Chesney led country winners with two award wins for top country tour and top country collaboration for his P!nk duet “Settin’ the World on Fire.” Stapleton’s Traveller won top country album, while top country song went to Florida Georgia Line’s “H.O.L.Y.”
Chesney’s fellow nominees for top country tour were Luke Bryan and Dixie Chicks. In the top country collaboration category, the other nominees were “Different for Girls” by Dierks Bentley featuring Elle King, “Kill A Word” by Eric Church featuring Rhiannon Giddens, “May We All” by Florida Georgia Line featuring Tim McGraw and “Sober Saturday Night” by Chris Young featuring Vince Gill.
The show’s country album category included Jason Aldean’s They Don’t Know, Florida Georgia Line’s Dig Your Roots, Blake Shelton’s If I’m Honest and Keith Urban’s Ripcord. Other nominees for top country song, an honor that goes to the artists, were “Setting The World On Fire” by Chesney featuring P!nk, “May We All” by Florida Georgia Line featuring Tim McGraw, “Better Man” by Little Big Town and “Blue Ain’t Your Color” by Keith Urban.
Shelton won top country artist in a category that included Florida Georgia Line, Urban, Stapleton and Aldean. Hillary Scott & the Family took home top Christian song for “Thy Will” from their 2016 debut collection Love Remains.
Drake was the night’s big winner, taking home 13 honors and surpassing Adele’s 2012 record for most Billboard Music Award wins in one night. Among his wins were the all-genre awards for top artist, top Hot 100 artist and top Billboard 200 artist. Cher was the recipient of the show’s icon award.
The night featured a performance by Sam Hunt, who sang “Body Like a Back Road,” and a surprise collaboration by John Legend and Florida Georgia Line. Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard joined Legend onstage for a mashup of “Surefire” and “H.O.L.Y.”
Vanessa Hudgens and Ludacris co-hosted the event live from Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.