Nominated for 21 Billboard Music Awards, Toronto rapper Drake was the champion of this year’s affair taking 13 trophies back to his crib. This is a new record. He won Top Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album (Views), Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Song Sales Artist, Top Streaming Artist, Top Streaming Song Audio (“One Dance”), Top R&B Song (“One Dance”), Top R&B Collaboration (“One Dance”), Top Rap Artist, Top Rap Album (Views), and Top Rap Tour.
The performances at the show had some major wow factors. Two of them were by Canadians: Céline Dion and yes Drake.
In 1997, Canadian director James Cameron launched Hollywood motion picture Titanic (Paramount). It had cost $200 million making it the most expensive in the history of cinema. The film had an international cast including Canadian actor Victor Garber. Parts of it were shot in Vancouver and Halifax. From December 19, 1997 to April 2, 1998, Titanic was the number one movie at the US box office, a new record at 15 weeks. It was so popular that Paramount had to send out replacement reels to cinemas which had literally worn out their copies.
Titanic became the first movie in history to pull in a billion dollars. Global box office totals eventually reached $1.8 billion USD, and Titanic captured the title of the most successful movie released in the 20th Century. The film’s theme song was performed by Canadian singer Céline Dion. “My Heart Will Go On” was the biggest song of 1998 and sold an estimated 15 million copies. The song was all over the airwaves that year, and just about everyone went to see Titanic. It was a phenomenon.
To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Dion performed the song at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards. She sang from inside a sky-high chandelier that hung from the venue’s ceiling. As it elevated, so did Dion’s vocals. While she sang the heart-tugging lyrics, scenes from the movie played on the screen behind her. And as the song reached its emotional climax, shimmering lights fell over the crowd.
Canadian rapper Drake delivered a memorable performance as well. He did the honours from inside the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas. The selection was “Gyalchester” from his 2017 album More Life. Surrounded by water, fire, and dressed all in white, Drake did his duties while fireworks exploded and blended with the fountain’s geysers above him.
According to Billboard, Drake now has the most U.S. Hot 100 hits by a solo artist in the history of the chart at 154.