Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Rihanna win at Billboard Music Awards

Taylor Swift poses in the press room with her awards during the 2011 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 22, 2011, in Las Vegas. Isaac Brekken/Getty Images

Taylor Swift poses in the press room during the 2011 Billboard Music Awards on May 22, 2011, in Las Vegas.
Getty

(CBS/AP) Rihanna and Taylor Swift were two of the key winners at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night, which returned after a five-year hiatus with a major dose of star power.

Pictures: Billboard Music Awards arrivals
Pictures: Billboard Music Awards highlights

The three-hour show was packed with performances - a scantily-clad Rihanna kicked off the ceremony with "S&M" (joined by Britney Spears), and others followed from Cee Lo Green, Lil Wayne with Mary J. Blige and Neil Diamond, who led the audience in a sing-a-long to "Sweet Caroline" and "America."

Among Rihanna's wins were for radio artist of the year and top female artist.

Swift won the evening's first award, as top album artist, behind the multimillion sales for "Speak Now." She also won top country artist.

"The impact of an album is all determined by the fans," she told the audience when she picked up her first. "You've just given me another reason to be completely in love with you."

Justin Bieber was another big winner, taking home three awards - Digital Artist of the Year, Top New Artist and Fan Favorite. The 17-year-old thanked his fans, his family, his talent manager, Usher and "basically everyone who helped me get out of my hometown and live my dream."

Other award winners included Lady Antbellum and the Black Eyed Peas.

Beyonce received a special "Millennium" award for her career achievements: The 29-year-old was lauded in a video by an array of legends and luminaries, including Stevie Wonder, Barbara Streisand, Bono, Lady Gaga and first lady Michelle Obama.

"This is a moment I have to soak in because it's gonna be - and it is - one of the best moments of my life," said Beyonce after getting the award from her mother, Tina Knowles. Beyonce also performed her new song, "Run the World (Girls)."

U2 was also honored for their blockbuster "360" tour as the top touring act of 2010, while Diamond received Billboard' "Icon" award.

"I would have settled for a top 10 record," he quipped. "I don't know what it means exactly to be an icon. I've always wanted to be one and I guess now I am."

This year marks the Billboard Awards' rebirth. The awards had been a staple since 1989, but gave out what appeared to be its last award in 2006. This year, the show was brought back.

It was held in Las Vegas, broadcast live on ABC and hosted by "The Hangover 2" star Ken Jeong.

The Billboard Music Awards are given out to music's most popular artists. The finalists and winners are determined by their rank on the Billboard charts and their "social and streaming activity."

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