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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 December, 2003, 07:45 GMT
Kelly and Knowles dominate awards
Beyonce admitted she was nervous about making a speech
R Kelly and Beyonce Knowles picked up four awards each at the annual Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas.

Kelly - who was indicted on child pornography charges in the US last year - won two songwriting awards and two production awards.

Destiny's Child star Knowles won New Female Artist of the Year, New R&B Artist, Hot 100 Female Artist and an award for most weeks at number one.

Rap star 50 Cent, who was nominated in six categories, picked up three awards.

Absent from the ceremony, his haul included Top Rapper and Top Artist.

The awards are determined by Billboard magazine's chart listings, based on record sales and airplay.

Stevie Wonder and Sting
Stevie Wonder handed Sting his creative achievement award
British rock star Sting was handed the Century Award for Creative Achievement by Stevie Wonder.

The accolade marked 100 million album and single sales during his time with The Police and as a solo artist.

'Heal wounds'

"You can sing for millions of people in your career or maybe just one. You can sell millions of records or none at all. ... It doesn't really matter," Sting said.

"If you play music with passion and love and honesty, then it will nourish your soul, heal your wounds and make your life worth living."

Knowles, who scored her biggest hit with Crazy in Love, told the audience she was nervous about making an acceptance speech.

R Kelly
R Kelly's popularity has not been hit by his legal troubles
"I don't know what to say. I completely blank out," she said.

She added: This is amazing. This has been an incredible year."

Performers at the ceremony included No Doubt, Evanescence, Shania Twain and Pink.

Dowload recognition

Twain collected three awards on the night, including Top Country Artist and Country Album.

American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken received the award for Bestselling Single for his debut This is the Night/Bridge Over Troubled Water.

And the Black Eyed Peas were given the mainstream top 40 track award for Where is the Love.

For the first time, the Billboard Awards recognised sales of legally downloaded music, with OutKast picking up Digital Track of the Year for Hey Ya.

The awards are held to honour the year's top-selling artists.

50 Cent leads Billboard shortlist
09 Jun 03  |  Entertainment
Ashanti sweeps Billboard Awards
10 Dec 02  |  Entertainment
Beyonce leads Grammys shortlist
05 Dec 03  |  Entertainment
R Kelly compares himself to Bin Laden
14 Sep 03  |  Entertainment

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