Sunday night’s star-studded 2021 Billboard Music Awards featured a live audience and performances, though social distancing rules and masks were in place. A number of performances took place on an outdoor stage in front of a masked crowd of screaming, dancing fans.

For the more elaborate performances that took place inside L.A.’s Microsoft Theater, the audience was never shown, so it was unclear if they were pre-recorded.

Awards were handed out in an elevated mini studio reminiscent of MTV’s “TRL,” with fans screaming on the plaza below while socially distanced artists waited for their names to be called to say their thank-yous.

Arguably the coolest performance of the night didn’t take place on a stage but in an enormous parking lot. The Weeknd performed “Save Your Tears” while riding in a red convertible while about a dozen red and white cars performed precise, synchronized movements around him.

He then exited the vehicle and walked around while the cars, now joined by several tractor-trailers, sped around him while we watched their patterns from above.

Another highlight was when ICON Award winner Pink performed one of her signature aerial routines with her daughter Willow, with the two spinning above the stage as their duet “Cover Me In Sunshine” was played.

Pink then performed an acoustic version of her current single “All I Know So Far” while young girls swung on swings behind her. Next, she joined her band for a rocking medley of hits: “Get the Party Started,” “So What, “Who Knew,” “Blow Me (One Last Kiss),” “Just Like A Pill” and “Just Give Me a Reason.”

After calling her award “ridiculous,” Pink joked that Jon Bon Jovi “broke her heart” at the age of 8 when he married his high-school sweetheart. She told fans, “Dream big…because what if it comes true?”

Here’s a rundown of the rest of the night’s performances:

DJ Khaled, H.E.R. and Migos got the evening started with an outdoor performance of “We Going Crazy.” The artists were surrounded by dancers who mimed playing trombones, trumpets and other brass instruments.

Doja Cat and SZA gave the debut TV performance of their collaboration “Kiss Me More.” Performing indoors, they were surrounded by dancers in blue jumpsuits and large round balls on their heads, completely covering their faces. Doja stunned with long dark braids and a black-and-white outfit with strategic cutouts while SZA rocked a bright yellow wig.

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Twenty one pilots performed their new single “Shy Away” outdoors and the dragon featured on the cover of their new album “Scaled and Icy” took up part of the stage. Front man Tyler Joseph, sporting pink hair, urged fans to “check out” the new record.

In a pre-taped video, Michelle Obama introduced Alicia Keys, whom she called “a shining light.” In her indoor performance, Keys paid tribute to her debut “Songs In A Minor” — which marks its 20th anniversary next month — by performing “A Woman’s Worth,” “How Come You Don’t Call Me” and “Fallin'” while walking between backing musicians to play a different keyboard for each track.

Top Rock Song winners AJR rocked the outdoor stage with a super-energetic performance of their hits “Bang!” and “Way Less Sad,” complete with colorful smoke explosions.

At Prince’s famed Paisley Park studios outside Minneapolis, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis celebrated the 30th anniversary of “Optimistic,” the hit song they wrote for Sounds of Blackness. The group, along with Ann Nesby, performed a powerful version of the song while arranged on a circular stage.

From South Korea, BTS gave their new single “Butter” its TV debut, performing their signature dance moves on a sound stage and then on a red carpet set.

Back inside, Bad Bunny sang “Te Deseo Lo Mejor.” Glass Animals delivered their hit “Heat Waves” on the outdoor stage, with front man Dave Bayley starting and ending the performance in a giant bed.

From London’s Hammersmith Apollo, Duran Duran performed their new single “Invisible” plus two of their big hits: “Notorious” and “Hungry Like the Wolf.” Blur’s Graham Coxon joined them on guitar.

The Jonas Brothers closed the show outdoors, joined by Marshmello for their new song “Leave Before You Love Me,” plus a medley of “Sucker,” “Only Human,” “What a Man Gotta Do” and a snippet of their upcoming song “Remember This,” as fireworks exploded and fans screamed.

Check out the full winners list below:

Top Artist

Top New Artist

Artist of the Decade

Icon Award

Change Maker Award

Top Male Artist

Top Female Artist

Top Duo/Group

Top Billboard 200 Artist

Top Hot 100 Artist

Top Streaming Songs Artist

Top Song Sales Artist

Top Radio Songs Artist

Top Social Artist

Top R&B Artist

Top R&B Male Artist

Top R&B Female Artist

Top Rap Artist

Top Rap Male Artist

Top Rap Female Artist

Top Country Artist

Top Country Male Artist

Top Country Female Artist

Top Country Duo/Group

Top Rock Artist

Top Latin Artist

Top Latin Male Artist

Top Latin Artist

Top Latin Duo/Group

Top Dance/Electronic Artist

Top Christian Artist

Top Gospel Artist


Top Billboard 200 Album

Top R&B Album

Top Rap Album

Top Country Album

Top Rock Album

Top Latin Album

Top Dance/Electronic Album

Top Christian Album

Top Gospel Album


Top Hot 100 Song

Top Streaming Song

Top-Selling Song

Top Radio Song

Top Collaboration

Top R&B Song

Top Rap Song

Top Country Song

Top Rock Song

Top Latin Song

Top Dance/Electronic Song

Top Christian Song

Top Gospel Song

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