Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift each scooped two prizes at the iHeartRadio Music Awards on Wednesday.
The Thank u, next singer was so honored to be one of the night’s biggest winners as she also picked up Female Artist of the Year, but she was unable to make the ceremony at Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theatre as she was preparing for her upcoming Sweetener world tour.
However, she said in a pre-recorded speech for her Artist of the Year award: “I am so honored. I will sleep with this tonight.”
Fans were also treated to a pre-taped intimate performance of her upcoming single Needy.
Drake, who is currently on tour, was named Male Artist of the Year, while Best Duo/Group of the Year went to 5 Seconds of Summer.
Alicia Keys urged fans to stay true to themselves in a passionate speech as she picked up the Innovator award.
The Empire State of Mind hitmaker – who also performed with her eight-year-old son Egypt – admitted the accolade meant a lot to her.
She said: “I got to be honest with you — it means so much to be honoured as an innovator because when I first started out, nobody was like, ‘Look at that tomboy from Hell’s Kitchen who graduated high school at 15, the one with the braids, who seems obsessed with her broken down piano … what a fantastic innovator she is.’ Nobody said that. It was like, ‘Who is that? What is she doing? What is she wearing?’ I’m telling you — even when I first got signed it wasn’t about what new ideas and sounds can Alicia bring? It was more like, ‘How do we make her fit into this mould?’ and I think that’s what a lot of people experience in life.”
The 38-year-old star – who also has four-year-old Genesis with husband Swizz Beatz – urged people not to change and abuse themselves in order to fit in.
She said: “We are here do us, you know? It’s crazy… I know how it feels… all we can think about is how to be liked, and how to be accepted and we contort ourselves and change ourselves and starve ourselves and abuse ourselves and hate ourselves and instead, all we got to do is just love who we are. That’s all we got to do.
“All we really need to do is appreciate our individuality and embrace what makes us unique because, in the end, you’re remembered because you’re different. Because you’re special. I’m finally more myself than I’ve ever been and even though it’s a constant process, I encourage you to continue to find the power and the beauty and the unique story in your own journey.”
Swift won two awards, Best Music Video for Delicate, and Tour of the Year for her Reputation stadium shows, and she was delighted to have proven her critics wrong.
Accepting the latter, she said: “One of the most wonderful things about the way that this whole tour turned out is that, for like, the entire six months leading up to the first show of this tour, every headline that I read was, this is going to be a massive failure. And it really did wonders for my self-esteem. It was great to hear people saying that I was going to be playing to nearly empty stadiums.
“I’ve learned a lot. One of the things I’ve learned is that life is really unpredictable and people can make forecasts and they can make predictions, but those predictions and forecasts may not come true if there is an unforeseeable factor involved, and that unforeseeable factor, in this case, was my fans.”
Elsewhere at the ceremony – which was hosted by T-Pain – Song of the Year went to The Middle, by Zedd, Maren Morris, Grey, and it also picked up Dance Song of the Year, but the track didn’t also secure the Best Collaboration prize.
Instead, it was awarded to Finesse by Bruno Mars featuring Cardi B, who had two other songs on the shortlist, Girls Like You with Maroon 5 and I Like It featuring Bad Bunny and J. Balvin.
Tiffany Young beat off a shortlist that featured former Fifth Harmony members Normani Lauren Jauregui, Ally Brooke and Dinah Jane to take the Solo Breakout award.
iHeartRadio Music Awards selected list of winners:
Artist of the Year:
Tour of the Year:
Taylor Swift, ‘Reputation’ Stadium Tour
Artist of the Decade:
iHeartRadio Innovator Award:
Most Thumbed-Up Artist of the Year:
Song of the Year:
‘The Middle’, Zedd, Maren Morris, Grey
Female Artist of the Year:
Male Artist of the Year:
Best Duo/Group of the Year:
5 Seconds of Summer
‘Finesse (Remix)’ Bruno Mars featuring Cardi B
Alternative Rock Artist of the Year:
Rock Artist of the Year:
Three Days Grace
Country Artist of the Year:
Dance Artist of the Year:
Hip-Hop Artist of the Year:
R&B Artist of the Year:
‘Consequences’, Camila Cabello
Best Cover Song:
‘You’re Still the One’, Harry Styles and Kacey Musgraves
Best Music Video:
‘Delicate’, Taylor Swift
Cutest Musician’s Pet:
Gracie, Lauren Jauregui
Best Solo Breakout:
Song That Left Us Shook:
‘I’ll Never Love Again’, Lady Gaga
Includes all the must-know facts, challenging quizzes and lots of direct quotes from Ariana about her life, music and career.