Beyonce wins 4 Billboard Music Awards

Thursday, December 11, 2003

— R&B and hip-hop dominated Wednesday's 2003 Billboard Music Awards with sultry singer Beyonce Knowles 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, for which Ryan Seacrest of "American Idol" was host, with a performance of their hit single "It's My Life."

"Tonight is truly one of the biggest nights of the year. Beyonce is here. OutKast is here. Courtney Love thinks she's here," Seacrest told the audience.

Singers Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson, featured on the MTV reality show "Newlyweds," presented the first award for duo/group of the year to 3 Doors Down.

In presenting the award, Simpson turned to her husband and said, "Don't say anything dipsy or stupid. I keep telling myself the sex is worth it."

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.

Other top winners:

New male R&B artist: Chingy.

New group: Evanescence.

R&B/hip-hop group: Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz.

Rock artist: Audioslave.

Rock track: "Headstrong" by Trapt.

Soundtrack single: "Bring Me To Life" by Evanescence.

Mainstream Top 40 track: "Where is the Love?" by Black Eyed Peas.

No. 1 Rhythmic Top 40 track: "Right Thurr" by Chingy.

Best-selling single: "This Is the Night/Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Clay Aiken.

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.