Image Source: NME
Olivia Rodrigo won the 2022 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday (May 15), just 16 months after her breakout hit “drivers license.”
Rodrigo took home seven trophies, making him the most successful new artist in BBMA history. Next, an R&B ensemble, won eight wins in 1998, and Ashanti, an R&B artist, won eight awards in 2002. Rodrigo’s first album, Sour, reached number one on the Billboard 200 chart. This is the third year in a row that a debut album has taken home the top prize. When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? by Billie Eilish was the winner two years ago. Last year, Pop Smoke’s Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon was the winner.
Ye (previously Kanye West) took home the most honors this year, with six. He won best artist, top album, and top song in both the gospel and Christian categories. Ye now has 17 BBMA nominations in his career, tying him for sixth place with Eminem on the all-time list. For the third year in a row, Ye was named best gospel artist. He also won top gospel song for the third time in a row, as well as top gospel album for the second time in a row. (In 2016, the gospel awards were established).
The three artists with the most career BBMA honors each won multiple awards on the night, which allows them to retain their win, place and show rankings. Drake won five awards, upping his total to 34. Taylor Swift won four, advancing her total to 29. Justin Bieber won five, hiking his total to 26.
Drake was named top artist for the record-breaking third time. He also won top male artist for the third time in a row, top rap artist for the fourth time in a row, and best rap album for the third time in a row (for Certified Lover Boy).
Swift has claimed the top Billboard 200 artist for the sixth time in a row. She received the honor the previous year as well. She is the first woman to win in this major category two years in a row. Swift also took home the prize for best country artist, which she had previously won in 2011 and 2013. This makes her the only three-time winner in the category’s history, joining Garth Brooks. Red (Taylor’s Version) took home the prize for best country album, which the original Red earned in 2013. Swift has won four times in that category, matching Brooks’ record. The biggest shock: Swift was named top female country artist for the first time. The surprise is that at this stage of her career, this long-time award winner can still win something for the first time.
Bieber made history by becoming the first artist to win the top Hot 100 single more than once at the BBMAs. This year, he took home the award for “Stay,” a smash hit with The Kid LAROI. He won four years ago for his appearance on Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s genre-bending hit “Despacito.”
BTS took home three accolades this year, more than any other group or pair. The K-pop septet won top duo/group for the third time, tying them for the most victories in the category with another youthquake-starting band, One Direction.
Lady Gaga earned top dance/electronic artist for the third year in a row, which is impressive given that she also had time to feature in the buzzy film House of Gucci and produce a Grammy-winning traditional pop album with Tony Bennett during this time. Gaga won again in 2011-12, giving her a total of five victories and putting her ahead of The Chainsmokers as the category’s all-time winners.