Comedic actor Tracy Morgan, whose eight seasons on “Saturday Night Live” and seven on “30 Rock” solidified him as one TV’s funniest stars, will host the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, live from Las Vegas at the MGM Grand on Sunday, May 19, airing on ABC.
“I’m honored to be a part of one of music’s biggest nights,” Morgan said. “When you look at the artists who have come up through Billboard over the years, it’s incredible. And how can you say no when Prince is going to be there!”
Morgan’s “SNL” run spanned from 1996-2003. Three years later he joined Tina Fey’s award-winning series “30 Rock” as the unpredictable actor Tracy Jordan. That series, which wrapped in January, earned him his first individual Emmy nomination.
Music has been a key part of Morgan’s comedy over the years; on “SNL,” his impressions included Busta Rhymes and Aretha Franklin. One of his original characters famously serenaded Britney Spears in a sewer. And no “30 Rock” best-moments list would be complete without Morgan’s camp classic “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah.”
As host of the awards, Morgan joins a lineup of performers that includes Justin Bieber, Miguel, Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars. The show will also include a highly anticipated performance by Prince, who is receiving the Billboard Icon Award at the telecast, produced by Don Mischer and sponsored by Chevrolet and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
Bieber, Miguel, Swift and Mars are each up for the new fan-driven Milestone Award, sponsored by Chevrolet, that will give fans the chance to vote for their favorite artist online and enter a contest to win an opportunity to present the award live at this year’s event alongside Cee Lo Green. The Band Perry and Pitbull are also up for Milestone honors. Voting is now open on Billboard.com/milestone.
At last year’s event, Adele dominated with twelve awards, including Top Artist, while LMFAO followed with six nods. The show featured over 15 live performances from some of the biggest names in music, including Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson and Usher, and resulted in a ratings win for ABC, attracting its second-largest audience since 2003. “Modern Family” stars Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen were hosts.
The awards will reflect Billboard’s chart rankings based on key fan interactions with music, including album sales and downloads, track downloads, radio airplay and touring as well as streaming and social interactions on Facebook, Twitter, Vevo, Youtube, Spotify and other popular online destinations for music. These measurements are tracked year-round by Billboard and its data partners, including Nielsen Entertainment and Next Big Sound. The awards will be based on the reporting period of Feb. 27, 2012 through Feb. 24, 2013. Top artists will be recognized in a variety of genres, including R&B, Rap, Pop, Country, Rock, Latin and Alternative.
Stay tuned for more announcements on performers, presenters and more for the May 19 airing of the 2013 Billboard Music Awards on ABC.
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