The 2018 Billboard Music Awards aired live on Sunday, May 19, 2018 — and boy-oh-boy did the celebrities in attendance ever bring their fashion A-game.
Though this awards show is a night for chart-topping celebs to be celebrated for their musical accomplishments, celebrities from all over the entertainment spectrum graced the BMAs red carpet with ensembles that totally wowed. Famous faces like Hailey Baldwin, Dua Lipa, Kelly Clarkson, Patrick Starrr, and Taylor Swift (who finally made a return to the red carpet after taking a two-year break from award shows) strutted their stuff for photographers on the red carpet — and we’re finding it quite the task to choose just one favorite look.
From stunning floor-length ballgowns, to patent leather mini-dresses, to sleek and chic power pantsuits — these celebrities definitely know how to dress for an occasion. Here’s a closer look at some of our favorite lewks from the 2018 Billboard Music Awards red carpet.
Grace VanderWaal is tomboy chic
At only 14-years-old, this girl certainly looked the part of a bonafide superstar at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards.
Grace VanderWaal, the ukulele-wielding wunderkind who took the music industry by storm after winning the eleventh season of America’s Got Talent, stayed true to the beat of her own drum with her outfit on the Billboard Music Awards red carpet. The young star — who introduced performer Shawn Mendes at the awards ceremony — showed up to the red carpet looking quite dapper in a spin on the classic power suit. Stripes were the name of the game, and VanderWaal wore them expertly by pairing a fitted pinstripe blazer with flared, ankle-length, pinstriped slacks, a white blouse, and an untied bowtie draped across her neck.
The pint-sized powerhouse was styled for the event by ELKIN, a styling house owned and operated by sisters Brit and Kara Smith, who took to Instagram to call VanderWaal “the coolest.” Yeah, we’d have to agree.
Demi Lovato takes a walk on the wild side
What’s wrong with being confident? As Demi Lovato’s entire Billboard Music Awards vibe showed us — not a single thing.
The “Confident” songstress looked more sure of herself than ever while strutting down the red carpet donning a super sexy cheetah-print maxi dress. With its plunging neckline, Lovato’s red carpet attire was reminiscent of another pop powerhouse’s famous music video look — Shania Twain’s cheetah-print ensemble in her “That Don’t Impress Me Much” video.
Lovato’s wild look wasn’t her only outfit for the evening, however. The star took to the Billboard Music Awards stage with none other than soulful songstress Christina Aguilera wearing an all-black patent leather ensemble, featuring a statement-making trench coat and wide-legged pants. Together, Lovato and Aguilera belted a soulful, powerful performance of “Fall in Line,” the new duet from the powerhouse gal pals. A day before their remarkable performance, Lovato took to Instagram to express her excitement over sharing the stage with one of her idols. “Nothing but excitement to share the stage with this legend,” she captioned a behind-the-scenes photo from their BMAs rehearsal.
Jenna Dewan is fierce and independent, thank you very much
Uhhh, Channing Tatum, who? Fresh off the heels of her split with the Magic Mike star, Jenna Dewan looked fiercely fabulous as she graced the Billboard Music Awards red carpet all by her confident self.
Coco Chanel has been quoted as saying “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life,” and Dewan proved that to be true by debuting her stunning new chin-length bob at the BMAs. The World of Dance host looked better-than-ever in a sultry, strapless leather mini-dress that flattered her incredibly fit physique, and she was all smiles strutting down the red carpet — but don’t her smiling, bubbly exterior fool you. As Dewan told People earlier in the week, her divorce from Tatum has definitely taken its toll. Luckily, this gal seems to know that the only way out is up. “This year has just been a really incredible year in a lot of ways. A lot of change, but you go with it and you make the best with what you can,” Dewan said to People. You go, girl.
Kelly Clarkson drips elegance
Kelly Clarkson was the woman of the hour at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards. Not only did she belt out an incredible opening performance to kick off the night’s ceremony — Clarkson hosted the heck out of the entire show. And she looked as fabulous as ever through every minute.
Clarkson stepped onto the red carpet radiating glamour in what can best be described as a little black dress on steroids. With a figure-flattering silhouette, thigh-high peekaboo leg slit, and an incredibly bold, asymmetrical neckline, Clarkson definitely had the whole hostess with the mostest look down-pat. The pop powerhouse-turned-country superstar went straight from posing for photographers on the red carpet to delivering a tear-jerking tribute to the victims of the Santa Fe High School shooting that took place only days earlier on Friday, May 18, 2018.
“Why don’t we stop moments of silence and do a moment of action? Why don’t we do a moment of change,” Clarkson tearfully pleaded to the audience, noting that Billboard had wanted her to lead a moment of silence to honor the victims and their families. “Instead of a moment of silence, I want to respect [the victims] and honor them with tonight,” she continued.
A wild Taylor Swift appears!
Is it a bird? A plane? No — it’s Taylor Swift!
The queen of the Swifties chose the 2018 Billboard Music Awards to make her first awards show appearance in two years — previously, her last awards show appearance had taken place at the 2016 BMI Pop Awards. Since then, the “Look What You Made Me Do” songstress has experienced some seriously publicized heartbreak and celebrity beef with Calvin Harris, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian-West, found new love with Joe Alwyn, released a critically-acclaimed album and embarked on a stadium tour, and even ended her years-long feud with Katy Perry! Whew. It’s easy to understand why we haven’t seen much of Swift on the red carpet in the past couple of years — this girl has been busy!
