The 2023 Billboard Music Awards—led by Taylor Swift with 20 nominations—kicked off at 8 p.m. EST on Sunday, November 19. The event featured performances and award reveals throughout the night. Performers included Karol G, who offered up a medley of hits, including “QLONA” and “Labios Mordidos,” an unreleased track that is part of Kali Uchis’ upcoming studio album Orquideas.
Mariah Carey offered up a performance of her holiday classic “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Dressed in a white figure skater dress, the pop and R&B icon sang in an ice-skating rink. Additionally, rising K-Pop newcomers NewJeans performed their viral hits “Super Shy” and “OMG.”
Awards-wise, Morgan Wallen earned 11 wins, while Taylor Swift won 10. That number brings her career total to date to 39, which puts her in a tie with Drake for the most of all time. Notably, Drake won five awards this year to get to that same total.
Swift won top artist for the third time, which puts her in a tie with Drake for the most wins in that category. Swift also won Top Billboard 200 artist for a record-extending sixth time and Top Female Artist for a record-extending fifth time.
In the rap categories, Drake won Top Rap Artist for a record-extending fifth time, Top Rap Tour for the second time, Top Rap Album (Her Loss), and Top Rap Song (“Rich Flex”) for his successful collaboration with 21 Savage.
Additionally, Karol G and The Weeknd each won two awards. The Weeknd’s two awards bring his career total to 22, which puts him in fourth place on the all-time BBMAs leaderboard, behind Drake and Swift with 39 each and Justin Bieber with 26.
These awards continue an outstanding 2023 for both Swift and Drake. Earlier this month, it was revealed that Taylor had earned a number of Grammy nominations. Midnights is up for Album of the Year, while “Anti-Hero” is nominated for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance. Taylor Swift and Ice Spice’s “Karma” is up for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.
In Drizzyland, the MC shared a new entry in his Scary Hours series on Friday, November 17. The MC revealed the news about the project in a trailer. In the visual, Drake says, “I feel no need to appease anybody. I feel so confident about the body of work that I just dropped, I know I could go disappear for, whatever, six months, a year, two years—even though I’m not really into the super lengthy disappearances for the sake of mystery.
“But, you know, ultimately, it’s coming to me in a way that I haven’t experienced maybe since, like, If You’re Reading This, where I feel like I’m on drugs. I feel like I’m in that mental state without doing anything. I did those songs in the last five days. I didn’t have one bar written down for those songs on the night that For All the Dogs dropped. It’s not like I’m picking up from some unfinished s__t. You know, this is just happening on its own. And who am I to fight it?”