Top Twitter moments from the Billboard Music Awards

Twitter lit up Sunday night as musicians and fans flooded the social media site to pontificate and crack jokes about the Billboard Music Awards. From Madonna slurring her words, fueling rumors that the pop diva was drunk, to an unexpected round of booing for teen phenom Justin Bieber, there was ample material for a night of tweets.

Twitter has been working to cement its place as the go-to platform to connect artists and fans, share new songs and help music fans expand their playlists.  Last month, the San Francisco company launched Twitter #music, a service to detect and surface popular tracks and emerging artists and play them on-demand by synching your Twitter account with Spotify and Rdio.

The Twitter star of the evening was Bieber, whose performance with will.i.am and acceptance of the Milestone Award, an accolade that was greeted by a room full of boos, sparked 238,000 tweets.

The performance by R&B artist Miguel, who appeared to kick a fan when he jumped over the crowd while singing his hit “Adorn” and then land on a second fan in the crowd, spawned 190,000 tweets. The botched dance move became an instant Internet meme and the phrase “Did Miguel’ trended worldwide on Twitter. Miguel later tweeted: “Thank goodness Khyati is okay,” referring to the girl he jumped on.

Chris Brown’s performances, which included an ode to Michael Jackson, inspired 100,000 tweets. Performer Nicki Minaj generated about 75,000 tweets after giving rapper Lil Wayne a steamy lap dance.

According to Twitter, the five most-mentioned artists on Twitter during the awards show are:

  1. Justin Bieber
  2. Selena Gomez
  3. Taylor Swift
  4. Prince
  5. Chris Brown

Performers were busy on Twitter before and after the show, tweeting out messages to fans, pictures of their performance preparations and congratulations to fellow musicians.

The Billboard Music Awards gave Twitter a big night of music-related tweets. The show had a viewing audience of 9.47 million, a 28 percent spike over last year, Nielsen reported.  About 80 percent of the age group that watched — 18 to 49 years old — uses social media, according to a Pew Research study. Bieber’s performance and emotional award acceptance speech, which was preceded by a roomful of boos, certainly helped dial up the Twitter activity for the evening. Bieber has almost 40 million followers and most of his fan interactions occur on Twitter.

Heather Somerville Heather Somerville (150 Posts)

Heather Somerville reports on consumer affairs, retail and technology for the Bay Area News Group. She lives in San Francisco, where she enjoys rock climbing, yoga and biking across the Golden Gate Bridge.