R. Kelly was the big winner last night (Aug. 6) at the Billboard-American Urban Radio Networks (AURN) 2004 R&B/Hip-Hop Awards show. Leading the field of finalists at the outset with eight nominations, Kelly finished the evening with seven statuettes, including top R&B/hip-hop songwriter and producer. Also joining the winners’ circle were OutKast and Beyonce.
The ceremony, staged at 1501 Barton G (formerly BillboardLive), capped the fifth annual Billboard-American Urban Radio Networks R&B/Hip-Hop Conference in Miami Beach.
In addition to top songwriter and producer, R. Kelly picked up nods for top R&B/hip-hop artist, top R&B/hip-hop male artist and top R&B/hip-hop singles artist. The Jive/Zomba artist’s hit single, “Step in the Name of Love,” scored honors for top R&B/hip-hop single and top R&B/hip-hop single (airplay).
OutKast claimed awards in four categories. The duo’s Grammy-winning double-CD, “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below,” picked up statuettes for top R&B/hip-hop album and top rap album. Members Andre 3000 and Big Boi were recognized as top R&B/hip-hop artist (duo or group) and top R&B/hip-hop albums artist. Still enjoying her 2004 winning streak, Beyonce was named top R&B/hip-hop new artist and top R&B/hip-hop female artist.
Rounding out the artist categories, “American Idol” champion Ruben Studdard took home the award for top R&B/hip-hop single (sales) for “Superstar/Flying Without Wings.” Crunk masters Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz earned hot rap track of the year kudos for “Get Low,” which also features the Ying Yang Twins.
Once again, Island Def Jam Music Group received the R&B/hip-hop major label of the year accolade. TVT snared top independent label.
Isaac Hayes and KRS-One were this year’s Founders Awards honorees in R&B and hip-hop, respectively. These special awards acknowledge achievements by pioneering artists. Hayes and KRS-One join previous recipients the Isley Brothers, Afrika Bambaataa, Betty Wright and Grandmaster Flash.
The Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Awards are based on sales data from Nielsen SoundScan and airplay information from Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems.
Finalists and winners reflect the performance of recordings on the Billboard R&B/hip-hop and rap charts during the period from the May 31, 2003 issue of Billboard through the May 22, 2004 issue. New artists are those who have not appeared on a Billboard album chart prior to the March 29, 2003 issue or have not been a new artist finalist in the past.