Taylor Swift was the big winner at the Billboard music awards, scooping eight out of her 11 nominations, including top artist and top Billboard 200 album for Red.
She told the crowd: “You are the longest and best relationship I ever had.”
Swift gave a colourful performance of her hit 22, starting backstage and working her way to the main stage on the back of a bike with help from a dozen background dancers and a flurry of red balloons.
Justin Bieber, who performed twice, won three awards, including top male artist, social artist and the fan-voted milestone award, beating Swift and Bruno Mars.
When accepting the latter to some booing, he alluded to the tumultuous weeks he’s had in the public eye. “I’m 19 years old; I think I’m doing a pretty good job. And basically from my heart I really just want to say it should really be about the music, it should be about the craft that I’m making. This is not a gimmick,” he said.
“I’m an artist and I should be taken seriously and all this other bull should not be spoken.”
Bieber performed with will.i.am and solo when he sang Take You in leather trousers, a leather vest and a black shirt that had one sleeve, as blue laser lights beamed.
Miguel, too, had a show-stopping performance, though he appeared to kick a fan when he jumped over the crowd while singing his hit Adorn. The R&B singer seemed to have landed part of his body on one woman, who walked away, and kicked another, who held her head low.
Maroon 5 and fun. were nominated for 11 awards and walked away with one win each in pre-telecast announcements. Gotye and Rihanna had the second-most wins with four awards each.
Nicki Minaj won the first award in the live telecast for top rap artist, beating out Drake, Flo Rida, Pitbull and Psy. “I definitely did not expect this one,” she said.
Minaj performed High School with Lil Wayne. Prince, who received the icon award, closed the show with a medley of his hits.
Madonna won top touring artist, dance artist and dance album for MDNA. “Thank you for supporting me for three decades. Without you I truly wouldn’t be here,” she said.