7 Standout Moments From The 2018 Billboard Music Awards

The 2018 Billboard Music Awards were Sunday, and it's safe to say they did not disappoint. Not only were there several incredible performances by artists like Ariana Grande, Kesha, and Shawn Mendes, but there were also just a ton of celebrities in attendance. From audience reactions to inspiring acceptance speeches, here are a few of the awards show's standout moments.  

1. Janet Jackson became the first black woman to ever receive the Billboard Icon Award.

 

Ms. Jackson ❤️

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Bruno Mars made a surprise appearance to introduce Jackson, and he was the one who announced that she was making history with the award. Before accepting, Jackson performed her hits "Nasty" and "Throb" — marking both her first television performance in nine years, and first-ever performance as a mom. Her inspirational speech touched on the #MeToo movement and her faith.

"I’m deeply humbled and grateful for this award. I believe that for all the challenges, all of our challenges, we live a great moment in history. It’s a moment that at long last women have made it clear that we will not be controlled, manipulated or abused," Jackson said. "I stand with those women and those men."

She continued, "Our public discourse is loud and harsh. My prayer is that weary of such noise, we will turn back to the source of all calmness, that source is God. Everything we lack, God has in abundance: compassion, sensitivity, patience and boundless love. Again I want to thank all of you for this honor and I thank God for giving me the precious energy that lets me live my life as an artist who every day seeks to expend my capacity to love."

2. Khalid and Shawn Mendes performed alongside the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School choir.

Khalid and Mendes made an emotional tribute to everyone that's been affected by gun violence while performing their single, "Youth." Khalid even wore a shirt that read, "Protect Our Guns Children." The two were later joined by members of the Stoneman Douglas choir, all of whom lived through the Parkland, Florida school shooting in February. The performance — and it's lyrics, such as "Please don’t take my youth away" — were particularly relevant since it came just two days after another school shooting in Texas. 

3. Kelly Clarkson's Opening Monologue

On that same note, Clarkson — the night's host — opened the show by addressing gun violence and the tragedy in Texas. "They asked me to start with a moment of silence," Clarkson said, referring to Friday's school shooting. "But I’m so sick of moments of silence — why don’t we do a moment of action, a moment of change? Why don’t we change what’s happening?"

She continued through tears, "Because it’s horrible. And mamas and daddies should be able to send their kids to school, to church, to movie theaters, to clubs — you should be able to life your life without that kind of fear. We need to do better. These people are failing our children, we’re failing our communities we’re failing their families — I have four children, and I can’t imagine getting that phone call or that knock on the door. So instead of a moment of silence, I want to respect them and honor them. So let’s have a moment of action — a moment of change."

4. Taylor Swift's Reaction To Clarkson Singing "Look What You Made Me Do"

Clarkson performed a medley of songs — including "Young, Dumb & Broke," and "Shape of You" — and when she bagn bopping to one of Swift's, the Reputation singer was more than ready for the cameras. 

5. ...and Camila Cabello's reactions to Taylor Swift both winning an award and giving her a shout out.

The two are currently on tour together. 

6. Salt-N-Pepa's Performance

Salt-N-Pepa’s Cheryl "Salt" James, Sandra Denton, and DJ Spinderella hit the stage with a medley of hits, "Push It," "Shoop," and "Let's Talk About Sex." The group was later reunited with En Vogue members Cindy Herron-Braggs, Terry Ellis, and Rhona Bennett for a performance of the iconic "Whatta Man." 

7. BTS met a ton of celebrities backstage.

The K-pop superstars performed their new song, "Fake Love," and won Top Social Artist for the second year in a row. But they seemed to be having just as much fun backstage, as they snapped pictures with Taylor Swift, Pharrell, John Legend and Lil Pump. 

Watch the performance above.