2015 Billboard Music Awards – Full Recap & Winners’ List!

Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

The 2015 Billboard Music Awards, hosted by hip-hop artist and actor Ludacris, and TV host and supermodel Chrissy Teigen, was an amazing night of show-stopping musical performances, never-before-seen superstar duos, and explosive moments! Teigen’s quick wit and ability to play to the crowd, and Ludacris’ comedic timing and hosting experience made this unexpected pair rival some of America’s favorite hosting duos. The show aired live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on ABC.

Taylor Swift was the night’s big winner, taking home 8 awards including Top Artist, Top Female Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Digital Songs Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album (“1989”), Top Streaming Song (Video) (“Shake It Off”) and the fan voted Billboard Chart Achievement Award sponsored by Samsung.  Swift also opened the show with the world debut of her highly anticipated music video for “Bad Blood,” the next single off her album “1989.” The video, directed by Joseph Kahn and produced by Taylor Swift, included cameos from some of Swift’s best friends including Jessica Alba, Lily Aldridge, Cindy Crawford, Cara Delevingne, Lena Dunham, Selena Gomez, Ellie Goulding, Gigi Hadid, Mariska Hargitay, Martha Hunt, Karlie Kloss, Kendrick Lamar, Ellen Pompeo, Serayah, Hailee Steinfeld, Hayley Williams, and Zendaya.  Swift was on hand to then introduce legendary rock band, Van Halen, who performed their iconic hit “Panama,” marking the band’s first-ever performance on an awards show with Eddie, Alex, Wolfgang Van Halen and David Lee Roth.  Van Halen started the night’s performances off with a bang, getting the crowd on their feet and rocking out!

Sam Smith, Iggy Azalea and Pharrell Williams all followed Swift with 3 awards each. Smith took home Top Male Artist, Top Radio Songs Artist, and Top New Artist, which he accepted via a homemade video from his hospital bed, where he is recovering from vocal cord surgery.  Azalea received Top Streaming Artist, Top Rap Artist and Top Rap Song (“Fancy,” featuring Charli XCX); and Williams was awarded Top R&B Artist, Top R&B Album (“G I R L”) and Top R&B Song (“Happy”).

Performance duo Meghan Trainor and John Legend earned two trophies each. Legend received two awards for his love ballad “All of Me” (Top Radio Song, Top Streaming Song [Audio]), while Trainor received two for her feel-good hit “All About That Bass” (Top Hot 100 Song, Top Digital Song). Jason Aldean, Hozier, Enrique Iglesias and One Direction all took home two trophies as well.

Returning to the Billboard Music Awards performance stage after 17 years, Mariah Carey brought the audience to their feet with a medley of her classic debut single — and first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit — “Vision of Love” and new single “Infinity.”  And Carey wasn’t the only singer bringing a sense of nostalgia to the stage.  Simple Minds, in honor of the 30th anniversary of “The Breakfast Club” performed their No. 1 Hot 100 hit “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” which has become synonymous with the film itself and topped the chart exactly 30 years ago this week.  John Hughes darling and “The Breakfast Club” star Molly Ringwald was on-hand to welcome the band to the stage.  Another ’80s throwback came in the form of an explosive, neon-hued performance from music superstars Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea who brought their new single “Pretty Girls” to the stage for the first time ever.

Jussie Smollett, Bryshere “Yazz” Gray, and Estelle delivered a powerful rendition of stand-out song “Conquerer” and viewer favorite “You’re So Beautiful” from their breakout hit show “Empire.”  The night was not short on memorable collaborations with duets from Nicki Minaj featuring David Guetta, Little Big Town with Faith Hill, Fall Out Boy with Wiz Khalifa, and Pitbull featuring Chris Brown.  Solo artists also dominated the stage, with extraordinary performances by Kelly Clarkson, Hozier, Nick Jonas, Tori Kelly, Ed Sheeran, and Kanye West, who closed out the night with a commanding rendition of his hit “All Day.”

While the majority of the broadcast was focused on high-energy, one-of-a-kind performances, there were several touching tributes to some of the great artists who’ve passed away in recent months, including B.B. King, who received a heartfelt commemoration from host Ludacris as the camera panned to one of King’s iconic Lucille guitars, which was on display on stage.  Vegas’ hometown band, Imagine Dragons, delivered a special rendition of “Stand By Me” in honor of the late Ben E. King, whose family was in the audience for the moving moment.  During Wiz Khalifa, Charlie Puth and Lindsey Stirling’s powerful performance of the “Furious 7” anthem “See You Again,” a poignant clip of the film’s Paul Walker was shown to remember the actor and Ludacris’ longtime friend and colleague.

