Sisqó's ode to thong undies helped him win big at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on Tuesday, as the Dru Hill crooner took home six awards and left 'NSync, Destiny's Child and the Dixie Chicks in his wake.
But Destiny's Child and 'NSync captured the night's top prizes, with the R&B girl group nabbing Artist of the Year and the pop heartbreakers scoring Album of the Year for their record-setting third album, No Strings Attached. The awards, held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena and broadcast by Fox, are based on record sales and radio airplay as published in industry trade magazine Billboard.
Sisqó, whose "Thong Song" (RealAudio excerpt) hit #1 on both the pop and R&B charts, won Male Artist of the Year, New Artist of the Year and R&B/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year, along with three other awards.
Of all his trophies, Sisqó said the one that meant the most was his Male Artist of the Year nod.
"It's kind of like saying you were the illest male this year," he said backstage. The singer pulled out a pair of black thong underwear from his pants pockets to show reporters, declaring, "This is my date tonight."
Onstage, Sisqó thanked God, fans, his Dru Hill mates, his lawyer and "Thong
'NSync, who co-hosted the show with actress/comedian Kathy Griffin, won three other awards in addition to their Album of the Year honor, including Top 40 Artist of the Year and an award for the biggest sales week. No Strings Attached shattered the sales record by selling 2.4 million copies in its first week of release in March; it is now certified 10-times platinum.
Though the Florida-based 'NSync were all smiles as they strolled down the red carpet before the ceremony, Chris Kirkpatrick said he wasn't exactly at ease. "We have to perform, we're hosting and we're up for some awards, too," he said. "All that adds to the tension I'm about to crack."
In addition to Artist of the Year, Destiny's Child picked up Group of the Year, Hot 100 Singles Artist of the Year and Hot 100 Singles Group of the Year. The Texas trio, whose personnel changes at times overshadowed their music this year, are currently at #1 on the pop singles chart with "Independent Women, Part I." Their song "Say My Name," off their multiplatinum The Writing's on the Wall, also topped the pop singles chart.
"This is definitely important to us because the awards are based on record sales and airplay," lead singer Beyoncé Knowles said backstage. "You know you made it when you win a Billboard award especially when you win Artist of the Year. It's such an honor for us."
The Dixie Chicks won Country Artist of the Year, Country Group of the Year, Country Album of the Year and Country Albums Artist of the Year for their smash Fly.
Faith Hill reeled in Hot 100 Single of the Year for her crossover hit "Breathe" (RealAudio excerpt), Female Hot 100 Singles Artist and Female Country Artist of the Year.
"It's been a year that if I had kept a journal day by day and were to go back and read it two years from now, I wouldn't believe it," Hill said backstage.
Creed, who last week won four trophies at the My VH1 Music Awards, were named Billboard's Rock Artist of the Year for the second consecutive time. Their sophomore album, Human Clay (1999), has sold more than 6 million copies and produced the hits "With Arms Wide Open" and "Higher" (RealAudio excerpt), the latter of which the band performed for the ceremony atop a nearby hotel.
"It's a respect thing for us," singer Scott Stapp said of the band's week of wins. "We're finally getting the sense that people respect us for who we are and what we do and what we have accomplished."
Britney Spears was named Albums Artist of the Year, for her second album Oops! ... I Did It Again, while Christina Aguilera won Female Artist of the Year.
Son by Four cleaned up in the Latin categories, taking home the Latin Tracks Artist of the Year honor as well as four more awards for their song "A Puro Dolor."
Veteran singer/songwriter Randy Newman received the previously announced Century Award for distinguished creative achievements. Don Henley presented him the honor, calling Newman "our modern-day Mark Twain."
"I'm glad I stayed alive to get it," Newman said onstage, before giving advice to the younger artists in attendance. "Try not to live what you write. Lie."
Among the performance highlights was former "Brady Bunch" actor Barry Williams singing his single "The Real Greg Brady," a spoof of Eminem's hit "The Real Slim Shady." Williams mimicked the rapper's performance at the MTV Video Music Awards in September, walking down the aisles with several other Greg Brady look-alikes who wore curly brown wigs and polyester.
"It's a tribute to him I think Eminem's got a really important place in music, letting the kids blow off some steam," Williams said backstage.
Ricky Martin, 3 Doors Down, Dixie Chicks, Mystikal and Faith Hill also performed during the show.
Baha Men, who won World Music Artist of the Year and World Music Album of the Year for Who Let The Dogs Out, opened the event with their album's hit title track (RealAudio excerpt), while dogs ran down the aisles of the arena.
Host Griffin, who joked throughout the show that she was trying to determine which member of 'NSync she should marry, at one point handcuffed herself to Justin Timberlake. Spears, who is dating the 'NSyncer, quickly came to the rescue, chiding Griffin: "Easy, skank, step off."
"Ladies, don't get your panties in a wad," Timberlake said. "There's plenty of Justin for everybody."
2000 Billboard Music Awards Winners:
Artist of the Year
Male Artist of the Year
Female Artist of the Year
Male Hot 100 Singles Artist of the Year
Female Hot 100 Singles Artist of the Year
Hot 100 Singles Artist of the Year
Hot 100 Singles Duo/Group of the Year
Duo/Group of the Year
Albums Artist of the Year
Albums Duo/Group of the Year
R&B/Hip hop Artist of the Year
New R&B/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year
R&B/Hip-Hop Singles Artist of the Year
Female R&B/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year
Female Country Artist of the Year
Country Album of the Year
Dixie Chicks, Fly
Country Duo/Group of the Year
Country Artist of the Year
Country Albums Artist of the Year
Modern Rock Track of the Year
3 Doors Down, "Kryptonite"
Rock Artist of the Year
Rock Track of the Year
3 Doors Down, "Kryptonite"
Hot 100 Single of the Year
Faith Hill, "Breathe"
New Artist Duo/Group of the Year
3 Doors Down
New Artist of the Year, Male
New Artist of the Year, Female
Album of the Year
'NSync, No Strings Attached
World Music Artist of the Year
World Music Album of the Year
Baha Men, Who Let the Dogs Out
R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay Track of the Year
Joe, "I Wanna Know"
Top 40 Artist of the Year
Top 40 Track of the Year
Vertical Horizon, "Everything You Want"
Adult Top 40 Artist of the Year
Hot 100 Songwriter of the Year
Latin Tracks Artist of the Year
Son by Four