Billboard Awards Salute Top-Selling Artists

THE third annual Billboard Music Awards, which was broadcast live for the first time on the Fox network Wednesday night, proved to be business as usual for a music-awards television show.

The two-hour special was kept alive by dry-witted host Phil Collins, a Grammy Award winner who began his rock career as the lead vocalist/drummer for Genesis and has continued with a successful solo career. Three years ago, Collins won the Billboard World Artist award.

Top Winners Wednesday night were Boyz II Men, with the No. 1 Pop Single; Garth Brooks, who garnered the award for No. 1 Pop Artist; and Guns N' Roses, who were named as the No. 1 Group.

Billboard's awards are the only music awards that pay tribute to the year's No. 1 artists based on the combination of worldwide record sales, radio airplay, and marketplace tallies.

"The Billboard Music Awards are unique because the winners have been determined by fans. They `vote' with their record buys," producer Paul Flattery said in a press release.

Billboard magazine, an international news weekly that covers music and home entertainment, is read by over 200 million people in 104 countries around the world. In the mid-1950s, the magazine began its "Hot 100" chart, which today has grown to cover a large range of musical styles, including rock, dance, rap, country, R&B, modern rock, new age, jazz, Latin, gospel, world music, and classical.

Other top Billboard winners this year included: Jodeci for the No. 1 R&B Album; the Irish band U2 for the No. 1 Album Rock Tracks Artist; Cypress Hill for No. 1 Hot Rap Singles; Kriss Kross for New Pop Artist.

The band Genesis won for No. 1 Boxscore Concert, and U2 was named the No. 1 Boxscore Tour. Michael Jackson was cited as the Top-Selling Artist of the Decade, and George Harrison took home the Century Award.

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