Billboard Music Awards Background

Billboard is considered the creator of the most reliable music charts in the world, combining its charts each week from sales data collected by Nielsen Soundscan and airplay data collected by Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems.

From 1990-2006, Billboard Magazine sponsored the Billboard Awards each year in December to honor the past year's successes within the music industry, based on its year-end music charts, and therefore, on popularity. From the outset, awards included Top Album, Top Artist, and Top Single in every genre. A Billboard Century Award was added in 1992, to honor the artist with the most exceptional creative contributions to the music industry. During its seventeen years, the Billboard Awards show was broadcast on the Fox network; but in 2007, circumstances including the expiration of contacts led to the cancellation of the awards ceremony that year, and it has not resumed since since efforts to revive the program. Instead, in the absence of the ceremony, Billboard has continued announcing the winners in each category as a part of each year's final Billboard Magazine issue. Although the American Billboard Awards have faded, Billboard Latin America still presents its ceremony each year to honor the greatest of the past year's Latin Music artists.

Janet Jackson holds the record for recipient of the most Billboard Awards in the show's history, with thirty-three awards. In 1999, Mariah Carey was honored as Billboard's Artist of the Decade. In 2009, Eminem received the honor. Whitney Houston follows closely with 30, Michael Jackson ranks third with 29, and Mariah Carey trains right behind him with 28.

The first hosts were Paul Shaffer and Morris Day, along with Jerome Benton. Later hosts have included Phil Collins, Jon Stewart, Chris Rock, Kathy Griffin, Bernie Mac, Cedric the Entertainer, and Ryan Seacrest. Kathy Griffin is the most frequent host at three times, in 1998 with Andy Dick, in 1999 with Adam Corolla, and in 2000 with N Sync.

The ceremonies in 1990 and 1991, the first two, were aired after taping. Since then they have aired live from 1992-2006 and have taken place in the Los Angeles area, New York, and Las Vegas. Crystal awards presented honor achievements in the genres of R & B, Rap, Country, Modern Rock, Classical, and shed the spotlight on Independent artists & albums as well. Categories include Artist of the Year, Best New Artist, Duo / Group Album of the Year, Hot 100 Producer, Hot 100 Songwriter, Hot 100 Single of the Year, Best Touring Venue, Best Concert Venue, Best Soundtrack Single, Best Digital Track, Bestselling Single, and the Century Award and Artist of the Decade Award when appropriate.

Artist of the Year winners have included MC Hammer (the first year's winner), TLC, Alanis Morissette, Mariah Carey, Destiny's Child, Chris Brown, LeAnn Rimes, and most recently Taylor Swift. Garth Brooks, Destiny's Child, Usher, 50 Cent, and Chris Brown have all received the honor twice. Century Award winners have included George Harrison, Billy Joel, Joni Mitchell, Carlos Santana, Sting, Stevie Wonder, John Mellencamp, Annie Lennox, and Tony Bennett

Billboard's Latin Music Awards have also been presented each year since 1990 in recognition of the Latin music industry's top performers, albums, and songs based on their performance on the past year's Bill board charts reflecting airplay and sales. Its awards include the traditional musical categories, along with the Spirit of Hope Award (in honor of humanitarian contributions) and the Lifetime Achievement Award. The awards ceremony has been broadcast on the Telemundo television network since 1999, reaching the highest ratings of any of the network's music specials.

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