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One Direction, Lionel Richie & Katy Perry Win at Billboard Touring Awards

One Direction, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry lead the list of winners at Billboard's 11th annual Touring Awards, held Thursday (Nov. 20) at New York's Edison Ballroom. 1D took home the awards for Top…

One Direction, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry lead the list of winners at Billboard‘s 11th annual Touring Awards, held Thursday (Nov. 20) at New York’s Edison Ballroom. 1D, who was not in attendance, took home the awards for Top Draw and Top Tour, with grosses in excess of $290 million, and the band’s management firm Modest! received the prize for Top Manager.

Billboard Touring Conference & Awards: All Our Coverage

Comedian Ralphie May emceed the event, tossing in the occasional off-color joke to keep attendees on their feet. “This is a big ol’ stroke-fest, folks,” he said of the touring industry’s annual event, “a big ol’ fashioned ‘look at our dicks.'” Later, May shamelessly pitched himself to Live Nation’s Bob Roux as the latter accepted the award for Top Promoter, “It’s good to see you, buddy. Maybe I can see more of you in 2015. I’ll have my new agency William Morris Entertainment send you my avails.”


Watch below for highlights from the Touring Awards:

Katy Perry appeared via pre-recorded video to accept the award for her Prismatic Tour, which was recognized as Top Package for featuring Capital Cities, Kacey Musgraves, Tegan & Sara, Becky G and Ferras throughout its 2014 run. Speaking from the road, Perry said, “As you can see, I’m still on tour, and I’ll probably still be on tour till I pass out!” before quickly adding, “JK. I’m really proud of the package I put together, and the music I get to introduce to my big crowd and the people I’ve got to support along the way…I know how important touring is, and it’s really nice that you would acknowledge that as well.”

Lionel Richie was honored with the Legend of Live Award, an accolade he took quite literally. “The key word here is ‘live,’ and the word you should put in front of that is ‘alive,'” he said. “Very few people get to be in the business for 35, 40 years and still be doing this and alive. I’m thinking back how simple it seems now, but I know people from before it all started, and that’s what I want to celebrate tonight. It’s about how you try and stay alive as the opening act for The Rolling Stones with only one hit record, or The Jackson 5, playing an hour-long show each night with no hit record at all.” And though Richie still plays to packed arenas and headline crowds at festivals like Bonnaroo and Essence this year, he has no plans to slow his roll at the age of 65. “Stay with me for the next 400 years, I promise I won’t let you down.”

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Other winners included Florida Georgia Line, the country duo that was crowned this year’s Breakthrough touring act and beat out a competitive race that also included OneRepublic and Arcade Fire. Citi and MAC Presents won the Concert Marketing & Promotion Award for the second year in a row for their role in Billy Joel‘s historic, indefinite residency with Madison Square Garden. And The Rolling Stones captured the year’s Top Boxscore for a three-night run at the Tokyo Dome on Feb. 26, March 4 and 6.

Still, the night belonged to 1D. “We actually sold 3.48 million tickets last year,” Modest! partner Richard Griffiths said in one of three acceptance speeches for 1D’s trophies. “And we couldn’t have done that without all the incredible promoters we have and obviously our agency CAA. In fact, Rob Light was first the agent for the first-ever band I ever managed in the ’70s, The Jags.” Light, CAA’s head of music, also presented the Golden Circle Award to legendary promoter Ron Delsener, who thanked few friends and colleagues in his speech — perhaps out of fear for the “gangsters who are still alive” on the Long Island Shore near the Nikon Theater at Jones Beach, one of many New York region venues he helped get off the ground.

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The event was also book-ended with live performances from British pop-rock group Rixton, whose frontman Jake Roche joked, “Sorry One Direction couldn’t make it,” and Kool & the Gang, who treated the crowd to nearly a half-dozen hits including “Hollywood Swingin,'” “Celebrate” and “Jungle Boogie.”

A complete list of winners is below:

Florida Georgia Line

Concert Marketing & Promotion Award:
Billy Joel/Citi at Madison Square Garden

Humanitarian Award:
Light of Day Foundation

Legend of Live Award:
Lionel Richie

Top Agency:
Creative Artists Agency

Top Amphitheater:
Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, Toronto

Top Arena:
O2 Arena, London

Top Boxscore:
Rolling Stones – Tokyo Dome – Feb. 26, March 4, 6

Top Club:
House of Blues, Boston

Top Comedy Tour:
Jeff Dunham

Top Draw:
One Direction

Top Festival:
Coachella Music & Arts Festival, Indio, CA

Top Independent Promoter (International):
T4F – Time For Fun

Top Independent Promoter (U.S.):
C3 Presents

Top Manager:
Modest! Management

Top Package:
Katy Perry Prismatic Tour, featuring Capital Cities, Kacey Musgraves, Tegan & Sara, Becky G, Ferras

Top Promoter:
Live Nation Entertainment

Top Tour:
One Direction

Top Venue – Under 10,000 Seats:
Radio City Music Hall, New York City

Top Venue – Under 5,000 Seats:
The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Vegas

Golden Circle Award:
Ron Delsener