Backstage at Billboard Music Awards: Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus Mingle

Curious reunions and slick exits yielded as much to gawk at offstage as on, like these 10 things seen and heard by THR.
John Shearer/Invision/AP

The scene backstage at the Billboard Music Awards was wall-to-wall stars as music luminaries -- and their ginormous posses -- crowded into the narrow hallways of Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Arena on Sunday night.

Not quite as much action offstage as on -- where Justin Bieber defended his craft, Kid Rock chewed out lip-syncers, Miguel accidentally kicked a girl in the head and Nicki Minaj presented another racy, possibly TV-inappropriate performance, there was still plenty to gawk at, like these 10 things you didn't see on TV.

1. How does Black Eyed Peas founder-turned-solo artist Will.I.Am greet the ladies of Icona Pop? By telling the two Swedes how he feels about their hit song. Said Will: “I love it!” -- without a hint of irony. The three then swapped fashion tips seconds before Will was to take the stage.

2. Chad Kroeger and Avril Lavigne, the Canadian music couple that’s soon to wed, made the quick dash to Vegas so that the future bride can perform her latest song, “Here’s to Never Growing Up.” Word is Lavigne has been busy shopping for wedding dresses, but that topic was not on the agenda as she said a quick hello to Miley Cyrus.

3. Speaking of matrimony, it seems even the head of a major talent agency is fond of Las Vegas’ drive-through wedding chapels. Although he prefers to remain nameless -- perhaps a surprise is in store? -- one such uber-powerful music executive is planning on renewing vows with his wife in Sin City’s iconic Little White Wedding Chapel.

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4. Taylor Swift graciously congratulated country newcomers Florida Georgia Line shortly after the performance of her latest single, “22.” If only she could have extended the same courtesy to a reporter who innocently asked for her opinion on Justin Bieber’s Milestone Award.

5. The biggest and buzziest artist to roam the arena: none other than Madonna, of course, who was seen taking photos with The Band Perry near her dressing room, then stopping to chat with Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne just before the two rappers took the stage for an NC-17 performance of Minaj’s “High School.”

6. Vegas headliners collided when Celine Dion stopped to chat with Loberace star Cee-Lo Green. Not long after, Ne-Yo paused to give Dion a kiss on the cheek, followed by a stop-and-chat.

7. An interview with Kelly Rowland, the subject of many X Factor-related rumors in recent days, would have been a big score for any journalist, but she wasn't talking. Rather, after presenting the award for top EDM artist, she quickly changed out of her gown and into jeans and a T-shirt so she could better sneak her way out undetected.

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8. Besties Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift were shown in several cutaways throughout the night’s broadcast, grooving and singing along to the performances. The fun didn’t stop when the curtain came down, though, as the two were overheard making plans to meet up after the show.

9. Ever the doting wife, Celine Dion was spotted wiping her husband Rene Angelil’s brow with a towel dabbed in bottled water. Indeed, it was a scorcher Sunday in Vegas, with a high of 87 degrees, which may explain why a Selena-Celine summit didn’t transpire, even though the teen star walked right by the diva outside the venue.

10. The afterparty at Marquee, located inside the Cosmopolitan Hotel, had a surprise in store: a performance by Jason Derulo, who delivered a hit-heavy mini-set while accompanied by a troupe of dancers. Also in the house: Hayden Panetierre, wearing denim short shorts, and David Arquette, who played MC most of the night.

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