This year’s IHeartRadio Music Awards brought plenty of star power to the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, but it also broke ground in a different way – allowing a fully vaccinated, mostly masked crowd to pack the venue to full capacity, which added plenty of energy to the night.
The Weeknd took home some of the night’s biggest prizes with wins for Male Artist of the Year and Song of the Year for “Blinding Lights.” Roddy Ricch, Twenty One Pilots, Luke Combs and BTS also took home more than one piece of hardware.
Ariana Grande and The Weeknd opened the show with a smoldering version of “Save Your Tears” that showed off the vocal chops of both singers.
Dan and Shay brought a bit of Nashville to the proceedings with a harmony-drenched “Glad You Exist.”
Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak did the musical equivalent of turning down the lights and lighting some scented candles for the Silk Sonic ballad “Leave The Door Open.” Bonus points for the matching blue blazers with lapel flowers.
Chris Martin delivered a kinda funny, kinda embarrassing intro to present Elton John with the 2021 iHeartRadio Icon Award. After saying he “didn’t know anything about Elton,” he praised songs by Billy Joel and Stevie Wonder and raved about Elton’s guitar playing and movie career. After that, Demi Lovato Brandi Carlile, and H.E.R joined forces to pay tribute to the music legend with a medley of “Bennie and the Jets,” “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” and “I’m Still Standing” (which Demi delivered with gusto)
Doja Cat stepped out of costume, but kept the glitz to the maximum, rising to the rafters during a medley of “Streets” and “Kiss You More,” complete with a fake cornfield background.
Usher, who may have set an awards show record for costume changes, swapped hosting duties to close out the show with a CGI-enhanced performance of “Confessions Part II,” “In the Club” “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love” and “Yeah,” which got a boost from the always energetic Lil’ Jon.
iHeartRadio Icon Award: Elton John
Song of the Year: The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights”
Female Artist of the Year: Dua Lipa
Male Artist of the Year: The Weeknd
Best New Pop Artist: Doja Cat
Best Duo or Group: Dan and Shay
Pop Album of the Year: Taylor Swift – Folklore
Best Collaboration: Megan Thee Stallion and Beyonce – “Savage” remix
Hip-Hop Album of the Year: Lil Baby – My Turn
Hip-Hop Artist of the Year: Roddy Ricch
Best New Hip Hop Artist: Roddy Ricch
R & B Artist o the Year: H.E.R.
R & B Album: Jhene Aiko – Chilombo
R&B Song of the Year: Chris Brown and Young Thug -“Go Crazy” –
Best New R & B Artist: Snoh Aalegra
Dance Album of the Year: Diplo – Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley, Chapter 1: Snake Oil
Dance Artist of the Year: Marshmello
Latin Pop/Reggaeton Artist of the Year: J Balvin
Alternative Rock Album of the Year: Machine Gun Kelly – Tickets To My Downfall
Alternative Rock Song of the Year: Twenty One Pilots –“Level of Concern”
Alternative Rock Artist of the Year: Twenty One Pilots
Rock Album of the Year: AC/DC – Power Up
Rock Song of the Year: Foo Fighters – “Shame Shame”
Rock Artist of the Year – The Pretty Reckless
Country Album of the Year: Luke Combs – What You See Ain’t Always What You Get
Country Song of the Year: Maren Morris – “The Bones”
Country Artist of the Year: Luke Combs
Best New Country Artist: Gabby Barrett
Best Lyrics (Socially Voted Category): Harry Styles – “Adore You”
Social Star Award (Socially Voted Category): Olivia Rodrigo
TikTok Bop of the Year (Socially Voted Category): The Weeknd -“Blinding Lights”
Best Fan Army (Socially Voted Category): BTS