Monday’s 2006 Billboard Music Awards was dominated by the “queen of hip-hop/R&B” Mary J. Blige who left the annual gala with a stunning nine awards, including R&B/hip-hop artist of the year, female R&B artist of the year and R&B/hip-hop album of the year (The Breakthrough) and song of the year (“Be Without You”), and Hot 100 airplay song of the year.
“I’ve never received this many awards at any time in my career, ever,’ she said. “I remember a time when all my fans were crying and sad and going through hell. Now, we’re trying to uplift each other and accept ourselves for who we are, even if nobody else does.”
T.I. dominated the rap category, leaving the stage with five statuettes including artist and album of the year for King.
Chris Brown walked away with three nods; new artist of the year, male artist of the year and artist of the year.
“I’m 17. That’s crazy, it’s mind-boggling,” he later gushed.
Rihanna, who won female artist of the year, female Hot 100 artist of the year and Pop 100 artist of the year later gave props to her competition, BeyoncÃ© and Blige.
“I really can’t feel my legs â€“ this is phenomenal,” she said according to Billboard.
Stevie Wonder presented fellow legend Tony Bennett with the Billboard Century Award.