Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears Rake In Billboard Awards
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
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
"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
"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
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.)