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Post Malone big winner at delayed Billboard Music Awards

The rapper took home the night’s top prize.

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Post Malone was the big winner at the delayed Billboard Music Awards, taking home nine gongs including top artist (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Post Malone was the big winner at the delayed Billboard Music Awards, taking home nine gongs including top artist (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Post Malone was the big winner at the delayed Billboard Music Awards, taking home nine gongs including top artist (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Post Malone was the big winner at the delayed Billboard Music Awards, taking home nine gongs including top artist.

The annual ceremony was supposed to take place in Las Vegas in April but was shifted to Los Angeles in October as a result of the pandemic.

There was no audience inside Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre, leaving winners to address an eerily empty venue.

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Post Malone won the top prize – top artist – at the Billboard Music Awards (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Post Malone won the top prize – top artist – at the Billboard Music Awards (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

AP/PA Images

Post Malone won the top prize – top artist – at the Billboard Music Awards (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

The latest major awards ceremony to take place amid the pandemic also featured some of the winners wearing masks.

Accepting the biggest prize of the night, top artist, hip-hop star Post Malone said he was “blown away” by the success.

He described the current turmoil as “a weird time for everybody” and told those watching proceedings on TV to “stay strong and just spread love wherever you go”.

Post Malone, who was recognised for his album Hollywood’s Bleeding, also won top male artist.

Pop sensation Billie Eilish was another winner on the night, taking home the prize for top female artist, beating Ariana Grande, Halsey, Lizzo and Taylor Swift.

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Billie Eilish wore a mask to accept one of her gongs at the Billboard Music Awards (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Billie Eilish wore a mask to accept one of her gongs at the Billboard Music Awards (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

AP/PA Images

Billie Eilish wore a mask to accept one of her gongs at the Billboard Music Awards (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

The 18-year-old also won top Billboard 200 album for When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

Eilish, among those wearing a mask, took to the stage and said: “Thank you to all the women that have come before me and paved my way, I love you.”

The teenage pop sensation added: “Please vote, please wear a mask, please wash your hands, be safe, take care.”

Lizzo won the top song sales artist and walked on stage wearing a dress emblazoned with the word “vote” before delivering a rousing acceptance speech.

She said: “I’ve been thinking a lot about suppression and the voices that refused to be supressed and I wonder would I be standing here right now if it weren’t for the big black women who refused to have their voices be supressed.”

Lizzo touched on self acceptance and voter suppression, a key issue ahead of next month’s presidential election, adding: “So whether it’s through music, protest, or your right to vote, use your power, use your voice and refuse to be suppressed.”

John Legend was among the performers and dedicated his emotional rendition of Never Break to wife Chrissy Teigen, after the couple lost their baby last month.

Hip-hop star Doja Cat performed a medley of songs while Alicia Keys and Post Malone also took to the stage.

Demi Lovato performed the first live rendition of her new anti-Donald Trump track Commander In Chief while K-pop superstars BTS appeared from South Korea for their song Dynamite.

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

Country music veteran Garth Brooks took home the Icon award, which counts Prince, Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey as previous recipients.

Luke Combs was named top country artist, Bad Bunny won top Latin artist and Killer Mike received the inaugural change maker award.

Harry Styles was also a winner, picking up the fan-voted chart achievement award, though he was not at the ceremony to collect his prize.

The night also included a tribute to rock great Eddie Van Halen, who died aged 65 earlier this month.

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 slightly dated.

PA