The musical acts weren’t the only stars taking over the stage at this year’s show.  Presenters throughout the broadcast included 50 Cent, Lily Aldridge, Kaitlyn Bristowe, Charli XCX, Laverne Cox, Hannah Davis, Celine Dion, Brett Eldredge, the cast of “Entourage”, Fifth Harmony, Florida Georgia Line, Taraji P. Henson, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Kira Kazantsev, Danica McKellar, Idina Menzel, NE-YO, Britt Nilsson, One Direction, Rita Ora, Pentatonix, Ellen Pompeo, Prince Royce, Tracee Ellis Ross, Hailee Steinfeld, and Zendaya.

See below for a full list of winners.

ARTIST AWARDS

TOP ARTIST:
Ariana Grande
One Direction
Katy Perry
Sam Smith
**Taylor Swift

Top New Artist:
5 Seconds of Summer
Iggy Azalea
Hozier
**Sam Smith
Meghan Trainor

Top Male Artist:
Drake
Pharrell Williams
Ed Sheeran
**Sam Smith
Justin Timberlake

Top Female Artist:
Iggy Azalea
Ariana Grande
Katy Perry
**Taylor Swift
Meghan Trainor

Top Duo/Group:
5 Seconds of Summer
Florida Georgia Line
MAGIC!
Maroon 5
**One Direction

Top Billboard 200 Artist:
One Direction
Pentatonix
Ed Sheeran
Sam Smith
**Taylor Swift

Top Hot 100 Artist:
Iggy Azalea
Ariana Grande
Sam Smith
**Taylor Swift
Meghan Trainor

Top Digital Songs Artist:
Iggy Azalea
Ed Sheeran
Sam Smith
**Taylor Swift
Meghan Trainor

Top Radio Songs Artist:
John Legend
Maroon 5
Ed Sheeran
**Sam Smith
Taylor Swift

Top Touring Artist
Lady Gaga
**One Direction
Katy Perry
The Rolling Stones
Justin Timberlake

Top Social Artist:
**Justin Bieber
Miley Cyrus
Selena Gomez
Ariana Grande
Taylor Swift

Top Streaming Artist:
** Iggy Azalea
Ariana Grande
Nicki Minaj
Taylor Swift
Meghan Trainor

Top R&B Artist:
Beyonce
Chris Brown
John Legend
Trey Songz
**Pharrell Williams

Top Rap Artist:
**Iggy Azalea
J. Cole
Drake
Nicki Minaj
Rae Sremmurd

Top Country Artist:
Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
**Florida Georgia Line
Brantley Gilbert
Blake Shelton

Top Rock Artist:
Bastille
Coldplay
Fall Out Boy
**Hozier
Lorde

Top Latin Artist
J Balvin
Juan Gabriel
Enrique Iglesias
Prince Royce
**Romeo Santos

Top Dance/Electronic Artist
Avicii
Clean Bandit
Disclosure
**Calvin Harris
Lindsey Stirling

Top Christian Artist
Casting Crowns
**Hillsong
Lecrae
MercyMe
Newsboys

ALBUM AWARDS

Top Billboard 200 Album:
Maroon 5 “V”
Pentatonix “That’s Christmas To Me”
Ed Sheeran “x”
Sam Smith “In the Lonely Hour”
**Taylor Swift “1989”

Top Soundtrack:
“The Fault in Our Stars”
“Fifty Shades of Grey”
**“Frozen”
“Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix: Vol. 1”
“Into the Woods”

Top R&B Album
Beyonce “Beyonce”
Chris Brown “X”
Michael Jackson “Xscape”
John Legend “Love in the Future”
**Pharrell “G I R L”

Top Rap Album:
**J. Cole “2014 Forest Hill Drive”
Drake “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late”
Nicki Minaj “The Pinkprint”
Iggy Azalea “The New Classic”
Eminem “The Marshall Mathers LP 2”

Top Country Album:
**Jason Aldean “Old Boots, New Dirt”
Garth Brooks “Man Against Machine”
Luke Bryan “Crash My Party”
Brantley Gilbert “Just As I Am”
Miranda Lambert “Platinum”

