“Beyonce has always been an Icon to me,” Fergie told THR from Las Vegas Sunday.
Sunday night’s Billboard Music Awards were all about two B’s: Britney Spears, making her not-so-long awaited comeback with two performances on the MGM Grand stage (the first with Rihanna to open the show and the second later on with Nicki Minaj), and Beyonce Knowles, who received the magazine’s prestigious Millenium Award and performed her new single “(Run The World) Girls” for the first time on television.
Ever since breaking from Destiny’s Child in 2003, Beyonce has sold upwards of 11 million albums and 25 million singles in under 10 years marking one of the most successful -- and seamless -- transitions from group leader to solo artist. It’s a feat that’s not lost on her former group-mate Kelly Rowland, who got emotional during the video presentation, which featured tributes by First Lady Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, Bono, and Beyonce's parents Tina and Mathew Knowles (see clip blow). “I had tears because I was just so happy that there was a moment for her and it was brilliant,” Rowland told THR backstage. “The presentation was so beautiful and it's just what she deserves.”
Rowland wasn’t the only one singing Beyonce’s praises. The pop diva’s peers and admirers were aglow when asked on the white carpet: “When did you first realize that Beyonce was an icon?”
Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott: “When I saw Beyonce perform with Tina Turner on the Grammys. I loved her before and I loved Destiny's Child, but I just remember thinking, ‘Wow she's going to be around for a really long time.’ Beyonce is probably at the top of my list of female artists that I really admire and look up to.”
Matthew Morrison: “It was ‘Single Ladies.’ As a singer-dancer myself, I know how hard and how rare it is to have that combination. Beyonce is so amazing at both and then to see her act as well in Dreamgirls, it’s pretty amazing…”
Fergie: “I met her a long time ago. I was in a group called Wild Orchid and we met Destiny's Child in an airport right before their first album came out. But Beyonce has always been an Icon to me. She's one of the most talented artists of our generation.”
Trey Songz: “I'm a huge Beyonce fan. I fell in love with her and knew she was a superstar from ‘No No No No No.’ Her voice is incredible and she's beautiful, but I’ve also seen how hard she's worked to get everything she has. She's dedicated and truly talented and I think she's shown through the years she can persevere through everything that's happened with Destiny's Child and people being mad at her for being kicking people out of the group. She's a superstar, an Idol, and the face of global music.”
OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder: “’Crazy in Love.’ The song was great and with Jay-Z being the biggest thing in the world at that time big upping her, that was the moment. I saw the video and saw her do it on TV and I thought she’s the best. And she can hit every note live that she does on the record. It's unbelievable. I've worked with enough singers to know that that just doesn't happen.”
Kelly Rowland: “I knew when I met her. I knew because I loved her voice.”