Green Day’s great year continued Tuesday night in Las Vegas at the 2005 Billboard Music Awards, as the veteran punk act grabbed six awards during the broadcast, including Rock Artist of the Year and Rock Song of the Year for “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” Their haul was matched by 50 Cent, who accepted his awards, which included Artist of the Year and Album of the Year (The Massacre), via a cell phone call from Paris.
The show — which was hosted by LL Cool J and DJed by Nicole Richie fiance DJ AM and opened with a fiery performance of “Holiday” by Green Day — also lavished trophies on Mariah Carey, who racked up five wins and Shakira and “American Idol” winner Carrie Underwood, who took home three each.
Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong presented the Century Award to rocker Tom Petty, saying, “I love music, I love rock and roll, therefore I love Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. … If you’re going to come up [onstage] and thank God, thank God for Tom Petty.” Petty, who is prepping a new solo album, graciously accepted the award, thanking his longtime bandmates and fans and warning, “Let me remind you that this ain’t the end. I can still kick some ass.”
The night also featured performances by Ciara, who dropped in from the rafters in a black bedazzled cat suit to sing a medley of her songs, R. Kelly, who sang “Slow Wind” in front of a fountain full of bikini clad women outside the venue and Ashlee Simpson, who performed a crunked up version of her song “L.O.V.E.” with Pretty Ricky. Gwen Stefani grinded through a take on “Luxurious” with help from Slim Thug, and Pharrell helped Daddy Yankee bring some reggaetón flavor to the proceedings.
Even without a performance, Kanye West brought his usual explosive attitude to the proceedings. Upon accepting the Artist Achievement Award, the MC gave a shout-out to his fans and grams and said, “When I first came out I was a hot head. I thought I was the greatest. I kind of used that as my platform. I used that as the house that I built it on. Everything had to be great. We couldn’t settle for less. We had to break boundaries. We couldn’t do what someone else had done.” After a story about visiting his family in Oklahoma for Thanksgiving, the MC then added, “After all the accolades, the Time covers, the awards, the music connecting with the people … after all that … my greatest achievement still is, I still think I’m the greatest.” And then he strutted off the stage.
Carey, cradling her two-way in one hand and awards for Hot 100 song, Hot 100 airplay and Rhythmic Top 40 for “We Belong Together” in the other (Velvet Revolver’s Slash had to hang onto one of the trophies because Carey’s hands were too full) said, “It’s really exciting to be able to hold these awards and stand here and revel in this moment.” In a modern twist, the singer read her list of thank yous from the screen of her phone.
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Even though she’s been rocking it with her band No Doubt for nearly 20 years, Stefani won the New Artist of the Year award for her solo debut, Love, Angel, Music, Baby, and Digital Song of the Year for her hit “Hollaback Girl.”
The evening ended with R. Kelly, dressed in a white suit and playing an acoustic guitar painted with an American flag. He performed the song he wrote in tribute to the victims of the Gulf Coast hurricanes called “Let Your Light Shine,” joined by a cast of dancers and gospel singers also dressed all in white.
The Billboard Awards are based on sales figures and radio data compiled by Nielsen SoundScan and Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems, with the winners determined by the 2005 year-end charts.
List of winners:
- Artist of the Year: 50 Cent
- Album of the Year: The Massacre, 50 Cent
- Hot 100 Artist of the Year: 50 Cent
- R&B/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year: 50 Cent
- Rap Artist of the Year: 50 Cent
- Ringtone of the Year: “Candy Shop,” 50 Cent featuring Olivia
- Artist Achievement Award: Kanye West
- Album Group of the Year: Green Day
- Pop Group of the Year: Green Day
- Hot 100 Group of the Year: Green Day
- Rock Artist of the Year: Green Day
- Modern Rock Artist of the Year: Green Day
- Rock Song of the Year: “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” Green Day
- Female Album Artist of the Year: Mariah Carey
- Hot 100 Song of the Year: “We Belong Together,” Mariah Carey
- Hot 100 Airplay of the Year: “We Belong Together,” Mariah Carey
- Rhythmic Top 40 Title of the Year: “We Belong Together,” Mariah Carey
- Female R&B/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year: Mariah Carey
- New Artist of the Year: Gwen Stefani
- Digital Song of the Year: “Hollaback Girl,” Gwen Stefani
- Latin Song of the Year: “La Tortura,” Shakira featuring Alejandro Sanz
- Latin Pop Album of the Year: Fijacion Oral Vol. 1, Shakira
- Latin Pop Album Artist of the Year: Shakira
- Latin Album Artist of the Year: Daddy Yankee
- Latin Album of the Year: Barrio Fino, Daddy Yankee
- R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay Song of the Year: “Let Me Love You,” Mario
- R&B/Hip-Hop Song of the Year: “Let Me Love You,” Mario
- R&B/Hip-Hop Group of the Year: Destiny’s Child
- Rap Song of the Year: “Lovers & Friends,” Lil Jon & the Eastside Boyz featuring Usher and Ludacris
- Top-Selling Hot 100 Song of the Year: “Inside Your Heaven/ Independence Day,” Carrie Underwood
- Country Single Sales Artist of the Year: Carrie Underwood
- Top-Selling Country Single of the Year: “Inside Your Heaven/ Independence Day,” Carrie Underwood
- Billboard Century Award: Tom Petty