Top Rock Album:
AC/DC “Rock or Bust”
The Black Keys “Turn Blue”
**Coldplay “Ghost Stories”
Hozier “Hozier”
Lorde “Pure Heroine”

Top Latin Album:
Juan Gabriel “Los Duo”
**Enrique Iglesias “Sex and Love”
Romeo Santos “Formula: Vol. 2”
Santana “Corazon”
Marc Anthony “3.0”

Top Dance/Electronic Album
Avicii “True”
Disclosure “Settle”
Calvin Harris “Motion”
Skrillex “Recess”
** Lindsey Stirling “Shatter Me”

Top Christian Album:
**Lecrae “Anomaly”
Casting Crowns “Thrive”
MercyMe “Welcome to the New”
NEEDTOBREATHE “Rivers in the Wasteland”
Chris Tomlin “Love Ran Red”

SONG AWARDS

Top Hot 100 Song:
Iggy Azalea Feat. Charli XCX “Fancy”
John Legend “All of Me”
Sam Smith “Stay With Me”
Taylor Swift “Shake It Off”
**Meghan Trainor “All About That Bass”

Top Digital Song:
Mark Ronson Featuring Bruno Mars “Uptown Funk!”
Sam Smith “Stay With Me”
Taylor Swift “Shake It Off”
** Meghan Trainor “All About That Bass”
Pharrell Williams “Happy

Top Radio Song:
**John Legend “All of Me”
MAGIC! “Rude”
Nico & Vinz “Am I Wrong”
Sam Smith “Stay With Me”
Pharrell Williams “Happy

Top Streaming Song (Audio)
Iggy Azalea Feat. Charli XCX “Fancy”
Hozier “Take Me to Church”
**John Legend “All of Me”
Sam Smith “Stay With Me”
Tove Lo “Habits (Stay High)”

Top Streaming Song (Video)
Idina Menzel “Let It Go”
Bobby Shmurda “Hot Boy”
Taylor Swift “Blank Space”
**Taylor Swift “Shake It Off”
Meghan Trainor “All About That Bass”

Top R&B Song:
Chris Brown Featuring Lil Wayne, French Montana, Too $hort & Tyga “Loyal”
Jason Derulo Feat. 2 Chainz “Talk Dirty”
Jeremih Featuring YG “Don’t Tell ‘Em”
John Legend “All of Me”
**Pharrell “Happy”

Top Rap Song:
**Iggy Azalea Feat. Charli XCX “Fancy”
Iggy Azalea Feat. Rita Ora “Black Widow”
Big Sean Featuring E-40 “I Don’t F**k With You”
Nicki Minaj “Anaconda”
Bobby Shmurda “Hot Boy”

Top Country Song:
**Jason Aldean “Burnin’ It Down”
Luke Bryan “Play It Again”
Sam Hunt “Leave the Light On”
Florida Georgia Line Featuring Luke Bryan “This Is How We Roll”
Florida Georgia Line “Dirt”

Top Rock Song:
Bastille “Pompeii”
Coldplay “A Sky Full of Stars”
Fall Out Boy “Centuries”
**Hozier “Take Me to Church”
Paramore “Ain’t It Fun”

Top Latin Song:
J Balvin Featuring Farruko “6 AM”
**Enrique Iglesias Featuring Descemer Bueno & Gente de Zona “Bailando”
Romeo Santos “Eres Mia”
Romeo Santos Featuring Drake “Odio”
Romeo Santos “Propuesta Indecente”

Top Dance/Electronic Song:
Clean Bandit Featuring Jess Glynne “Rather Be”
Disclosure Featuring Sam Smith “Latch”
**DJ Snake & Lil Jon “Turn Down For What”
Ariana Grande Featuring Zedd “Break Free”
Calvin Harris “Summer”

Top Christian Song
Francesca Battistelli “He Knows My Name”
Hillsong “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)”
MercyMe “Greater”
newsboys “We Believe”
**Carrie Underwood “Something In The Water”

Billboard Chart Achievement Award
Iggy Azalea
**Taylor Swift
Meghan Trainor

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Written by Juliet Schroder

Juliet is the founder and executive producer/host of Celeb Secrets and Celeb Secrets Country. When not reporting on the latest news in pop culture and country music, she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and exploring the latest fashion trends.

Juliet holds a B.S. in marketing from St. John’s University.

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