This year we were privileged to see the incomparable Britney Spears take the stage at the Billboard Music Awards. As the recipient of the prestigious Millennium Award, Britney performed a medley of her greatest hits. She was chosen this year because she is a multi-platinum, Grammy-Award winning, pop icon who has sold more than 70 million albums. Only three artists have walked away with this award; all of them are women. We’re taking a look at the history makers and their Millennium Awards performances at the Billboard Music Awards.
Who Run the World? Girls.
After the whirlwind of a year she’s had, it should come as no surprise that Beyoncé was the first recipient of the Millennium Award. It should, however, be a surprise that she was the recipient of this award FIVE years ago – aka 2011. Five years before she stole the show at the Super Bowl; five years before she sold out world tours; five years before she dropped Lemonade.
Before there was Lemonade, there was Destiny’s Child. The girl group from the 90’s inspired little girls everywhere. With just four studio albums, the group officially became the best-selling female group of all time. They are known for smash hits "Jumpin' Jumpin'," "Bills, Bills, Bills," "Say My Name," and "Survivor." They ruled the charts for five years before the group split for solo endeavors. Beyoncé went on to star in several movies and released her solo album. The rest is cemented in history.
Beyoncé is the most nominated woman in Grammy’s history. She has sold over 200 million records (including Destiny’s Child records) making her one of the best-selling artists of all time. She has won 20 Grammy Awards, 24 MTV Video Music Awards, the 2009 Billboard Top Radio Songs Artist of the Decade Award, and the Top Female Artist of the 2000s award. She has smashed barriers, performed at the Super Bowl three times, and Beyoncé has been a household name for almost 20 years, and we don’t see her slowing down anytime soon.
I Will Always Love You
Gone too soon is an understatement. Before I go any further, I have to say, Whitney Houston is one of my all-time favorite artists. She was extraordinary. She was the first artist to have seven consecutive singles hit number one. “I Will Always Love You” was the biggest single in rock history and the world’s best-known ballad. Clive Davis is credited with giving Whitney her big break but she had been performing long before his discovery.
Whitney Houston paved the way for performers like Beyoncé and Britney Spears to smash records– records she set. Her first album, Whitney Houston, was the best-selling debut by a female artist ever. Her next album, Whitney, became the first album by a female artist to debut at number one. I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)" (another Grammy winner), "Didn't We Almost Have It All," "So Emotional," and "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" -- all hit number one in 1987.
Whitney went on to star in The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner. This resulted in an album and a Grammy for Album of the Year. She also starred in Waiting to Exhale and the Preacher’s Wife with astounding reviews. Her rendition of the Star Spangled Banner at the 1991 Super Bowl is still revered as the greatest performance of the National Anthem in history. Whitney Houston was honored at the Billboard Music Awards in 2012 where her daughter, Bobbie Kristina, accepted the award on her behalf.
One More Time
All three recipients of this award are outstanding. All three women have each created records, broken records, performed at the Super Bowl, collaborated with each other, and inspired the world. The Millennium Award is reserved for special occasions and special performers so there’s no telling when the next award will be given out. Billboard Music Awards also honors special artists with the Artist Achievement Award when they see fit. Past winner of this award includes Cher, Janet Jackson, Garth Brooks, Madonna, and Kanye West. Will they give either of these out this year? Be there as a VIP to find out!
Last year, we saw each performer take the stage for a full dress rehearsal, saw all the stars on the Red Carpet, enjoyed a backstage tour, and had the best seats for the awards show! What are you waiting for?
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