The Weeknd, BTS, Morgan Wallen, Pop Smoke Win Big in Billboard Awards’ Pre-Telecast Honors

No one had to wait for the Weeknd to clean up at Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards. With the evening telecast still more than six hours away, the show announced winners in 42 categories Sunday, with seven of those going to the Weeknd.

The late Pop Smoke was the nearest runner-up in the pre-telecast awards, earning four. Morgan Wallen, BTS, Bad Bunny and Megan Thee Stallion each got three.

As is typical with modern music awards shows, the amount of time given over to performances on Sunday night’s NBC broadcast will far outweigh time allotted for acceptance speeches, leaving dozens of trophies destined to be awarded off the air. BTS, the Weeknd, Pink, Bad Bunny, the Jonas Brothers, Duran Duran, Twenty One Pilots and the duo of Doja Cat and SZA are among the performers set to take the Microsoft Theatre stage in L.A. beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 PT.

The Weeknd can count on picking up more awards in person Sunday night, but already can claim Top Male Artist, Top Radio Songs Artist, Top R&B Artist, Top R&B Male Artist, Top R&B Album, Top Radio Song and Top R&B Song.

Pop Smoke, the second-place finisher for 2021 so far, won Top New Artist, Top Rap Artist, Top Rap Male Artist and Top Rap Album.

BTS won Top Duo/Group, Top Song Sales Artist and Top Social Artist, the last of those a fan-voted category, among awards that are otherwise driven by Billboard chart data. Bad Bunny’s three awards were for Top Latin Male Artist, Top Latin Album and Top Latin Song. The trophies for Wallen, none of which he was invited to pick up in person, are for Top Duo/Group, Top Song Sales Artist and Top Social Artist, the last being fan-voted, as in the case of BTS’ similar award.

Each of the three awards given to Wallen was followed with an asterisk, lest the show be seen as offering unqualified support for the embattled country superstar, who has mostly been in seclusion and blacklisted by media in the three and a half months since a scandal broke out over his being filmed saying a racial slur after a drunken night out with friends.

Said the statement from Dick Clark Productions tied to Wallen’s multiple asterisks, reiterating what the company said when nominations were announced: “Unique among awards shows, Billboard Music Awards (BBMA) finalists are determined by performance on the Billboard Charts, and are not chosen by a voting committee or membership organization. BBMA finalists and winners are based on key fan interactions with music (including album and digital song sales, streaming, radio airplay, social engagement), tracked by Billboard and its data partners, including MRC Data. With our content reaching millions of viewers, DCP and MRC have the privilege and responsibility to effect change by creating a more inclusive dialogue in our productions and across the industry.”

Continues the DCP statement, “Morgan Wallen is a finalist this year based on charting. As his recent conduct does not align with our core values, we will not be including him on the show in any capacity (performing, presenting, accepting). It is heartening and encouraging to hear that Morgan is taking steps in his anti-racist journey and starting to do some meaningful work. We plan to evaluate his progress and will consider his participation in future shows.”

Wallen had previously been announced as disqualified for the recent Academy of Country Music Awards and upcoming CMT Music Awards. This past week, the Country Music Association announced that the board of directors voted that Wallen’s recorded works that would also honor his producing, writing and duet collaborators would be eligible for the November honors, but the singer would be knocked out of contention for any award that would solely honor him. Which is all to say: Although Wallen has the biggest blockbuster album of the year, chances are these BBMAs will be the only trophies he picks up in 2021.

