17 Epic Moments From the 2001 Billboard Music Awards You’ll Want to Relive

With just hours remaining in the countdown to tonight’s 2021 Billboard Music Awards, hop aboard E! News’ time machine and reminisce on the pop culture perfection that first awed fans 20 years ago.

Watch: Billboard Music Awards: Britney’s Hits and Misses

Before tonight’s 2021 Billboard Music Awards, we’re gonna party like it’s the 2001 Billboard Music Awards.

In just a few short hours, music’s brightest stars will come together under one roof to find out who climbed their way to the top of the ultimate Billboard chart. Nominees for the prestigious Top Artist award include Drake, Juice WRLD, Taylor Swift, Pop Smoke and The Weeknd, but before we get too ahead of ourselves… let’s take a trip back in time to the BBMAs exactly two decades ago.

Expect to see many of the same artists still dominating the airwaves today, just with blonder highlights, thinner eyebrows and pants with waistlines well below the belly button. (We’re looking at you Gwen Stefani.) 

Back in 2001, the night belonged to girl groups and boy bands, with Destiny’s Child securing Artist of the Year and NSYNC tearin’ up the stage—and our hearts—with a powerful performance of “Gone.” 

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Billboard Music Awards 2020: Best Dressed Stars

So what are you waiting for? Bask in the magic of the early aughts with a flashback to the 2001 Billboard Music Awards.

Nelly & Pink

If this photo doesn’t scream early aughts pop culture, we don’t know what does. 

Mandy Moore

We’d love to take a Walk to Remember down memory lane with this then-budding pop star.

Destiny’s Child

Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams took home three Billboard Music Awards that night, including Artist of the Year. And for the record, Michelle’s lime green hat deserves an honor of its own.

NSYNC

Coordinating neutrals? Oh yes, your fave boy band did that.

Gabrielle Union

Say it with us now: “Brr! It’s cold in here. There must be some Toros in the atmosphere.”

Janet Jackson

Legends only! The performer was honored with the Artist Achievement Award. 

Aaron Carter & Billy Gilman

The child stars teamed up to introduce an act during the ceremony.

Lil Romeo & Master P

At just 12 years old, the rapper took home the Billboard Music Award for Rap Artist and Rap Single of the Year.

No Doubt

Years before she got engaged to Blake Shelton and settled down in small-town Oklahoma, Gwen Stefani was punk rock’s reigning princess.

Matthew McConaughey

Aviator shades, a silver belt buckle and that finger point? It’s like nothing ever changed.

Mary J. Blige

We’re giving the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul’s red carpet look 10’s across the board!

B2K

Kangol hat? Check! Matching tan and red ‘fits? Duh.

Tim McGraw

The country music legend took home three trophies that night, including Country Album of the Year.

Play

Back in 2001, the Swedish girl group’s song “Us Against the World” was always on repeat on our Walkmans. 

Pink

It’s going to be a full circle moment for the pop rocker, who is set to receive the Icon Award at this year’s ceremony.

Eve, Angie Stone & Alicia Keys

The trio posed backstage after performing onstage together.

Mark McGrath

It wouldn’t be a 2001 red carpet without the Sugar Ray singer and his famous frosted tips. 

Find out how to watch the Billboard Music Awards here.

Watch E!’s red carpet coverage of the 2021 Billboard Music Awards this Sunday, May 23 starting at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT followed by the BBMA show at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on NBC.


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