LAS VEGAS—The music industry was out in full-force on Sunday, May 17 as the 2015 Billboard Music Awards were held at the MGM Grand casino. There is no need in going through any big surprises of the night as it was a given that Taylor Swift would be the big winner of the night, and the country/pop darling certainly was taking home eight awards including Top Female Artist.

I love Taylor, but she has to stop acting so surprised when she wins certain awards. I mean she had a huge 2014 and 2015, it was a given in my opinion.

Forget about the awards, everyone was tuning in to see the musical acts. The list of names was epic. From Kelly Clarkson to Nick Jonas to Mariah Carey, there was plenty of star power in the audience and on the stage. The show opened with the premiere of Swift’s new video “Bad Blood.” I will admit the tune is quite catchy, but the video was a bit of a miss in my opinion. It was more of a cameo filled video with stars like Ellen Pompeo and even Cindy Crawford.

Swift and her many friends later introduced rock band Van Halen to the stage, before hosts Chrissy Teigen and Ludacris took over hosting duties. Once again, this is an awards show that requires no host in my opinion, but I quit complaining a few years back. The first award of the night for Top Duo/Group went to One Direction. I wonder if the group will have that same magic now that they are minus one member. Nick Jonas took to the stage to sizzle with his hit “Jealous,” with a futuristic vibe.

I had a feeling throughout the night that the Billboard Music Awards was hoping to recreate magic that the Grammys utilized in past ceremonies by pairing musical acts that shouldn’t belong together with each other. I will admit that the pairing of Meghan Trainor and John Legend was a highlight. Trainor provided a heartfelt moment of the night when she took to the stage to accept her award for Top Hot 100 Song for “All About that Bass.” It was apparent the singer was absolutely moved by the win.

One of the most buzzed about performances going into the ceremony was from vocal titan Mariah Carey. Carey opened the show singing a snippet of her hit “Vision of Love.” She didn’t quite hit the notes like expected, but it was no disaster either. She later transitioned to her latest hit “Infinity.” To be honest Carey should have performed a medley of her ballads to prove to the world that she still has the vocal ability to hit those high notes. Iggy Azalea took home the prize for Top Rap Song for “Fancy.”

Another emotional highlight was the tribute to actor Paul Walker courtesy of Ludacris, Tyrese and Wiz Khalifa who performed “See You Again.” Sam Smith who was unable to attend the ceremony took home the award for Top Male Artist, and some of the members of the hit series “Empire” hit the stage to perform a medley of songs from the show.

Some other performances that were highlights included Hozier performing “Take Me to Church,” Little Big Town and Faith Hill performing “Girl Crush,” and of course Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea performed the new hit “Pretty Girls.”

Perhaps two of the most buzzed about performances of the night came from the original “American Idol” Kelly Clarkson who performed her new hit “Invincible.” Whoa, that woman sure can belt out a town. A vocal powerhouse to say the least! The ceremony closed with a performance by rapper Kanye West that was perhaps the strangest thing on television.

First of all there was so much smoke and flames you couldn’t even see West on the stage, it didn’t help that most of the song was bleeped during the ceremony. I had the slightest idea what West was doing or saying. Kanye needs to go back to performing with a bit more simplicity as he did when he first arrived on the scene.

With that the 2015 Billboard Music Awards are a wrap; I’m hoping in 2016 the producers will consider taming the show down to 2 hours compared to 3 hours.