Billboard Music Awards 2016: What you missed

Published 11:57 PM EDT, Sun May 22, 2016
CNN —  

The 2016 Billboard Music Awards were held Sunday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and it was non-stop star power and performances.

If you didn’t get a chance to see it, here’s some of what you missed:

All is forgiven Britney Spears

This being Vegas, it seems only right that Spears should open the show.

After all, Spear’s “Piece of Me” show is one of the hottest tickets in that town and she gave a pretty flavorful taste of it when she opened the awards show with a medley of her hits.

Wearing a red sequined, barely there outfit surrounded on the stage by dancers, she strutted and slinked all over the place. It more than made up for her less-than-stellar “Pretty Girls” duet with rapper Iggy Azalea at last year’s Billboard Awards.

Spears was also honored with the Millennium Award.

Pink’s acrobatics

Who can forget Pink’s breathtaking “Glitter In The Air” performance at the 2010 Grammys?

It was the first time many fans discovered what a talented gymnast the singer can be. At the awards show on Sunday night, Pink once again reminded us of how athletic she can be.

Sporting a black tulle dress and her trademark pink hair, the singer flew over the crowd during a performance of her new single, “Just Like Fire.”

It was literally a hot performance complete with a giant clock that spit flames.

That was Gwen Stefani?

It wasn’t the fact that “The Voice” coach sang her new duet “Go Ahead and Break My Heart” with her coworker and reported boyfriend Blake Shelton that had Twitter buzzing.

No, it was instead the fact that Stefani looked so different.

One person tweeted ‘Guys, what did Gwen Stefani do to her face??? This is serious.”

Premiere of Adele’s new video

Since she is on tour and wasn’t there to pick up her trophies for Billboard’s top 200 album and top artist, Adele sent video messages of thanks to the award ceremony. She also premiered the video for her single, “Send My Love (To Your New Lover).”

Call it her Beyonce “Lemonade” moment.

Dressed in a long, flowing dress, the superstar sang of betrayed love and even danced a bit in her new video.

Though honestly, when it’s Adele it doesn’t matter what she wears or if she moves. It’s all about that voice which kills us softly singing our songs.

Kesha does perform after all

Speaking of singing songs, one of the most anticipated performances almost didn’t happen.

Kesha had hoped to honor Bob Dylan by performing his “It Ain’t Me, Babe,” but Kemosabe Records reportedly moved to stop it.

Dr. Luke’s label blocks Kesha from performing at Billboard Awards

Kesha has been locked in a legal battle to try to get released from her contract with Kemosabe Records and its parent company – Sony Music Entertainment – in light of her accusations that she was drugged, emotionally abused and sexually assaulted by her former producer, Dr. Luke.

It all worked out in the end, however. Kesha gave an emotional performance of “It Ain’t Me, Babe,” which earned her a standing ovation from the crowd.

Celine Dion makes us cry

The Canadian superstar was honored with the Icon Award and performed a cover of Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” with an assist from violinist Lindsey Stirling.

But it was her 15-year-old son René-Charles surprising her to present her with her award – which made Dion, and us, tear up.

The teen is one of three children the singer shared with her late husband, René Angélil. Both Angélil and Dion’s brother Daniel died earlier this year after bouts with cancer.

Dion thanked fans for their support and honored her husband, who was also her manager.

“René this is one’s for you,” Dion cried. “The show must go on!”

Return of the Go Gos

The 80s girl group got the crowd moving with their hit “We Got the Beat.”

It’s honestly not summer until you hear that song, so there you have it.

Honoring Prince

The spirit of the superstar who died on April 21 permeated the awards show.

The Weeknd kicked off the remembrances when he dedicated his win of the first award of the night, top hot 100 artist, to Prince.

“I was told not long ago his last TV appearance [Prince] had given me an award and that was like the greatest experience of my entire life,” The Weeknd said emotionally, referring to his 2015 American Music Awards victory. “I didn’t know him but he was very close to me.”

Drummer and producer Quest Love introduced the tribute to him, which included Madonna dressed in purple Prince-like attire and carrying a walking stick like he did while singing his hit “Nothing Compares 2 U.”

Stevie Wonder joined her in the performance, at one point singing “Prince, we’ll love you forever,” as the audience sang along.