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Singer Kesha gets ‘standing ovation’ – Bieber top male artist

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Meghan Trainor
Meghan Trainor

Following much back-and-forth over the past week, Kesha performed Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me, Babe” at the Billboard Music Awards Sunday night. Joined by Ben Folds on piano, the scene slowed down for Kesha’s performance as she crooned the Dylan hit. Clad in a white suit, adorned with rainbows and trees, the songstress gave a calm and controlled showing on stage at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. There was notably no mention of her legal struggles with Dr Luke, something that had been speculated ever since Kesha’s performance was first announced.

Following the performance, the crowd was on its feet, cheering on the star as she stood on stage. The performance previously had been uncertain due to those legal struggles with Dr Luke and Sony. Earlier this week, Dick Clark Productions issued a statement saying that Kesha’s performance was a no-go because the Sony-owned Kemosabe Records rescinded permission allowing her to sing.


After Kesha wrote on her Instagram, however, that she did not plan to call out Dr Luke and their litigation during the performance, Kemosabe announced that it’s given Kesha the greenlight, saying in a statement, “Approval was only suspended when Kemosabe learned Kesha was to use the performance as a platform to discuss the litigation.” Kesha has accused Dr Luke of physical, emotion and sexual abuse, and sought to be released from her Sony contract. A judge ruled against Kesha earlier this year, holding her to her contract with Sony.

Kesha has made a few public appearances since the ruling, including performing “True Colors” with Zedd at Coachella and Lady Gaga’s “Til It Happens to You” at the Humane Society Gala in Los Angeles.

Justin Bieber sang his hits “Company” and “Sorry” at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards with the help of a backing track as bright laser lights beamed throughout the performance. He walked from side to side, performing a few dance moves but didn’t match the energy of his backup dancers.

Bieber was named top male artist at the show airing live on ABC from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, beating Drake, the Weeknd, Ed Sheeran and Fetty Wap.

“I’m not really a talker, but I’ll say thank you to my family. I want to thank God. I want to thank everyone that believed in me and believes in me,” Bieber said.

Other performers include Rihanna, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, Ariana Grande, the Go-Go’s and Troye Sivan.

Clara and Ludacris are hosting the show, and the rapper opened the show by poking fun at the recent Academy Awardy Awards, which featured all-white acting nominees.

The first award of the night — for top hot 100 artist — went to The Weeknd, the night’s top nominee.

“Whoa,” Khalifa exclaimed as his mother cheered him on from the audience.

Thomas Rhett won top country song for “Die A Happy Man.”

“This is incredible. I got to thank God. I got to thank my wife,” he said.

Britney Spears kicked off the 2016 Billboard Music Awards — clearly lip syncing — with a performance that featured several of her hits and some of her signature dance moves.

Spears performed songs like “I’m a Slave 4 U” and “Toxic” in a shimmery red number, removing her jacket to reveal her toned body. She walked from stage to stage, grinding on top of a large guitar during “I Love Rock N Roll” at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Though Spears’ performance was full of energy, the three-hour show will feature emotional performances, too. (Agencies)