Gwen Stefani, Ludacris, The Fray and Mary J. Blige will join previously announced performers Janet Jackson, Fergie and The Killers at The 2006 Billboard Music Awards, airing live from Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena Monday, Dec. 4 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX. Bowling For Soup, Carrie Underwood, Carmen Electra, Dave Navarro, Flavor Flav, Three 6 Mafia, Vanessa Minnillo and the cast of "High School Musical" will also make special appearances, joining previously announced participants Celine Dion, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Katharine McPhee and Chris Daughtry. The host and additional artists appearing on the special will be announced soon. Finalists for The 2006 Billboard Music Awards will be announced live from Los Angeles on Monday, Nov. 27.
Featuring performances and appearances by the year's chart-topping artists, The 2006 Billboard Music Awards recognizes the year's leading artists and songs as determined by actual performance on Billboard's weekly charts. The show celebrates the record-buying, Internet-downloading and radio-listening public's favorite songs, albums and performers, creating a true souvenir of the year in music.
As lead singer and songwriter for Grammy-winners No Doubt and over the course of the group's four platinum-plus albums, Gwen Stefani has reigned as one of rock's most iconic and coolest females. With the release of "Love. Angel. Music. Baby," Stefani solidified her place as a chart-topping solo artist whose songs have dominated radio stations across the country and abroad. Stefani received five Grammy nominations and won two Billboard Music Awards in 2005. She is set to release her second solo album, "The Sweet Escape," on Dec. 5 in the U.S.
2006 is becoming the year of Chris "Ludacris" Bridges. His album "Release Therapy" recently went platinum and his single "Money Maker" has spent over a month at No. 1 on the Billboard Pop and Hip-Hop/R&B charts. His latest single, "Runaway Love" featuring Mary J. Blige, is quickly moving up the charts. Ludacris' mega-selling streak began with his debut, 2000's triple-platinum "Back For the First Time ("What's Your Fantasy" and Southern Hospitality"), followed by 2001's triple-platinum "Word of Mouf," 2003's double-platinum "Chicken-N-Beer" and 2004's double-platinum "The Red-Light District." Ludacris' talents extend beyond music; he received critical acclaim for his acting in the Oscar-winning film Crash and Oscar-nominated Hustle & Flow.
It's been a whirlwind couple of years for The Fray, the Denver-based quartet whose earnest and melodic songs have been striking a huge chord with audiences. The first single from "How To Save A Life," "Over My Head (Cable Car)," climbed into the Top-10 on the Billboard singles charts, has been certified platinum and was streamed more than 1 million times on MySpace in just one month. They are one of the most licensed bands of 2006, with their music featured on "Scrubs," "Grey's Anatomy," "What About Brian," "NCIS," "One Tree Hill" and FOX's BONES. "How To Save A Life" has now reached platinum status.
2006 has been one of Mary J. Blige's biggest years. With her chart-topping album, history-making No. 1 single, galvanizing television appearances and a sold-out tour, 2006 became the 12-month span in which the multiple-platinum-selling, Billboard Award- and Grammy-winning Queen of Hip-Hop Soul scaled new creative, personal and commercial heights. Released on Dec. 20, 2005, Blige's seventh CD, "The Breakthrough," debuted at No. 1 and sold an astonishing 727,163 copies in its first week. Since its release, "The Breakthrough" has sold nearly 3 million copies in the U.S and more than 6 million worldwide and is, so far, the biggest-selling album of 2006. With her landmark 1992 CD "What's The 411," Blige became R&B's standard-bearer, setting both its sound and style. Since her debut, Blige has earned three Grammys and three Billboard Music Awards, had seven multi-platinum albums and lent her support to many high-profile charities.
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