BEST: Celine Dion and Puffy Bring 1997 Back
Arriving one after another, Sean "Puffy" Combs and Celine Dion were a brief respite from the Billboard Music Awards' relentless focus on chart positions and Vegas-styled MOR pop. Combs took the stage to pay tribute to the Notorious B.I.G., the rap legend who would now be 45 had he not been tragically murdered on March 9, 1997. Combs then invited Biggie's son C.J. Wallace to speak a few words. Although he ended with an ad for an upcoming iTunes documentary, Can't Stop Won't Stop: The Bad Boy Story, the tribute was touching. The same could be said of Celine Dion's deathless ballad, "My Heart Will Go On." Amidst a chandelier of sparkling lights, Dion sang a rendition of her theme to Titanic that left much of the audience in the tears; afterward, you could tell that co-host Vanessa Hudgens had trouble resuming her corny antics with Ludacris. Together, Combs and Dion reminded viewers that pop culture has a glorious past worth emulating.