Apple on Wednesday announced the winners of the second annual Apple Music Awards, recognizing musicians who have had an impact on global culture. Awards were again handed out in five categories, with winners selected through a process that reflected Apple Music’s editorial perspective and popular listener opinion (number of streams).
Rapper Lil Baby was named artist of the year, following in the footsteps of Billie Eilish in 2019. He had billions of global streams and multiple tracks from his album My Turn topped Apple Music charts.
“This year has changed me a lot,” Lil Baby said in a news release. “Now that I’m an artist, I feel like my voice can get heard through my music and I needed to say something. And my fans listened.”
The Breakthrough Artist of the Year award went to Megan Thee Stallion, who released two No. 1 singles and on Friday will release her debut album. Her collaboration with Cardi B on “WAP” and with Beyoncé on the “Savage” remix have together been played on Apple Music more than 300 million times.
Taylor Swift was named Songwriter of the Year for Folklore. The album instantly topped the Apple Music albums chart and set the record for the most-streamed pop album on release day.
“Winning Songwriter of the Year in any capacity in any year would be so exciting, but I think it’s really special this particular year because songwriting was the one thing that kept me connected to my fans,” Swift said in a written statement. “It means a lot to me because the way that fans respond to the songs I write, and the emotional exchange, is what has really kept me going this year.”
The Top Song of the Year award went to “The Box,” by Roddy Ricch. According to Apple Music, it was the year’s biggest and most popular single, accumulating more than 460 million Apple Music streams. The artist also got the award for Top Album of the Year, for Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial.
“Winning this award motivates me to work even harder. This is confirmation that I am on the right track and doing what I gotta do to be the greatest in my own right,” he said in a written statement.
In 2019, Eilish performed a live set from the company’s Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino that was attended by contest winners that was streamed online. This year, there will be a weeklong celebration with performances, fan events and interviews streaming on Apple Music, Apple Music TV and the Apple TV app. It begins on Dec. 14.