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Bieber, wearing a shimmering gold and black dinner jacket, made a point of not making a big deal of his date for the evening - Selena Gomez - as he accepted his awards, thanking his mother, who was sitting right next to his girlfriend, but not the Disney star.

Taylor Swift won the night's first award for Album Artist of the Year and went on to claim two more. The other triple winners were Taio Cruz, Rihanna, Lady Gaga and acclaimed British folk act Mumford + Sons, who picked up the Rock Album of the Year award. Double victors included Katy Perry, Train and Usher.

It was a great night for performances, too - Millennium Award winner Beyonce and Viral Innovator Cee Lo Green's sets were among the highlights. Feisty Beyonce performed new song Run The World (Girls) with a synchronised backdrop and an army of female dancers; Green played through a medley of hits while spinning through the air above the stage, seated at a suspended piano.

Rihanna and Britney Spears opened the show from the MGM Grand with a sexy S+M duet, while Black Eyed Peas also performed hits during an energetic five-minute set.

Spears also joined Nicki Minaj for a brief performance of their Till The World Ends remix - an appropriate choice of tune considering an evangelical broadcaster had predicted the world would end 24 hours before the Billboard Music Awards took place. The two hitmakers will hit the road together this summer (11).

The almost flawless awards ceremony, hosted by The Hangover star Ken Jeong, also featured live sets from Keith Urban, Pitbull and Ne-Yo, Taio Cruz and Neil Diamond, who took home the Icon Award. He closed the show with rousing sing-alongs of his classic tunes Sweet Caroline and America.

The full list of winners is:

Album Artist of the Year - Taylor Swift

Digital Artist of the Year - Justin Bieber

Song of the Year - Dynamite by Taio Cruz

Country Song of the Year - Need You Now by Lady Antebellum

Millennium Award - Beyonce

Top Duo/Group - Black Eyed Peas

Viral Innovator Award - Cee Lo Green

Radio Artist of the Year - Rihanna

Best New Artist - Justin Bieber

Top Latin Album - Euphoria by Enrique Iglesias

Top Latin Artist - Shakira

Country Artist of the Year - Taylor Swift

Artist of the Year - Eminem

Male Artist of the Year - Eminem

Female Artist of the Year - Rihanna

Hot 100 Artist of the Year - Katy Perry

Digital Songs Artist of the Year - Katy Perry

Top Touring Artist of the Year - U2

Top Social Artist of the Year - Justin Bieber

Streaming Artist of the Year - Justin Bieber

Digital Media Artist of the Year - Justin Bieber

Pop Artist of the Year - Lady Gaga

R+B Artist of the Year - Usher

Rap Artist of the Year - Eminem

Rock Artist of the Year - Train

Alternative Artist of the Year - Mumford + Sons

Dance/Electronic Artist of the Year - Lady Gaga

Christian Artist of the Year - Chris Tomlin

Album of the Year - Recovery by Eminem

Pop Album of the Year - My World 2.0 by Justin Bieber

R+B Album of the Year - Raymond vs Raymond by Usher

Rap Album of the Year - Recovery by Eminem

Country Album of the Year - Speak Now by Taylor Swift

Rock Album of the Year - Sigh No More by Mumford + Sons

Alternative Album of the Year - Sigh No More by Mumford + Sons

Dance/Electronic/Electronic Album of the Year - The Fame by Lady Gaga

Christian Album of the Year - Awake by Skillet

Digital Song of the Year - Dynamite by Taio Cruz

Radio Song of the Year - Just The Way You Are by Bruno Mars

Streaming Song of the Year - Just a Dream by Nelly

Streaming Song (Video) of the Year - Baby by Justin Bieber featuring Ludacris

Pop Song of the Year - Dynamite by Taio Cruz

R+B Song of the Year - OMG by Usher featuring will.i.am

Rap Song of the Year - Love the Way You Lie by Eminem featuring Rihanna

Rock Song of the Year - Soul Sister by Train

Alternative Song of the Year - Animal by Neon Trees

Latin Song of the Year - Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) by Shakira

Dance/Electronic Song of the Year - Stereo Love by Edward Maya + Vika Jigulina

Christian Song of the Year - Our Good by Chris Tomlin

Billboard Fan Favorite - Justin Bieber

Billboard Icon Award - Neil Diamond

Dreamseeker Artist of the Year - Gentlemen Hall.