TIME Music

Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson Rule the 2014 Billboard Music Awards

Justin Timberlake wowed viewers with a remote performance and took home seven awards during the show, which gave Robin Thicke four honors and named Katy Perry the top female artist, but a dancing hologram of the late Michael Jackson also stole the night

With seven awards, Justin Timberlake was the evening’s main winner, but not showing up was one of the biggest trends at this year’s Billboard Music Awards.

Several of the evening’s top stars, Timberlake included, performed remotely and accepted awards via video. But despite not actually being there, Mr. Jessica Biel was suitably gushing after collecting his myriad gongs.

“All the other finalists, Miley, Imagine Dragons, Bruno, Katy, I love you guys, it’s not a competition, but if it is, I won!” said Timberlake via video from overseas. “I want to thank everybody on earth, everybody on earth, except, except Donald Sterling.”

But a hologram of the late, great Michael Jackson arguably stole the show, performing alongside a crew of backup dancers to a number from his posthumous album Xscape.

“We tried to do as best we could what we thought Michael would have loved, and those of us who knew Michael really well, we had a good perspective on it,” L.A. Reid, CEO of the record label that released the King of Pop’s last album, told the Associated Press.

Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry, who won top female artist, also made remote performances, while Robin Thicke, who collected four awards, Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert were among the onstage stars.

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