LOS ANGELES—I will admit I channel surfed while watching the 2021 Billboard Music Awards that were handed out on Sunday, May 23. Yes, it’s a piece of normalcy, but I’m over award shows giving high praise to celebrities, especially after the chaos we endured as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are just so many other things of importance transpiring that should be a focus for us.

The ceremony kicked off outdoors from the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles with a performance by H.E.R. feat. DJ Khaled and Migos for their hit “We Going Crazy.” The ceremony was hosted by Nick Jonas of the popular Jonas Brothers trio. I did wonder if Nick would still host after news broke this week that he was injured and broke one of his ribs per TMZ. Nick still hosted, but it was apparent he was not at his fullest potential. Some attendees were wearing masks, others were not and I thought viewers would see more from Nick whose kickoff for the show was short and sweet, as he introduced Doja Cat and Sza.

The first award of the night for Top 100 Hot Song to The Weeknd, who let’s be honest he kept so many of us sane in 2020 in a year where so much unpredictably kept many people suffering and we needed music to keep us uplifted. Twenty One Pilots performed their hit “Shy Away.” The Billboard Award for Top Selling Song was a victory for BTS for “Dynamite.” The boy band picked up multiple award including Best Group.

I was eager to see Alicia Keys hit the stage to celebrate the 20th anniversary of her Grammy Award-winning album “Songs in A Minor.” We got that incredible hit “Fallin’” in addition to so many other classics. Gosh, I would love to see this woman release another album because her song-writing and vocal abilities are one of a kind people. We were treated to hits including “A Woman’s Worth,” “Why Don’t You Call Me,” and of course “Fallin’” people. Top Country Female Artist saw Gabby Barrett walk away with the prize; I really thought that was Carrie Underwood’s prize.

The rock group AJR hit the stage, just as the Billboard Award for Top Latin Artist went to Bad Bunny. Pink was honored with the Icon Award courtesy of Bon Jovi. She sang a plethora of her hits and it was a simple reminder how talented this woman is people. “Blinding Lights” earned The Weeknd another Billboard Award of the night for Top Hot 100 Song. Karol G made her Billboard Award performance debut. Top Rap Song went to Da Baby feat. Roddy Rich for “Rockstar.”

Drake was honored with the Artist of the Decade award and had his closet friends and family paying tribute to him. Additional performances of the night included Bad Bunny, The Weeknd, Duran Duran and the Jonas Brothers closed out the ceremony. Machine Gun Kelly won Top Rick Artist. Top Billboard 200 Album went to the late Pop Smoke, who was murdered back in February 2020. The award was accepted by his mother.

The big winner of the night was The Weeknd who walked away with a total of 10 trophies including Top Artist. It proves that while he was snubbed at the Grammy Awards, the Billboard Music Awards gave credit where it was due for the artist, who had a stellar 2020 considering the circumstances America. Other big winners included Taylor Swift, Megan Thee Stallion, BTS and Bad Bunny.