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Billboard Music Awards: Drake wins big, Mary J. Blige is honored with Icon Award

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Billboard Music Awards: Drake wins big, Mary J. Blige is honored with Icon Award
Drake, who did not attend the event, was the big winner at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

May 15 (UPI) -- Drake was the big winner Sunday night at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards, which also honored Mary J. Blige with the Icon Award.

Drake, who did not attend the event, won big prizes such as Top Artist and Top Male Artist. The awards were not announced during the televised ceremony, which took place from the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.

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Other big winners who were not announced during the televised ceremony include Olivia Rodrigo, who won Top New Artist, Top Female Artist, Top 100 Artist and Top Streaming Songs Artist awards as well as BTS, who took the Top Duo/Group honor, and Taylor Swift, who won Top 200 Billboard 200 Artist.

Blige was introduced by Janet Jackson before she received the Icon Award. A video exploring Blige's career was also played.

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"Mary J. Blige represents truth," Jackson said before noting that Blige is authentic.

"I'm in a dream right now, thank you so much," Blige said before calling Jackson an icon and an inspiration.

Blige thanked friends, family, fans and Billboard for the honor.

"The way the world is now, I think people think icons are born that way. They become a legend overnight, but that is definitely not the case. It takes a lot time, hard work and a lot of surviving trial and error to achieve greatness," Blige said.

Burna Boy gave the last performance of the night with "Last Last."

Maxwell gave a special performance that paid tribute to the 40th anniversary of Thriller, the classic album from the late Michael Jackson. Maxwell wore a Jackson-inspired outfit.

Doja Cat won Top R&B album for Planet Her. Becky G then arrived for a performance of "Bailé Con Mix Ex." Becky G was situated on a high-rise with an image of the moon taking up the background. She later went down to the stage for a performance of "MAMIII."

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Machine Gun Kelly performed "Twin Flame" with the stage made to resemble a forest. Kelly dedicated the song to his fiancé, actress Megan Fox.

Travis Scott performed for the first time since the Astroworld tragedy about six months ago in Houston that left 10 people dead and thousands injured. The rapper performed "Mafia" and "Lost Forever" as it snowed onstage.

Megan Thee Stallion, who was joined by backup dancers, rocked the stage by performing "Plan B" followed by "Sweetest Pie," during which fireworks erupted.

Morgan Wallen, with his guitar in hand, gave a stripped-down performance of "Don't Think Jesus" before he launched into "Wasted on You." Wallen also later won Top Country Male Artist.

Dan + Shay took home Top Country Duo/Group. Illenium earned Top Dance/Electronic Album.

Top Rock Artist went to Glass Animals. Florence + The Machine then took the stage to perform "My Love." Singer Florence Welch wore a white dress and sang among hanging red lights and sheets of paper that covered the stage floor.

Doja Cat won Top R&B artist, which was the first award presented.

Silk Sonic, the duo consisting of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, gave an old-school-themed performance of their song "Love's Train."

Megan Thee Stallion won the night's second award for Top Rap Female Artist.

Sean "Diddy" Combs, who hosted the event, came out first and performed a new song before Jack Harlow appeared for his track "First Class."

Diddy then performed his classic song "Mo Money Mo Problems."

"I didn't know I would need oxygen," Diddy joked about being out of breath after performing, following an introduction from DJ Khaled.

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Diddy also talked about how the show would be more fun than normal award ceremonies and said hello to his mother who was in the first row before he announced that he is back making new music.

The Weeknd led all artists with 17 nominations, including Top Artist, Top Male Artist and Top R&B Artist. Doja Cat had earned 13 nominations, including Top Female Artist, Top Streaming Songs Artist and Top R&B Female Artist.

Honorees are determined by performance on the Billboard charts.

Moments from the 2022 Billboard Awards

Doja Cat appears backstage with her four Billboard Music awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. She was honored as Top R&B Artist, Top Female Artist, Top R&B Female Artist and Top R&B Album for "Planet Her." Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

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