Shania Twain, Beyonce, R. Kelly among top winners at Billboard Awards
Updated at 21:51 on December 10, 2003, EST.
LAS VEGAS (CP) - Country superstar Shania Twain walked away from the Billboard Awards on Wednesday with three trophies.
The singer was named country artist of the year and her album Up, which debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200, was named country album and country albums of the year. The record, which includes the hit I'm Gonna Getcha Good, has remained on the Billboard country charts for more than a year.
"It's been a terrific year for me. Fans have been so great," Twain said after performing She's Not Just a Pretty Face, surrounded by school children.
"I'm always so greatful and humbled."
Aside from Twain's winnings, R&B and hip-hop dominated the awards with sultry singer Beyonce and R. Kelly each earning four awards.
Beyonce, who appeared at the ceremony in a sequined Versace dress, won new female artist of the year, new R&B artist, Hot 100 female artist and a special Hot 100 award for most weeks at No. 1.
The singer, who is part of Destiny's Child and went solo this year with her album Dangerously in Love, told reporters before the show that she was nervous about the possibility of making an acceptance speech.
"I don't know what to say. I completely blank out," she said.
In the end, she told the crowd after winning the Hot 100 female artist award: "This is amazing. This has been an incredible year."
R. Kelly, who was indicted on child pornography charges last year after a videotape allegedly showed him having sex with an underage girl, took home awards for Hot 100 producer, R&B producer, Hot 100 songwriter and R&B songwriter.
No Doubt opened the nationally televised show, hosted by Ryan Seacrest of American Idol, with a performance of their hit single It's My Life.
Rapper 50 Cent had a leading six nominations heading into the show at the MGM Grand hotel-casino. By the end of the night, he won three awards - for top artist, R&B artist and rap artist.
Sting received the Century Award for creative achievement. The Grammy Award-winning singer has sold a combined 100 million albums and singles with The Police and as a solo artist.
For the first time, the Billboard Awards recognized the sales of legally downloaded music tracks, honoring Hey Ya! by OutKast as the digital track of the year.
The Hilton sisters walked the red carpet, but did not speak with reporters. Paris Hilton, co-star of the hit show The Simple Life, wore a satin and lace Valentino two-piece dress. Among those drawing the loudest cheers from the hundreds of fans gathered to watch the arrivals was the cast of Fox's The O.C.
The Billboard Awards honor the year's chart-topping artists. Winners are determined by the magazine's year-end chart listings, which are based on record sales and airplay.
On the Net:
Billboard Magazine: billboard.com
© The Canadian Press, 2003