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FEATURE ARTICLE

 
MARY J. BLIGE WINS BIG AT BILLBOARD AWARDS

 

Mary J. Blige was the big winner at last night’s (Dec. 4) Billboard Music Awards with nine honors in tote.

 

Among the awards the 35-year-old Blige claimed Monday night were R&B/Hip-Hop artist of the year, female R&B artist of the year and R&B/Hip-Hop album of the year.

 

"The Breakthrough" shot to No. 1 after it debuted on the Billboard charts in December 2005 and has sold 2.6 million copies since.

 

Blige, in white go-go boots and a sparkly mini-dress, rocked the full house by belting out a medley of her "Enough Crying" and "Take Me as I Am" during the two-hour show aired live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

 

Blige said she's already reached the pinnacle of her career by enduring personal struggles that once led her to sing hopefully about having "no more drama" in her life.

 

"I've realized if I don't (love) myself, nobody will. Nobody is going to love me more than I do," Blige told reporters after the show.

 

Chris Brown picked up new artist of the year, male of artist of the year and artist of the year awards.

 

"I'm 17. That's crazy, it's mind-boggling," said Brown. "My mom, she still keeps me humble. She tells me to take out the trash, ya know, clean my room."

 

Newcomer Rihanna edged out Blige and Beyonce for the top songstress honor.

 

"I really can't feel my legs, this is phenomenal," said Rihanna as she accepted the award for best female artist of the year award. "That was a really tough category."

 

Janet Jackson opened the show with a nod to the old and the new. Sporting a short bob haircut and a belly-baring white turtleneck sweater that offered no chance of wardrobe malfunction, Jackson performed her 1980s classic, "The Pleasure Principle," mixed into "So Excited," a single from her 2006 comeback album, "20 Y.O."

 

Atlanta rapper T.I. took home rap artist of the year and rap album of the year for his fourth solo album, "King," which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart in March.

 

The Billboard Awards are given to 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.



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