The late artist Pop Smoke won the Top Billboard 200 Album award for his album Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards Sunday (May 23). His mother, Audrey Jackson, was on hand to accept the honor.
“I thank you to the fans for honoring the life and spirit of my son, so much that he continues to manifest as if he were still here in the flesh,” she said of the rapper, who was killed in a February 2020 home invasion at age 20. “He created music for the kid who has to sleep four in a room, the kid who has to figure out how to get to school each day so he can graduate and make his mom proud. He did this so that 14-year-olds would not have to kill to prove they are somebody.”
“That is the irony in this, so thank you to the Billboard Awards leadership for honoring my young warrior,” she continued before calling the late artist by the moniker she gave him at birth. “Bashar Barakah Jackson, we call your name.”
Pop Smoke beat out an impressive group of artists to take home the award. Also up for the Top Billboard 200 Album were Juice WRLD for Legends Never Die, Lil Baby’s My Turn, Taylor Swift for Folklore, and The Weeknd for After Hours. Earlier in the day, Pop Smoke took home the award for Top New Artist. He was also a finalist in multiple categories, including Top Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, and more.
Nick Jonas hosted the event, which was streamed live from Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater.
The Billboard Music Awards are produced by dick clark productions, which is owned by MRC. MRC and Penske Media are co-parent companies of Billboard.