On Wednesday (May 1), the 2019 Billboard Music Awards took over the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas for a night full of spectacular performances, celebrity guests and massive wins.
Throughout the ceremony, artists from Drake to Florida Georgia Line won some of the top awards, each taking to the stage to express their gratitude to friends, family and fans. Here are all of the speeches made at this year’s Billboard Music Awards:
Top R&B Artist: Ella Mai
Taking home the first award of the night, Ella Mai took a moment to thank her family, friends, and most importantly, DJ Mustard, the man who discovered her. “Mustard taking a chance on me, seriously, I appreciate you, more than the world can ever, ever understand,” she said.
Top Rock Artist: Imagine Dragons
While Imagine Dragons were rightfully excited to win their award, frontman Dan Reynolds used the opportunity to spread awareness about gay conversion therapy, calling on the audience at home to support a ban on the outdated practice. “This can change, but it’s going to take all of us talking to our state legislation, pushing for laws protecting our LGBTQ youth,” he said.
Top 200 Album: Drake, Scorpion
In the first of a few speeches he would end up making, Drake took the opportunity to thank his fans, his collaborators on Scorpion and more. But the star closed out his speech with a special thank you to his favorite Game of Thrones character. “Shoutout to Arya Stark for putting in that work last week,” he said with a laugh.
Top New Artist: Juice WRLD
Juice WRLD was clearly overwhelmed when he won his award for Top New Artist, remarking that “It’s crazy all the stuff that can happen in a year.” After thanking his fans, the star simply closed his comments with “I’m just glad to be here, it’s a blessing.”
Top Duo/Group: BTS
Reveling in their victory, each of the members of BTS stormed the stage to accept the award. RM took to the mic, thanking the groups fans, while offering them a reminder.“We’re still the same boys from 6 years ago, we have the same dreams, we have the same thoughts,” he said. “Let’s all keep dreaming together, thank you!”
Top Male Artist: Drake
In his second speech, Drake took an opportunity to shoutout one of his fellow artists, ScHoolboy Q, who called the rapper “underrated” the week prior to the award ceremony. “Obviously, I decided I wasn’t gonna be that guy that’s too cool,” he said. “So I reached out to him, and I let him know that it meant the world to me.”
Top Rap Song: Cardi B ft. Bad Bunny & J Balvin, “I Like It”
Every award show could use a little more Cardi B. The rapper accepted her award excitedly, stating her gratitude to everyone who helped make “I Like It” a success. But as her fans in the crowd got a little excited, the star let them know she wasn’t done yet. “Wait a minute, let me finish my speech, goddammit,” she yelled, with a laugh, before reminding everyone to support their favorite artists.
Icon Award: Mariah Carey
One of the night’s biggest awards went to Icon Award recipient Mariah Carey, who accepted the award with some grace, and some humor. But ultimately, Carey said that she does everything she does for the Lambily. “The truth is I’ve dedicated my life to my music. My saving grace. And to my fans, who are unlike any other entity that I’ve ever known,” she said. “They’ve lifted me out of the depths of hell and brought me back with their devotion and love.”
Top Country Song: Florida Georgia Line & Bebe Rexha, “Meant to Be”
Thanking their fans, Florida Georgia Line members Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard took a moment to promote positivity, with Kelley saying that he felt it was his duty to spread a positive message. “At the end of the day, it’s all for nothing if you’re not using your platform … create a life that’s bigger than ourselves,” he said.
Top Rock Song: Panic! at the Disco, “High Hopes”
Brendon Urie was clearly shocked when he made his way to the stage, saying he hadn’t planned on winning. But the star took a moment to thank his parents, and make a joke about one of the band’s popular songs. “Shoutout to my mom and dad who are sitting over there. I have to do it; look ma, I made it!” he yelled, with a grin.
Top Hot 100 Song: Maroon 5 & Cardi B, “Girls Like You”
While Maroon 5 couldn’t make it to the ceremony to accept their award, Cardi B happily filled in for them (“Well, Maroon 5 ain’t here, but I am!”). The star reminisced on being contacted to do the song, and telling the group “‘Bro, I’m five months pregnant, I can’t even breathe.'”
Top Artist: Drake
In his final speech of the night, Drake took time to say thank you to his mother for putting him on the right path towards following his dreams. “No matter how long it took me to figure out what I wanted to do, you were always there to give me a ride and now we’re all on one hell of a ride,” he said.