2011 Billboard Music Awards is #1 program of the night, Sunday on CTV

From a kiss between Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez to a 360° spinning Cee-Lo and a show-stopping performance by Beyoncé, THE BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS returned to television in a big way Sunday on CTV. THE 2011 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS ended CTV’s amazing awards-season coverage on a high note as the #1 program of the night and the #1 entertainment show of the day Sunday with 1.5 million viewers. In all, 6.76 million Canadians watched some part of the show, with double-digit growth in the key adult demos in Toronto and Vancouver versus its last broadcast in 2006.

The BMAs won its timeslots in all three hours, and delivered more viewers head-to-head from 9-11 p.m. (1.43 million) against the season finale of THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE (Global/NBC). An amazing 33% more viewers aged 18-34 watched the BMAs than THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE.

The big winners of the night were Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber, with Rihanna and U2 also walking away with awards. Upon receiving the Icon award, Neil Diamond quipped, “I don’t know what it means to be an icon, but I always wanted to be one. I’ll Google it after the show.” Beyoncé also won big, and received the Billboard Millennium Award, with First Lady Michelle Obama, Bono, Barbra Streisand, Stevie Wonder and Lady Gaga all paying tribute to the superstar via video. Cee-Lo Green’s medley of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy”, “Bright Lights Bigger City” and “Forget You,” literally defied gravity as the coach from CTV’s THE VOICE and his piano rotated 360º during his performance.

ETALK has all the THE 2011 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS action tonight at 7 p.m. ET on CTV and 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET on E! (visit CTV.ca and eonline.com to confirm local broadcast times). ETALK’s special correspondent Jessi Cruickshank reports exclusively from the BMA red carpet with interviews with Fergie, Taio Cruz, Ne-Yo, Matthew Morrison, Taylor Swift and Neil Diamond, among others.

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