After a year of awards shows that were forced to scale back due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Billboard Music Awards should be somewhat of a return to normalcy.
The show, filmed at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, will air on its usual May date after the 2020 edition was postponed to October last year, but at least one big change is coming: Nick Jonas. The singer will host the show for the first time, taking over from Kelly Clarkson, who emceed the ceremony for the past three years.
“Truly an honor to have already received the first preemptive 2021 #BBMAs award,” Jonas joked via Twitter after announcing that he would be hosting the show. “Best host ever?! Wow!”
The “Spaceman” artist got some practice in earlier this year when he hosted a February episode of Saturday Night Live. He also announced the 2021 Oscar nominations in March with his wife, Priyanka Chopra Jonas.
“I’ve always been such a big fan of the show, both as a fan growing up watching it and then as a performer, presenter and nominee,” he told Variety in May. “The thing that I love most about the BBMAs is that it’s really artist-centric, and it feels like a great celebration of the past year in music.”
Unlike other awards shows where academy members vote on nominees, BBMAs “finalists” are determined by album and digital songs sales numbers, streaming counts, radio airplay, touring and social engagement. This year’s awards will be based on chart reports from March 21, 2020, to April 3, 2021. Because of the pandemic, however, there will be no awards presented in any touring categories.
Though most of the year’s winners won’t be revealed until Sunday, May 23, a few honorees have already been announced. Pink will take home the 2021 Billboard Icon Award, which has previously been given to Garth Brooks, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Cher, Celine Dion and Jennifer Lopez, among others.
Drake, meanwhile, will take home the Artist of the Decade Award for his absolute dominance of the charts throughout the 2010s. The only two previous winners of that trophy are Carey, for the 1990s, and Eminem, for the 2000s.
“Today was one of those days it doesn’t feel real,” the rapper wrote via Instagram earlier this month after learning of the honor. “Waking up to artist of the decade then having dinner with my idol @ronaldisley and listening to the stories behind every song that shaped my love for emotional music and created my formula for a lot of my writing … high on life right now my g’z.”
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