Drake, Nicki Minaj Dominate Rap Categories at 2023 Billboard Music Awards

For the 2023 Billboard Music Awards, Billboard decided to approach their ceremony a bit differently. Instead of hosting the show at a venue such as an arena or concert hall, they went entirely virtual with the process. Using pre-recorded performances and acceptance speeches, Billboard has continuously updated its website to reflect the winners in each BBMA category.

Videos by American Songwriter

In every rap category, though, only two names were seen in bold and preceded by the “WINNER” distinction: Nicki Minaj and Drake. For Minaj, she dominated the charts this year thanks to hits like “Red Ruby da Sleeze,” “Barbie World,” and “Princess Diana (Remix)” with Ice Spice, and “Last Time I Saw You.” In honor of this, she was presented with the BBMA for Top Rap Female Artist.

“Thank you to the Billboard Music Awards for presenting me with the best female rap award of 2023,” she said in her acceptance speech video. “Barbz, you are amazing. I appreciate you so much. I can’t wait to share Pink Friday 2 on my birthday, December 8th.”

In the case of Drake, he would take home the BBMA in the other five rap categories. For Top Rap Artist, he beat out stars like 21 Savage, Travis Scott, Metro Boomin, and Lil Baby. For Top Rap Male Artist, he beat out Travis Scott and 21 Savage. For Top Rap Touring Artist, he beat out 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa. For Top Rap Album, he and 21 Savage’s Her Loss (2022) beat out albums by Future, Lil Baby, Travis Scott, and Metro Boomin. And for Top Rap Song, he and 21 Savage’s “Rich Flex” beat out songs by Coi Leroy, Gunna, Lil Durk & J. Cole, and Toosii. He did not submit an acceptance speech to Billboard for these honors.

[RELATED: Zach Bryan Becomes First Country Act to Win Top New Artist Billboard Music Award, Picks Up Three Rock Awards]

However, Drake accepts his five new BBMA trophies just two days after the release of For All The Dogs Scary Hours Edition, which added six new songs to the track list of his October No. 1 album For All The Dogs. In this new version, Drake focuses on fierce and focused rapping over melody-based songwriting, evident in songs like “Red Button” and “Evil Ways (feat. J. Cole).”

Check out the full list of BBMA winners HERE.

(Photo by Catherine Powell/Getty Images for MTV)

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