorded and she moved like her shoes were too tight. I keep hoping Nicki will step up her stage game and each time I watch her she disappoints. I give up.
On the other hand, Rihanna easily had the night’s second best performance. She was on point vocally and looked amazing in her white “S & M” costume. Her routine was flawless and the audience rewarded her with a standing ovation.
Red carpet and live show pics can be seen below. Click here for video performances.