Despite the glitz, the glamor, and the good and bad red carpet dresses, Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards became a night of tributes to some of music’s brightest stars who have recently passed away.
In one of the most heartfelt moments of the evening, Jordin Sparks performed Whitney Houston’s iconic hit “I Will Always Love You” and the camera could be seen panning on Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina, who broke down in tears.
The 19-year-old then accepted the Millennium Award on her mom’s behalf.
“I really want to say thank you to everyone who supported us through it all,” she said.” Not just from when it was good but when it was bad, too. Thank you for showing that much love, because she deserved it…I’m just blessed to have been in such an incredible woman’s life. There will never be another one, ever.”
The awards ceremony also paid tribute to Donna Summers, who passed away on Thursday after a battle with lung cancer (Natasha Bedingfield sang “Last Dance” in honor of the Queen of Disco, though it was cut short); and Cee Lo Green performed the Beastie Boys’ “(You Gotta) Fight for Your RIght (to Party!)” in remembrance of MC Adam Yauch, who lost his battle with cancer on May 4.
And with the news that Bee Gees legend Robin Gibb passed away yesterday, the show’s co-host Julie Bowen said of Gibbs: “His voice and music of the Bee Gees will live on forever.”
Adele was the big winner of the night, winning 12 gongs, though she wasn’t in Las Vegas to pick up her trophies.
Other winners included Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift.