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The Latest: Softer Miley Cyrus performs at Billboard Awards

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/22/2017 By The Associated Press
Hosts Ludacris, left, and Vanessa Hudgens speak at the Billboard Music Awards at the T-Mobile Arena on Sunday, May 21, 2017, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Hosts Ludacris, left, and Vanessa Hudgens speak at the Billboard Music Awards at the T-Mobile Arena on Sunday, May 21, 2017, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

The Latest on the 2017 Billboard Music Awards at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (all times local):

FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2016 file photo, Drake performs on stage in Toronto, Canada. Drake and the Chainsmokers are on track to own the night at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, May 21, in Las Vegas. The rapper and electronic dance duo are the top contenders at Sunday’s show with 22 nominations each. (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2016 file photo, Drake performs on stage in Toronto, Canada. Drake and the Chainsmokers are on track to own the night at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, May 21, in Las Vegas. The rapper and electronic dance duo are the top contenders at Sunday’s show with 22 nominations each. (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP, File)

6:02 p.m.

FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2017 file photo, Andrew Taggart, left, and Alex Pall of the musical group The Chainsmokers arrive at the 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Chainsmokers and Drake are on track to own the night at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, May 21 in Las Vegas. The electronic dance duo and the rapper are the top contenders at Sunday’s show with 22 nominations each. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2017 file photo, Andrew Taggart, left, and Alex Pall of the musical group The Chainsmokers arrive at the 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Chainsmokers and Drake are on track to own the night at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, May 21 in Las Vegas. The electronic dance duo and the rapper are the top contenders at Sunday’s show with 22 nominations each. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

Miley Cyrus introduced a new version of her persona, the low-key, in love Miley, when she performed her new song "Malibu," at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on Sunday.

The new Miley is a far cry from the previous Disney child star who shocked consistently audiences for years with her twerking and singing nude atop a giant wrecking ball.

Her sister Noah Cyrus noted in the intro that her sister, who is engaged to Liam Hemsworth, was "the happiest she had ever been." The singer didn't dance, but performed the acoustic driven slow-burning song in front of giant images of the beach and ocean and ended the song with teary eyes.

The Chainsmokers, a leading nominee, picked up the first televised award of the night with Halsey for top collaboration for their song "Closer." Drake led the winners with 12 awards. He has 22 nominations.

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5:09 p.m.

Nicki Minaj opened the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with an explosive nine-minute set of her top songs — including "No Frauds" a response to a diss track from Remy Ma.

At various points, she was joined by Lil Wayne, DJ David Guetta and Jason Derulo.

Vanessa Hudgens, hosting the show on ABC with Ludacris, imitated Minaj's rap onstage and earned applause from the crowd. Hudgens also sang some of Celine Dion's "I'm Your Lady" (Dion will perform later in the show).

Drake and Beyonce were among the early winners. Drake had earned 10 awards in early winners announced Sunday morning and picked up an 11th for top male artist in the first minutes of the show. Beyonce earned five in the early winners.

Drake and the Chainsmokers are top contenders with 22 nominations each.

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6:35 a.m.

Drake will walk into the 2017 Billboard Music Awards already a winner: He earned 10 early awards.

The rapper and the electronic dance duo the Chainsmokers were top contenders with 22 nominations each.

The early winners announced Sunday morning by dick clark productions included Beyonce, who won five and twenty one pilots, who won four. The Chainsmokers picked up three honors in the early announcement.

The Billboard Awards will be held Sunday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, where more awards will be announced.

Cher, Miley Cyrus, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, Drake and the Chainsmokers will perform at the show airing live on ABC. Imagine Dragons will speak about Chris Cornell's influence on the band ahead of their performance.

Ludacris and Vanessa Hudgens will host the show.

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