Usher, The Weeknd and Ariana Grande headline iHeartRadio Music Awards

By Marianne Garvey, CNN

(CNN) – On Thursday night, iHeartMedia celebrated music’s biggest stars with the eighth annual iHeartRadio Music Awards, hosted by Usher.

Performers included The Weeknd and Ariana Grande, who opened the show with “Save Your Tears,” Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak (Silk Sonic), Dan + Shay and Doja Cat.

Elton John was awarded the 2021 iHeartRadio Icon Award, presented by presented by Chris Martin and Lil Nas X and was treated to a tribute performance from Brandi Carlile, Demi Lovato and H.E.R.

Among those who made special appearances throughout the night were Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa, Roddy Ricch, twenty one pilots, Megan Thee Stallion, LL Cool J, Nelly, Machine Gun Kelly, French Montana, Lil Jon, Robin Thicke, Joel McHale, Oliver Stark, Ryan Guzman, Gabby Barrett, Ava Max and Raphael Saadiq.

Usher also performed a medley of his hits, including “Confessions,” “Love In This Club,” “U Don’t Have To Call,” “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love,” and “Scream.” Lil Jon surprised the crowd by pulling up in a 1972 Impala to join Usher on stage for a performance of “Yeah.”

The show aired live from the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.

Winners included The Weeknd for Song of the Year for “Blinding Lights,” Female Artist of the Year went to Dua Lipa, Male Artist of the Year to The Weeknd, Best New Pop Artist to Doja Cat, and Alternative Rock Album of the Year to Machine Gun Kelly for “Tickets to My Downfall.”

See the full list of winners here.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MAY 27: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) In this image released on May 27, Usher speaks onstage at the 2021 iHeartRadio Music Awards at The Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California, which was broadcast live on FOX on May 27, 2021. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

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