The full list of Billboard Music Awards pre-telecast winners:

Top New Artist: Pop Smoke
Top Male Artist: The Weeknd
Top Female Artist: Taylor Swift
Top Duo/Group: BTS
Top Billboard 200 Artist: Taylor Swift
Top Streaming Songs Artist: Drake
Top Song Sales Artist: BTS
Top Radio Songs Artist: The Weeknd
Top Social Artist (Fan Voted): BTS
Top R&B Artist: The Weeknd
Top R&B Male Artist: The Weeknd
Top R&B Female Artist: Doja Cat
Top Rap Artist: Pop Smoke
Top Rap Male Artist: Pop Smoke
Top Rap Female Artist: Megan Thee Stallion
Top Country Artist: Morgan Wallen*
Top Country Male Artist: Morgan Wallen*
Top Country Duo/Group: Florida Georgia Line
Top Latin Male Artist [NEW CATEGORY]: Bad Bunny
Top Latin Female Artist [NEW CATEGORY]: Karol G
Top Latin Duo/Group [NEW CATEGORY]: Eslabón Armado
Top Dance/Electronic Artist: Lady Gaga
Top Christian Artist: Elevation Worship
Top Gospel Artist: Kanye West

Top R&B Album: The Weeknd “After Hours”
Top Rap Album: Pop Smoke “Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon”
Top Country Album: Morgan Wallen “Dangerous: The Double Album”*
Top Rock Album: Machine Gun Kelly “Tickets to My Downfall”
Top Latin Album: Bad Bunny “YHLQMDLG”
Top Dance/Electronic Album: Lady Gaga “Chromatica”
Top Christian Album: Carrie Underwood “My Gift”
Top Gospel Album: Maverick City Music “Maverick City Vol. 3 Part 1”

Top Streaming Song: DaBaby ft. Roddy Ricch “ROCKSTAR”
Top Radio Song: The Weeknd “Blinding Lights”
Top Collaboration (Fan Voted): Gabby Barrett ft. Charlie Puth “I Hope”
Top R&B Song: The Weeknd “Blinding Lights”
Top Country Song: Gabby Barrett “I Hope”
Top Rock Song: AJR “Bang!”
Top Latin Song: Bad Bunny & Jhay Cortez “Dákiti”
Top Dance/Electronic Song: SAINt JHN “Roses (Imanbek Remix)”
Top Christian Song: Elevation Worship ft. Brandon Lake “Graves Into Gardens”
Top Gospel Song: Kanye West ft. Travis Scott “Wash Us In The Blood”

TOTAL WINS BY ARTIST (In Numerical Order)

The Weeknd (7): Top Male Artist, Top Radio Songs Artist, Top R&B Artist, Top R&B Male Artist, Top R&B Album, Top Radio Song, Top R&B Song
Pop Smoke (4): Top New Artist, Top Rap Artist, Top Rap Male Artist, Top Rap Album
Bad Bunny (3): Top Latin Male Artist, Top Latin Album, Top Latin Song
Morgan Wallen (3)*: Top Country Album, Top Country Artist, Top Country Male Artist
BTS (3): Top Duo/Group, Top Song Sales Artist, Top Social Artist (Fan Voted)
Elevation Worship (2): Top Christian Artist, Top Christian Song
Gabby Barrett (2): Top Country Song, Top Collaboration (Fan Voted)
Kanye West (2): Top Gospel Artist, Top Gospel Song
Lady Gaga (2): Top Dance/Electronic Artist, Top Dance/Electronic Album
Taylor Swift (2): Top Female Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist
AJR (1): Top Rock Song
Brandon Lake (1): Top Christian Song
Carrie Underwood (1): Top Christian Album
Charlie Puth (1): Top Collaboration (Fan Voted)
DaBaby (1): Top Streaming Song
Doja Cat (1): Top R&B Female Artist
Drake (1): Top Streaming Songs Artist
Eslabón Armado (1): Top Latin Duo/Group [NEW CATEGORY]
Florida Georgia Line (1): Top Country Duo/Group
Jhay Cortez (1): Top Latin Song
Karol G (1): Top Latin Female Artist [NEW CATEGORY]
Machine Gun Kelly (1): Top Rock Album
Maverick City Music (1): Top Gospel Album
Megan Thee Stallion (1): Top Rap Female Artist
Roddy Ricch (1): Top Streaming Song
SAINt JHN (1): Top Dance/Electronic Song
Travis Scott (1): Top Gospel Song

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