Of course, Swift knew just how to dress for her red carpet return. The blue-eyed blonde looked like a real-life fairy princess in a soft-pink Versace gown, complete with feathery detail and silver embellishments. It seems her new “Love Story” with Alwyn is treating her well!
Dua Lipa does the '80s proud, baby
The ’80s are calling — and they’re giving Dua Lipa’s Billboard Music Awards red carpet look their full approval!
This plunging purple gown looked marvelous on the British singer-songwriter, complementing the “One Kiss” singer’s curves in all the right places. But while this dress may serves some serious ’80s vibes, it’s definitely not your mother’s prom dress. Featuring a plunging neckline, thigh-high leg slit, and cinched waist, this glam gown looked every bit as sultry on the singer as it did totally rad. Known for her over-the-top onstage performances, Lipa topped off her glamorous look with an oversized and elegant art deco-inspired emerald pendant.
Speaking of over-the-top, Lipa took to the BMA stage later in the evening for an unforgettable performance of her hit “New Rules.” The songstress ditched her purple ’80s gown for a silky purple robe and belted her head-boppin’ song while (carefully) dancing on the back of a giant flamingo.
Patrick Starrr steals the freaking show
Patrick Simondac — better known by his fans as Patrick Starrr — might not have been nominated for any awards, but the makeup guru and YouTube celebrity definitely stole the show at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards with this red carpet lewk, honey!
Perhaps taking a cue from the bevy of fun and playful hats that made appearances at the weekend’s royal wedding, Starrr stepped onto the BMAs red carpet donning the mother of all headpieces — an oversized hot pink rose bouquet. The headpiece perfectly complemented the YouTube star’s glamorous green gown, which featured an off-the-shoulder neckline, asymmetrical bow, and fabulous thigh-high leg slit (a popular fashion choice among many in attendance at the 2018 BMAs). Starrr, who was all smiles while strutting his stuff on the red carpet, looked like a fabulous floral queen in his Billboard Music Awards ensemble, and we are so here for it. Flower power!
Camila Cabello serves some serious fringe
It’s been a big year for Camila Cabello — and the “Havana” songstress shows no signs of slowing her roll anytime soon.
The star stepped onto the 2018 Billboard Music Awards red carpet looking as glamorous as ever in a 1920s inspired black-and-white gown, featuring a fringe-tastic skirt taken straight out of a classic flapper’s wardrobe — and the petite powerhouse was all smiles and spins for photographers. Of course, Cabello has quite a lot to be happy about. Not only has she experienced a serious solo breakthrough in the music industry since leaving her Fifth Harmony roots, the singer recently embarked as an opening act on bestie Taylor Swift’s mega-anticipated Reputation stadium tour.
Cabello was nominated for four 2018 BMA awards, including Best Collaboration, Best New Artist, Best Female Artist, and Best Chart Achievement. Though she lost the Best Female Artist award to Swift, Cabello took home the award for Best Chart Achievement. We have a feeling this is only the beginning for the talented (and stylish) songstress!
Hailey Baldwin is a work of art
Hailey Baldwin and Shawn Mendes looked totally in love at the 2018 Met Gala, yet the two superstars walked the BMAs red carpet alone. Could there be trouble in paradise, perhaps?
Apparently, paradise isn’t as close as Baldwin/Mendes shippers may have thought. Though Baldwin and Mendes were thought to have made their red carpet debut as a couple at the 2018 Met Gala, Mendes shot down those relationship rumors for good in a May 2018 interview with People. “No, we were not making our big debut,” the “In My Blood” singer told the publication. “Obviously Hailey and I are friends,” he continued. “I was thrilled to be able to go with her.”
Just friends, huh? We have a feeling Mendes might totally regret friend-zoning the bombshell Baldwin after seeing her 2018 Billboard Music Awards red carpet look! Though she wasn’t a nominee, Baldwin stunned the crowds with her simple-yet-elegant ensemble, looking a lot like another coveted award — the Academy Awards’ Oscar statuette.
Cheryl James and Sandra Denton
… and they were totally in effect. The famed hip-hop duo took to the Billboard Music Awards stage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena with En Vogue to close out the show by delivering an epic performance of chart-topping hits “Push It,” “Let’s Talk About Sex,” “Shoop,” and “Whatta Man.” The crowd cheered and applauded Cheryl “Salt” James and Sandra “Pepa” Denton as they threw it all the way back for their diehard fans. Who said it has to be a Thursday to enjoy a quality throwback?
As always, the hit-making hip-hop duo looked as fabulous as ever for their unforgettable Billboard Music Awards appearance. James opted for a sexy, black netted jumpsuit with delicate silver embellishments, while Denton donned a black patent leather mini-dress. After their performance, James and Denton spoke to reporters backstage about their influence on today’s hit music.
“It’s amazing,” James gushed. “We broke a lot of barriers […] Closing [the Billboard Awards] at this stage in our lives is just amazing. It’s incredible.” We’d say so.
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