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Masked Billie Eilish among early Billboard Music Awards winners

A masked Billie Eilish was among the early winners at the Billboard Music Awards, accepting her prize inside an eerily empty venue (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
A masked Billie Eilish was among the early winners at the Billboard Music Awards, accepting her prize inside an eerily empty venue (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

A masked Billie Eilish was among the early winners at the Billboard Music Awards, accepting her prize inside an eerily empty venue.

The annual awards ceremony was initially supposed to take place in April, before the global pandemic intervened.

The show was shifted from Las Vegas to the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, where there was no audience.

Kelly Clarkson was on hosting for the evening. The first prize of the night, Top Billboard 200 album, was won by pop sensation Eilish for her acclaimed effort When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

She wore a mask on stage to accept the prize, describing the win as “amazing” and adding: “I never, ever take these for granted, it’s always a shock when I win anything at all.”

Lil Nas X picked up the award for Top Hot 100 song for his viral smash Old Town Road.

Australian singer Sia and country music star Kane Brown were among the early performers.

Eilish is one of the hottest stars in pop music and swept the big four categories at the Grammys in January.

For the 2020 Billboard Music Awards, prizes were based on the chart period from March 2019 to March this year, perhaps explaining why some nominees may have appeared a bit dated.

Hip-hop star Post Malone led the way in nominations with 16, ahead of first-time nominees Lil Nas X with 13 and Eilish with 12.

Other nominees included Lizzo with 11, Kanye West on nine, Taylor Swift with six and Justin Bieber on four.

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