Entertainment

Taylor Swift opens Billboard Music Awards with energetic performance of Me!

British R&B star Ella Mai was among the early winners.

Taylor Swift raised the curtain on the 2019 Billboard Music Awards with an energetic performance of her latest hit single.

The pop superstar took to the stage in Las Vegas alongside Panic! At The Disco’s Brendon Urie, who features on the newly released track Me!

Swift and Urie wore matching shimmering outfits for an upbeat performance, which was met by rapturous applause.

Seated in the audience were some of the industry’s biggest stars, including Cardi B.

The rapper – accompanied by her husband, Offset – leads the way in nominations with 21, including for the all-important top artist prize.

An early winner on the night was British star Ella Mai, who was named top R&B Artist.

She saw off competition from H.E.R, Khalid, The Weeknd and late rapper XXXTentacion.

Ella Mai was born in London but moved to New York as a child and has experienced more success in her adopted country than the UK, thanks to her number one hit Boo’d Up.

Taking to the stage, the 24-year-old thanked God and her fans, as well as her family.

She said: “My mum, my brother and my grandma, for always being my number one supporters.”

The Billboard Music Awards, first held in 1990, are taking place in Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Also set to perform is Madonna, who will team up with Colombian singer Maluma on their tune Medellin.

K-pop band BTS will take to the stage as will The Jonas Brothers and Mariah Carey, who will receive the Icon Award.

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