Justin Bieber won the Top Social Artist award at Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards 2015.
With his latest win, the heartthrob has now won this gong five years in a row, the first back in 2011.
The accolade brings the Canadian’s total Billboard awards haul to 13, which sets a new record. Bieber is now the youngest artist to be given 13 Billboard awards by the age of 21.
The Top Social Artist Award category was particularly tough this year. Others in the field were Bieber’s ex-girlfriend, Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, and Taylor Swift.
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The Top Social Artist Award is based on Billboard’s Social 50 chart, not fan votes. The Social 50 chart ranks the most popular artists across social media platforms using data tracked by Billboard and measured by music analytics company, Next Big Sound.
Bieber’s win was pulled from criteria based on social media interactions. These include “Followers,” subscribers, plays, “Likes,” and artist page views on platforms and networks such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, VEVO, SoundCloud, Spotify, and MySpace.
It’s no surprise that Bieber won the Top Social Artist Award. He has 63.9 million followers on Twitter and over 27 million on Instagram, to name just a few stats. At the end of 2014, he placed ninth on Billboard’s Top Male artists tables and topped the Social 50 chart for the second consecutive year after clocking up over 100 weeks at No. 1 on the chart.
Bieber didn’t attend the Billboard Music Awards. The “Where Are U Now” singer’s absence wasn’t unexpected, given that he wasn’t performing and has only been nominated for one award.
But some fans were angered by Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun posting giving them the impression the singer was going by posting tweets suggesting that. Regardless, other big name artists such as Gomez, Cyrus, and Grande also stayed away.
And what of the rest of 2015 Billboard Music Awards, which was held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and hosted by Chrissy Teigen and Ludacris?
Without question, Swift owned Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena last night. After the debut of the Joseph Kahn-directed video for her new single “Bad Blood,” she came away with eight of the 14 category awards she was nominated in. These included Top Female Artist, Top Artist, Top Billboard 200 Winner, Top Hot 100 artist, Top Digital Songs Artist, and the fan-voted Billboard Chart Achievement Award.
Torch singer, Sam Smith won Top New Artist, Top Radio Songs Artist and Top Male Artist. He accepted with cue cards after his recent vocal surgery. There were awards too, for One Direction, Iggy Azalea, Meghan Trainor, John Legend, Hozier, Calvin Harris, among many more.
However, the main talking point to emerge from the night are the performances. Following the “Bad Blood” premiere at the start of the show, other notable visual or stage spots went to Wiz Khalifa, Charlie Puth, and guest Lindsay Sterling on violin performing the Furious 7 tribute to the late Paul Walker “See You Again.”
There was a tasteful remembering of late Blues titan B.B. King with a guitar on a stand on stage earlier in the evening. Imagine Dragons later paid tribute to R&B singer Ben E. King with their performance of his classic “Stand by Me.”
Tori Kelly’s acoustic performance of “Nobody Love” was another highlight. Simple Minds’ The Breakfast Club tribute was another.
Most of Kanye West’s turn had to be bleeped for profanity, and what was seen of his “All Day/Black Skinhead” medley was hidden behind smoke and pyrotechnics. All in all, it was a dud. It also left ABC with no choice but to screen almost a minute of West’s performance in silence.
[Images via Getty Images]