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Backstreet, Britney Rule "Billboard" Awards



by Julie Keller Dec 9, 1999, 9:35 AM PT

Call it the revenge of the heartthrobs.

Screaming teen favorites the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears were the big winners at Wednesday's Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas. The Florida-based quintet and the ex-Mouseketeer--not exactly critical darlings--each scored four awards at the music industry's equivalent of a popularity contest, with artists rewarded not for merit, but record sales and airplay.

In between performances from the likes of Jennifer Lopez, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and a full orchestra-accompanied Metallica, Backstreet scored artist of the year, artist duo/group, album of the year and album artist nods for their blockbuster Millennium. Spears' rookie release, ...Baby One More Time, helped her score female artist of the year, new artist of the year, female hot 100 singles artist and female album artist tributes.

Snarky hosts Kathy Griffin (Suddenly Susan) and Adam Carolla (The Man Show) also doled out multiple awards to the Dixie Chicks, Ricky Martin, Metallica and Creed.

On the R&B front, R. Kelly was named artist of the year, while recently jailed Jay-Z was named the rap artist of the year.

Perpetual award winner Mariah Carey also scored another mantle decoration. The pop diva was honored as the artist of the decade. "I feel like I'm just getting started," she gushed in a well-rehearsed acceptance speech. She then gave "special thanks" for ex-hubby/Svengali Tommy Mottola for "the early part of my career," and closed by saying, "I'm so happy to be free to be who I am."

Other artists honored for musical milestones include the aging rockers of Aerosmith, who were given the artist achievment award, and country crooner Emmylou Harris, who took home the show's annual Century Award. In addition, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were presented with a special award for setting an all-time Billboard record for the most weeks at No. 1 on Modern Rock Tracks chart (with their song "Scar Tissue").

The ceremony was held at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Hotel and broadcast on Fox.

Here is a complete list of winners for the 1999 Billboard Music Awards.

Century Award: Emmylou Harris

Artist Achievement Award: Aerosmith

Artist of the Decade: Mariah Carey

Artist of the Year: Backstreet Boys

Album of the Year: Backstreet Boys, Millennium

Male Artist of the Year: Ricky Martin

Female Artist of the Year: Britney Spears

New Artist of the Year: Britney Spears

Albums Artist of the Year: Backstreet Boys

Albums Artist Duo/Group of the Year: Backstreet Boys

Female Albums Artist of the Year: Britney Spears

Male Hot 100 Singles Artist of the Year: Ricky Martin

Female Hot 100 Singles Artist of the Year: Britney Spears

R&B/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year: R. Kelly

R&B Albums Artist of the Year: DMX

R&B Album of the Year: Juvenile, 400 Degreez

R&B Single of the Year: Maxwell, "Fortunate"

Rap Artist of the Year: Jay-Z

Rap Single of the Year: JT Money/Solé, "Who Dat"

Country Artist of the Year: Dixie Chicks

Country Albums Artist of the Year: Dixie Chicks

Country Albums Artist Duo/Group of the Year: Dixie Chicks

Modern Rock Artist of the Year: The Offspring

Modern Rock Track of the Year: Lit, "My Own Worst Enemy"

Rock Artist of the Year: Creed

Rock Track of the Year: Creed, "One"

Adult Contemporary Track of the Year: Sarah McLachlan,"Angel"

Catalog Artist of the Year: Metallica

Catalog Album of the Year: Metallica, Metallica


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