LAS VEGAS – Being backstage at any televised awards show is a crazy, surreal scene, and last night’s Billboard Music Awards lived up to that standard in fine fashion: Jabbawockeez and countless other dancers charging through, giant lion statues being rolled by, a head-spinning number of full-band set changes, and most of all, a relentless succession of superstars and their teams powering through in numbers large and small. The combinations were fascinating: early in the show, we watched as Miley Cyrus stopped to talk with Jenny McCarthy, Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose, and then Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger; later, we were even inspired to tweet a bit of bad poetry: “We just saw Celine followed by Cee Lo, who stopped to talk to Ne-Yo.”
Madonna powered through several times, and perhaps lived up to her legend most with the look she gave a photographer who tried to snap her photo without permission.
Miguel was a frequent presence backstage, giving Tracy Morgan a big bro-hug upon arriving, doing an interview on Billboard.com’s livestream with the girl he accidentally clobbered while attempting his ill-fated between-stage jump (she’s OK!), and posing for photo after photo as he left the arena, smiling and gracious (the cutest one was with a thrilled 10-year-old boy).
Billboard.com’s ongoing backstage livestream provided plenty of second-screen action throughout the show, including chats with Irving Azoff, Bruno Mars’ manager Brandon Creed, Swift, Erykah Badu and Janelle Monae, among a whole host of others.
Needless to say, backstage was packed with a galaxy of power players. Chatter topics included the show (especially Miguel’s crash), Madonna’s frequent appearances, the recent “American Idol” finale and what might be next for it, and whether or not anyone had seen Prince (no one had). People not already mentioned whom we spoke with, met, reunited with or watched zoom past include Guy Oseary, Atlantic’s Julie Greenwald, Scooter Braun, Big Machine’s Scott Borchetta and Jake Basden, Justin Timberlake/Akon manager Johnny Wright, CAA’s Rob Light and Jenna Adler, Will.I.Am/Avril manager Adam Leber, Kid Rock manager Nick Stern, Miguel’s management’s Phillana Taylor and Darla Blanchard, Shania Twain manager Jason Owen, Republic Records’ Myisha Brooks and Melissa Victor, AEG/Concerts West's John Meglen and John Nelson, Caesars Entertainment's Kelly Frey, Interscope’s Hillary Siskind, BBGun Media's Brian Bumbery and more we're sure we'll remember once we sleep it off.