Janet Jackson was the winner of Billboard's lifetime-achievement Icon Award,this year. After performing a medley of several of her hits, Jackson began her acceptance speech by saying she believes that, despite all our challenges, "we live at a glorious moment in history."
"It's a moment when, at long last, women have made it clear that we will no longer be controlled, manipulated, or abused," she said. "I stand with those women and with those men equally outraged by discrimination — who support us in heart and mind."
Kicking off the three-hour program, Ariana Grande sang "No More Tears Left to Cry," her comeback single following the 2017 terrorist bombing that killed 22 people as fans were leaving her concert in Manchester.
Singer Kelly Clarkson hosted the Billboard Music Awards 2018 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday. It was her first time hosting an awards show.
The former "American Idol" winner was asked to lead a moment of silence, she said, for the victims of last week's high school shooting near Houston. Fighting back tears, Clarkson instead proposed "a moment of change," an act that felt spontaneous and unrehearsed.
Accepting the award for top Hot 100 song, Luis Fonsi (of "Despacito" fame) thanked listeners for embracing a tune sung mostly in Spanish, then dedicated the trophy to immigrants and dreamers and "all those who get made fun of when you speak with an accent."
Chainsmokers used their time onstage to speak about the inspiration they'd taken from the Swedish producer Avicii, who died last month.