Top Ten Moments of 2015 Billboard Music Awards

With a slogan like, “You’ve got to top the charts to make it here,” you know the 2015 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas was packed with three hours of mega-stars and wild live-television moments. Okay, we know more than half of the viewers tuned in to watch Taylor Swift’s world premiere music video for “Bad Blood,” which undoubtedly kicked off a great show with futuristic, hostile women (mostly Victoria’s Secret models and many other familiar faces) with explosives and slow-motion action. But the 2015 Billboard Music Awards had a lot more going for it last night after Tay’s wildly-anticipated four-minute premiere.

With mentions of One Direction’s recent difficulties moving forward without brother Zayn Malik to some Kanye West censorship during his BBMA performance, the night had plenty of memorable moments and unforgettable performances, and we’ve got the top ten countdown.

10. Meghan Trainor and John Legend Take the Stage for a Sweet Ballad
These top Billboard artists took to the stage for a duet, “Like I’m Gonna Lose You,” a ballad off of Trainor’s latest album, Title. BBMA co-host Chrissy Teigan (and Legend’s wife) poked fun after the performance, saying the two seemed to have “a lot of natural chemistry up there.” All jokes and fake jealousy aside, the duet was one of the hottest performances of the night.

9. Wiz Khalifa Joins Fall Out Boy for “Uma Thurman”
If you’ve ever seen Pulp Fiction, then you’ll know why Fall Out Boy’s dancers were dressed in black suit pants and loose white button-ups. Their hit, “Uma Thurman,” was the second live performance of the night. Then, Wiz Khalifa made an appearance and the performance was a fun one with all the dancing Umas. We think Uma Thurman would approve.

8. Nicki Minaj Performs with David Guetta
Another duet, another brilliant performance. These chart-toppers teamed up for a dance-heavy performance, with Nicki opening with her “The Night is Still Young” in front of a smokey-purple backdrop and then Guetta taking over with his “Hey Mama,” pairing it with fire and Nicki’s dance moves. There were also plenty of those recognized Taylor Swift candid dance moments during this number.

7. Sam Smith Accepts His Award With Cue Cards
The Top Male Artist winner was recovering from vocal surgery (Heaven-forbid we ever lose that voice) in New York City, so naturally, this mega-star couldn’t be at BBMA to accept his award, but that didn’t stop him from thanking his fans, and also giving Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, and Ed Sheeran shout-outs. He definitely stole the show without even saying one word.

6. One Direction Gives Zayn Malik a Shout-Out
One Direction accepted an award last night with one less member. Still, the remaining boys made sure to thank their “brother” Zayn, and credit him with their Top Duo/Group award.

5. Taylor’s Night to Remember
We all know the night was pretty heavy with Taylor Swift moments, but which award show isn’t? The country-turned-pop star is always dancing and making it a point to have fun at each award show she attends. Besides her big music video premiere, the star took home four awards: Top Artist, Top Female Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album, and the fan-voted Billboard Chart Achievement Award. We even saw some obvious hints at her (rumored) new beau, Calvin Harris, as she celebrated her wins with a kiss on the cheek.

4. Britney and Iggy Perform “Pretty Girls” for First Time
Spears is back, and this time with Azalea. The night was full of collaborations and duets, and this one was no exception to one of the hottest performances of the evening. The pop stars brought it with “Pretty Girls,” with an 80’s twist of neon-colored dancers and one of the most energetic performances.

3. Stars Give Tribute to Paul Walker
Everyone’s favorite Fast and Furious star, Paul Walker, left us too soon, and Wiz Khalifa’s latest song, “See You Again,” pays tribute to Walker. The song, featuring upcoming musician Charlie Puth, is a heartfelt song with Khalifa’s rapping skills and a soulful hook by Puth. The compelling collaboration on stage also featured Lindsey Stirling on violin, and altogether was a profound performance for Walker.

2. Swift’s Highly-Anticipated Music Video Premiere
She does it all, and even though this one was a little over the top, we can admit most of her music videos are. After teasing her fans over social media with posters for the upcoming “Bad Blood” music video, featuring Swift and all her friends, she finally showed us her latest video, this one with a bit of a remix from Kendrick Lamar. The video was modeled after futuristic films, Swift acting as a Katniss Everdeen-inspired assassin alongside her many famous friends.

1. ABC Censors Kanye’s Performance
Censored? You bet. One of the most talked-about performances of the night, ABC censored about 20 percent of Kanye West’s duel performance of “All Day” and “Black Skinhead.” In fact, some of the lyrics made little sense to censor, from lines such as “You already know” to “You actor, you should be on Broadway.” Some of Kayne’s less-tasteful lyrics were obviously part of the cut, and the rapper was censored for nearly a minute, in fact, the audience and viewers at home struggled to see him on stage through all the smoke and fire. All in all, this closing performance and network censor will be a talked-about performance for some time.