The 2017 Billboard Music Awards were held in May with Drake sweeping 13 awards from a whopping 22 nominations for which he was tied with the Chainsmokers. Among his awards were Top Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist and Top Rap Artist. The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey’s Closer also received top accolades which were Top Hot 100 Song, Top Collaboration and Top Dance/Electronic Song. Cher who was bestowed with the Icon Award performed a medley of her hits Believe and If I Could Turn Back Time. Other memorable performances of the night were Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On, Imagine Dragons’ Believer, Bruno Mars’ Versace on the Floor, Julia Michaels’ Issues and Camila Cabello’s medley of I Have Questions and Crying In the Club. Miley Cyrus also debuted her newest single Malibu, which sees her going back to her roots. Other significant wins of the night include:
· Top New Artist: Zayn
· Top Billboard 200 Album: Drake – Views
· Top Female Artist: Beyonce
· Top Duo/Group: Twenty One Pilots
· Top Latin Artist: Juan Gabriel
· Top Country Song: Florida Georgia Line – H.O.L.Y.
· Top Rap Song: Desiigner – Panda
· Top Rock Song: Twenty One Pilots – Heathens
· Top Touring Artist: Beyonce
Now let’s take a look at the biggest singing competition in the world. The curtains came down on the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 with Portugal as the winner for Salvador Sobral’s Amar Pelos Dois. The contest took place in Ukraine after the remarkable victory by Ukraine’s underdog Jamala stole the show with her breathtaking performance of the song 1944. Russia had originally planned to participate, but announced their withdrawal in April 2017, after their representative, Yulia Samoylova, was banned from entering Ukraine by virtue of having traveled directly from Russia to Crimea in 2015, a region that was annexed by Russia in 2014, to give a performance, which is illegal under Ukrainian law.
This was Portugal's first win and first top five placing in 53 years of participation. It was also the first winning song entirely performed in a country's native language since Serbia's Molitva in 2007. The top three countries – Portugal, Bulgaria and Moldova – all achieved the highest position in their Eurovision history, while host country Ukraine received its worst placing to date in a Eurovision final. The song written by Salvador’s sister Luísa Sobral amassed 758 points, setting the record for the most points achieved by a song in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest, and topped both the televoting and the jury voting for the first time since Austria's Rise Like a Phoenix in 2014.
Tragedy struck the pop music industry when a bomb was detonated after an Ariana Grande concert. British Muslim Salman Ramadan Abedi made a suicide bomb attack after the show at the Manchester Arena of Grande’s 2017 Dangerous Woman Tour resulting in 22 deaths and 250 injured. The concert was sold out, and 14,200 people attended. Many exiting concert-goers and waiting parents were in the foyer at the time of the explosion. Greater Manchester Police declared the incident a terrorist attack and is the deadliest attack in the UK since July 2005 London bombings. Grande subsequently suspended her tour and flew to her mother's home in Boca Raton, Florida. She later announced that she would host a benefit concert in Manchester for the victims of the attack.
In more sad news, lead vocalist for the rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave Chris Cornell has also died which has been ruled as a suicide. Cornell was found dead in his Detroit hotel room early on the morning of May 18, shortly after performing at a Soundgarden concert the night before. He suffered from depression and substance abuse problems. Gregg Allman, singer-songwriter and rock n’ blues pioneer who founded The Allman Brothers Band has passed away at the age of 69 from complications of liver cancer on May 27.
Moving onto chart news, in the US, the tyrannical reign of Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You came to an end with Kendrick Lamar’s Humble taking the rapper to his first number one. Bruno Mars however took the pole position from Lamar in the second week with his That’s What I Like. In the third week DJ Khaled debuted atop the charts with his star studded collaboration I’m the One with Quavo, Lil Wayne, Justin Bieber and Chance the Rapper. This reign only lasted one week, as Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s Despacito soared to the peak as a result of a new remix which features Justin Bieber. With Despacito claiming the throne it becomes the first mostly Spanish language No.1 in more than 20 years since Los Del Rio’s Macarena. This sort of No.1 turnover is the quickest since 1990. Meanwhile, Kendrik Lamar’s DNA debuted at No.4 and Zedd & Alessia Cara’s Stay and Kygo & Selena Gomez’s It Ain’t Me entered the top 10.
In the UK, Sheeran’s Shape of You was toppled by Clean Bandit featuring Zara Larsson’s Symphony. This again proved short lived as DJ Khaled’s I’m The One debuted atop the charts in the UK as well before being replaced by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s Despacito which continued at the top during the remainder of the month. During the month French Montana featuring Swae Lee’s Unforgettable, Jason Derulo featuring Ty Dolla $ign and Nicki Minaj and Shawn Mendes’ There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back all entered the top 10.
Other songs which became popular during the month were:
1. Kygo & Ellie Goulding – First time
2. DNCE ft. Nicki Minaj – Kissing strangers
3. David Guetta ft. Nicki Minaj & Lil Wayne – Light my body up
4. Katy Perry ft. Migos – Bon Apetit
5. Charlie Puth – Attention
6. J Hus – Did you see
7. Disciples – On my mind
8. Cheat Codes ft. Demi Lovato – No promises
Till the next beat...