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Garth Brooks, Killer Mike honored at Billboard Music Awards

Garth Brooks holds his Icon Award at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards. Photo courtesy of NBC
Garth Brooks holds his Icon Award at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards. Photo courtesy of NBC

Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Killer Mike and Garth Brooks were the big winners at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards on Wednesday.

Brooks, the No. 1 selling solo artist in U.S. history, was honored with the Icon Award, which was presented by fellow music legend Cher.

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The Icon Award was created a decade ago to honor outstanding artists who have achieved excellence in the recording studio and on the concert stage.

The country star took the stage wearing his signature cowboy hat and boots to perform some of his hit songs.

Earlier, Killer Mike was honored with the inaugural Billboard Change Maker Award. He was chosen for being a leading champion of community activism, social justice and civil rights.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms introduced Killer Mike and a video highlighting the rapper's activism, which has included voter registration projects and speaking out against police brutality.

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Killer Mike dedicated the win to his wife, Shana Render, who joined him from their home for his speech, in which he paid homage to young artists, his ancestors and everyone who has helped him along the way.

Post Malone took the coveted Top Artist award after he earned Top Male Artist.

"I'm blown away, I'm floored," Malone said onstage as he accepted the award. The 25-year-old was followed by En Vogue, who rocked the stage with "Free Your Mind" to close out the ceremony. Earlier in the evening, Malone delivered a cinematic performance of his song "Circles" and joined Tyla Yaweh for his track "Tommy Lee."

Additionally, South Korean boy band BTS gave viewers a performance of "Dynamite" from their home country.

The group, who won Top Social Artist during the ceremony, wore matching plum-colored suits on a big stage that had an airplane flying over it.

Demi Lovato gave a world premiere performance of her newly released song "Commander in Chief."

The politically charged track is a message to President Donald Trump, which Lovato performed while playing piano.

"Commander in Chief, honestly/ If I did the things you do/ I couldn't sleep, seriously/ Do you even know the truth?/ We're in a state of crisis, people are dyin'/ While you line your pockets deep/ Commander in Chief, how does it feel to still/ Be able to breathe," Lovato sang.

Earlier, John Legend gave an emotional performance of "Never Break."

Legend, who was wearing a white suit, dedicated the performance to his wife, Chrissy Teigen. This was Legend's first performance since Teigen suffered a pregnancy loss two weeks ago.



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Luke Combs won Top Country Artist and performed "Better Together" onstage. Billie Eilish won two awards, the Top 200 Billboard Album for When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? and Top Female Artist. She told fans to please vote and wear a mask.

Alicia Keys took the stage for a performance of "Love Looks Better." Keys was sporting bangs and a sparkling outfit as she sang in front of a red background.

Lil Nas X won Top 100 Hot Song for "Old Town Road Remix," featuring Billy Ray Cyrus. He teased a new album coming in 2021.

Kelly Clarkson, who hosted the event for the third year in a row, kicked off the ceremony with a cover of Steve Winwood's "Higher Love."

Clarkson was joined onstage by Pentatonix, Shelia E. and video screens of fans watching virtually.

"We are celebrating the power of music, all music," the singer said.

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