Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears Rake In Billboard Awards

Ricky Martin, Dixie Chicks, Creed also get multiple honors at ceremony honoring sales and airplay.

LAS VEGAS — Teen pop reigned supreme at the 1999 Billboard

Music Awards on Wednesday night, as the Backstreet Boys and a giddy Britney

Spears walked away the evening's top winners.

Spears, who turned 18 last week and has sold 9 million copies of her debut

album this year, said afterward, "I go home and my little sister's playing

with my Barbie dolls," referring to the Britney Spears Fashion Dolls

collection. "I'm like, 'Whooo, that's weird.' "

The Dixie Chicks, Creed and Ricky Martin also nabbed multiple trophies,

while country singer Emmylou Harris received the Century Award and R&B

singer Mariah Carey was named Artist of the Decade, during the ceremony

at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino.

The event, which aired live on Fox, honored the year's best-selling albums

and top singles and tracks as determined by Billboard magazine's

charts.

Heartthrob pop singers the Backstreet Boys scored the highest nods,

receiving the Artist of the Year award as well as Album of the Year, for

their nine-times platinum LP Millennium. They and Spears, whose

... Baby One More Time is also nine-times platinum, each won four

trophies, with Spears' wins including Female Artist of the Year and New

Artist of the Year.

"I think we have to thank the younger generation of our music that's coming

out, from Britney Spears to 'N Sync, who have helped re-create pop R&B,"

Backstreet Boy Nick Carter said as his band accepted the Album of the

Year award.

"I want to thank the Lord for teaching me that if you follow your heart

and, most important, God, your dreams will come true," Spears said in

accepting the Female Artist of the Year honor.

Spears also performed at the ceremony, as did Martin, the Red Hot Chili

Peppers (joined by Snoop Dogg), Celine Dion, Juvenile, Jennifer Lopez and

LeAnn Rimes. With an entourage of dancers, Spears performed a house-styled

medley including her hits "Crazy" and "... Baby One More Time" (RealAudio

excerpt).

"Last year at this time, I remember I was really excited that my single

went gold," she said backstage. "Now I just found out that it went Diamond.

I just feel really blessed."

Following Spears and the Backstreet Boys were the Dixie Chicks, with three

awards of their own, including Country Artist of the Year. Creed won two,

including Rock Artist of the Year, as did Latin-pop sensation Ricky Martin,

who was named Male Artist of the Year.

Martin, dressed in black pants and a wrinkled tan shirt that appeared to

have a few food stains, said backstage that he's managed to keep a level

head during a year in which his solo career exploded. "I want to do this

for a long time, and the only way I can do it is [by] respecting myself

and my beliefs," the ex–Menudo singer, who performed his single

"Shake Your Bon Bon" (RealAudio

excerpt) during the ceremony, said.

Rapper Jay-Z, who was arrested last week for allegedly stabbing record

executive Lance "Un" Rivera at a New York club, accepted the Rap Artist

of the Year award, following a presentation during which two female wrestlers

staged a fight. "I hope they don't charge me for what just happened, too,"

Jay-Z (born Shawn Carter) said.

Plugging his upcoming album, Vol. 3 ... Life and Times of S. Carter

(Dec. 28), Jay-Z said, "Ain't no stoppin' us, baby."

DMX (born Earl Simmons) gave a somber but powerful acceptance speech for

his R&B Albums Artist of the Year award, including a dedication to a

friend who "got knocked off two days ago" and the same rap-styled prayer

that he has recited in recent concerts.

"I thank you, Lord, for my birth and everything's that followed," he began,

while several of his Ruff Ryders stood behind him. His voice growing louder

with each line, he seemed to get teary as he said, "Let your thought and

my heart go hand in hand."

While Aerosmith were accepting their Artist Achievement Award, frontman

Steven Tyler quoted from the band's song "No Surprise," which features

a lyric about Arista Records president Clive Davis, who reportedly is in

a fight with Arista's parent company, BMG, for his job. "We'd like to

share this award with Clive Davis, who just got sent to the cornfield

and shouldn't have," Tyler (born Steven Tallarico) said of the record

exec who next year will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Metallica — whose so-called Black Album, 1991's Metallica,

was named Catalog Album of the Year — had planned to tape a version

of "Until It Sleeps" on Tuesday night, with a 38-piece symphony, on the

roof of the nearby Rio Hotel and Casino, for the ceremony. But the

performance — in honor of their recently released symphonic album,

S&M, — instead had to be taped indoors Wednesday morning,

due to heavy winds. "Mother Nature blew us off, literally," singer James

Hetfield said as he arrived for the ceremony on Wednesday night.

Snoop Dogg (born Calvin Broadus) joined the Chili Peppers onstage following

the funk-rock band's performance of "Scar Tissue" (RealAudio

excerpt), rapping, "I'm with the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the

Billboard Awards, doing it live in 1-9-9-9 ... All up in your face/ I got

the style and grace/ I got my homeboy Flea/ He's a G on the bass."

Flea (born Michael Balzary) said afterward it "was a great honor to play

with Snoop."

A night earlier, Snoop Dogg performed with his new group, Tha Eastsidaz,

at a ceremony at the city's House of Blues, where the Chili Peppers were

honored for setting a record for the most weeks spent at #1 on Billboard's

Modern Rock Tracks Chart, with "Scar Tissue." Former heavyweight champion

Mike Tyson, who now runs a record label, presented the award.

Singer Anthony Kiedis said guitarist John Frusciante "has an announcement

to make. He's quitting the Chili Peppers to join the Dogg Pound."

1999 Billboard Music Award winners:

Artist of the Year: Backstreet Boys

Male Artist of the Year: Ricky Martin

Female Artist of the Year: Britney Spears

Album of the Year: Backstreet Boys, Millennium

New Artist of the Year: Britney Spears

Albums Artist of the Year: Backstreet Boys

Female Albums Artist of the Year: Britney Spears

Albums Artist Duo/Group of the Year: Backstreet Boys

Male Hot 100 Singles Artist of the Year: Ricky Martin

Female Hot 100 Singles Artist of the Year: Britney Spears

R&B Artist of the Year: R. Kelly

R&B Album of the Year: Juvenile, 400 Degreez

R&B Albums Artist of the Year: DMX

R&B Single of the Year: Maxwell, "Fortunate"

Rap Artist of the Year: Jay-Z

Rap Single of the Year: JT Money/Sole, "Who Dat"

Rock Artist of the Year: Creed

Rock Track of the Year: Creed, "One"

Modern Rock Artist of the Year: Offspring

Modern Rock Track of the Year, Lit, "My Own Worse Enemy"

Country Artist of the Year: Dixie Chicks

Country Albums Artist of the Year: Dixie Chicks

Country Artist Duo/Group of the Year: Dixie Chicks

Adult Contemporary Track of the Year: Sarah McLachlan, "Angel"

Catalog Artist of the Year: Metallica

Catalog Album of the Year: Metallica, Metallica

Artist of the Decade: Mariah Carey

Century Award: Emmylou Harris

Artist Achievement Award: Aerosmith

(Senior Writer Gil Kaufman contributed to this report.)