But PEOPLE was inside the show and backstage at the annual awards show, where music’s biggest stars mixed, mingled and danced along to their favorite performances.
While Madonna’s performance featuring Stevie Wonder was certainly a highlight of the evening, no one received an off-camera reception quite like Kesha. The crowd inside the T-Mobile Arena clearly knew about the dramatic week she had over her performance.
After receiving a standing ovation for her cover of Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me, Babe” (in the middle of the song someone yelled “Free Kesha” and the crowd roared), the audience didn’t sit down until the singer left.
Kesha made her way to the back of the arena through the crowd, and all the seats were empty as the whole room was on its feet cheering for the singer. She thanked fans and faintly blew kisses to the crowd.
Céline Dion Honors Her ‘Beloved’ Husband
The most emotional moment of the night belonged to Dion, who saluted the crowd before being introduced. The audience looked on in amazement during her performance of “The Show Must Go On.”
At the end of the show, she received the Icon Award, which was presented to her by her 15-year-old son René-Charles. Her heartfelt speech left the crowed teary-eyed through the entire commercial break, and a hype-man even commented on there not being a “dry eye in the house.”
It’s been a tough few weeks for Justin Bieber, who appeared to be exhausted after his active performance. The singer rubbed his head and embraced only one of his backup dancers before leaving the stage. Less than 10 minutes later, he won his award for Top Male. Still sweating from his performance, Bieber wiped his neck with a towel after his short speech.
Pink, of course, was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the show. When she was being introduced by some of the cast of Bad Moms, Kathryn Hahn said Pink was the “baddest mom.”
Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani had the most romantic performance of the night. While everyone saw the huge smiles on their faces while they were performing, the cute PDA really started when the cameras turned off. The two held hands as they walked off-stage, and Shelton pumped his fist at his band members.