R. Kelly Wins Big at Billboards
Wednesday, December 5th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6
LAS VEGAS (AP) _ R&B singer R. Kelly was the big winner Tuesday night at the Billboard Music Awards, taking home six awards while Destiny's Child and country crooner Tim McGraw picked up five apiece.
R. Kelly, whose remix of the hit song ``Fiesta'' with Jay-Z topped the charts this year, dominated the awards in the R&B/hip-hop category. He won artist of the year, albums artist of the year, singles artist of the year and songwriter of the year in that category.
``It's just a constant reminder of how hard work paid off,'' said R. Kelly, wearing a Boston Celtics jersey, hat and green towel tossed over his shoulder.
He also was honored for album of the year and single of the year in the same category.
Destiny's Child won the show's top honor _ artist of the year. For country album of the year, McGraw's ``Greatest Hits'' album beat the hit album ``Breathe'' by his wife, Faith Hill.
``I think that I'm a fan of music in general and always have been since I was a kid,'' McGraw said. ``I just try to make the music I hear in my head and hope everybody likes it.''
The show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas began with Britney Spears in a pre-recorded performance in front of the dancing fountains at the Bellagio hotel-casino. Alicia Keys, 'N Sync, McGraw and Shaggy also performed.
Comedian Bernie Mac, who was the host of the show broadcast Tuesday night on Fox, had a few tips for the winners' acceptance speeches.
``You got 30 seconds. That's it. Thank the fans, thank the record company, thank the Lord, then sit ... down,'' Mac said.
Keys, Shaggy, Lil Romeo, Creed and Lifehouse each won two awards. 'N Sync received a special award for ``Celebrity,'' the album with the highest one-week sales total in 2001.
Janet Jackson was honored with an artist achievement award. She told the crowd her first performance was at the MGM Grand hotel-casino when she was 7 years old.
``I never dreamed that all these years later I would be back here to receive such an honor,'' she said.
To close the show, rappers and pop, R&B and rock singers filled the stage to perform an all-star remake of Marvin Gaye's classic ``What's Going On.''
The annual Billboard Awards are determined by the magazine's year-end chart listings, which are based on a combination of record sales and radio airplay.