You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Kesha, Dion lead emotional Billboards

Associated Press Associated Press 23/05/2016 Mesfin Fekadu

Celine Dion and Kesha, both in the midst of drama in their personal lives, have given emotional performances at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards.

Dion sang Queen's The Show Must Go On in strong form on Sunday, sporting a shiny dress and backed by a powerful orchestra.

Dion lost her husband and brother in the same week in January, and her son presented her with the Billboard icon award after her performance.

"I'm so sorry. I'm sorry for crying. I want to be so strong for my family and kids ... I don't want to cry in front of you," a teary Dion said to Rene-Charles Angelil.

"Thank you very much ... This is such a tremendous honour ... Music has been my passion since before I can almost remember."

Dion said her late husband Rene Angelil will "continue to watch over me from up above."

Kesha sang a heart-wrenching cover of Bob Dylan's It Ain't Me Babe at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. She stood still in a cream suit and was backed by a pianist and violinist, hitting all the right notes and growing teary-eyed near the end.

She earned a standing ovation from the audience - a welcome response after the performance was initially nixed by her former mentor, Dr Luke. The hit-making producer and his record label reversed the decision after Kesha said she would not use the stage to discuss their ongoing lawsuit.

Other performances were not as strong: Justin Bieber sang his hits Company and Sorry with the help of a backing track as bright laser lights beamed throughout the performance. He walked from side to side, performing a few dance moves but didn't match the energy of his backup dancers.

Britney Spears - clearly lip syncing - kicked off the show in a shimmery red number with a performance that featured several of her hits, from I'm a Slave 4 U and Toxic, and some of her signature dance moves.

Demi Lovato's performance of Cool for the Summer was among the night's best. She also made a statement by wearing a shirt featuring an inclusive bathroom symbol, taking a stance against North Carolina's recent law addressing LGBT rights and bathroom use by transgender people. Lovato, who is on tour with Nick Jonas, recently canceled shows in North Carolina in protest of the state's law.

Pink also impressed with her performance - featuring her signature high-flying moves - while she sang her new song, Just Like Fire. Rihanna was also a highlight with strong vocals when she sang Love on the Brain.

Madonna will close the show with a tribute to Prince, who died on April 21 at age 57.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon