The 2021 iHeartRadio Music Awards were presented on Thursday (May 27) at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. Here are some of the artists who made history at the show.
The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” took song of the year and also the socially-voted award for TikTok bop of the year. The Weeknd also took male artist of the year for the first time. He’s the third Canadian artist to win in the latter category, following Justin Bieber (2016-17) and Drake (2019).
Dua Lipa took female artist of the year for the first time. She beat Megan Thee Stallion and three past winners in the category – Taylor Swift (2015-16 and 2018), Ariana Grande (2019) and Billie Eilish (2020).
Dan + Shay were surprise winners for duo/group of the year, beating out the red-hot BTS and three past winners in the category – Jonas Brothers, Maroon 5 and Twenty One Pilots. Dan + Shay are the first country group to win in this all-genre category in the eight-year history of the iHeartRadio Music Awards.
BTS won in two socially-voted categories – best fan army for the fourth year in a row and best music video for “Dynamite.”
Luke Combs won country artist of the year for the third year in a row. Marshmello won dance artist of the year for the third year in a row. H.E.R. won R&B artist of the year for the second year in a row. twenty one pilots won alternative rock artist of the year for the third time in six years.
Roddy Ricch won both hip-hop artist of the year and new hip-hop artist of the year. He’s the only new artist to win as the top artist of the year in genre category. Ricch also won hip-hop song of the year for “The Box.”
“Savage” (Remix) by Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé won best collaboration. It’s the second all-female collab to take that award, following “Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj, which won six years ago.
Taylor Swift’s Folklore won pop album of the year. At the Grammys on March 14, Folklore lost the award for best pop vocal album to Lipa’s Future Nostalgia, but later turned around and won the top award, album of the year.
Olivia Rodrigo won the social star award. It is likely to be the first of many awards that the talented 18 year old wins in the next year or so.
Elton John, who would have dominated the iHeartRadio Music Awards if they had existed in his mid-‘70s heyday, received the icon award from Coldplay’s Chris Martin and Lil Nas X. Though the connection wasn’t explicitly made, John paved the way for the success of other British pop and rock musicians, such as Martin, and for the emergence of other openly gay artists, such as Lil Nas X. In accepting the award, John spoke warmly of Lil Nas X. “He is a wonderful artist and has balls of steel.”