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Photos: Music stars at 2012 BMAs are the best free advertising for Las Vegas

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Mike Fisher and Carrie Underwood arrive at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, May 20, 2012.
Photo: Tom Donoghue/DonoghuePhotography.com

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2012 Billboard Music Awards: Arrivals and Backstage

Billboard Music Awards 2012

2012 Billboard Music Awards: The Show

Justin Bieber loves Las Vegas - from YouTube.com

Justin Bieber loves Las Vegas - from YouTube.com

2012 BMAs arrivals - from YouTube.com

Katy Perry's Wide Awake - from YouTube.com

Pop superstar and heartthrob Justin Bieber may have done more for Las Vegas tourism in the past 48 hours than any advertising buy made by our hard-working Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Everywhere he went, The Biebs said, “I love Vegas, yes. I am having the best time. I always love to come out here -- nice weather and nice people.”

He said it on the arrivals carpet, and he said it backstage. He also said similar when he hit N9NE Steakhouse at the Palms with pal Chris Brown after the 2012 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday.

In fact, he never stopped saying it as contributing videographer Richard Corey’s video posted to YouTube shows.

Richard’s post-BMAs press conference video includes Stevie Wonder, LMFAO and Robin Thicke.

The chorus of praise for our Entertainment Capital of the World continued with hometown dazzler Katy Perry, who won the Spotlight Award for charting five No. 1 singles from an album. She wowed onstage on a high-flying swing wearing an all-white, bride-like gown with an ex-husband Russell Brand lookalike and twirling acrobats. She promised to take her 91-year-old grandmother, Ann Hudson, who lives here, to party on the Strip doing shots.

Katy’s divorce from the British comic actor becomes final in two weeks, and she’s used the past two years of her up-and-down romantic life as fodder for the first-ever performance of her new single “Wide Awake,” with its lyrics, “Falling from Cloud 9 to falling on the concrete. How did I read the stars so wrong?” Her 3-D film “Part of Me” hits theaters July 5.

Scantily clad Miley Cyrus said she wished that she had time to escape her hotel suite and dive in the pool; she could only look down from her window. “It’s the perfect place to cool off from the heat” she said. “I’d stay longer, but I have five dogs back home to get back to look after.”

But it was the boys of LMFAO (Redfoo and nephew Sky Blu) who paid Las Vegas the biggest compliment of the star endorsements. They kicked off the three-hour ABC show with a medley of hits that featured a dancing zebra and a pink bear.

Their “Party Rock Anthem” won Billboard’s Hot 100 Single Award. “Vegas is the best place to party,” they said, acknowledging that Las Vegas gave the group its start, and they now seem to have gigs on as many nights as there are in a week -- and certainly at just as many clubs. “Vegas has been so good to us and for us,” they agreed. “We love this place -- it’s the only place to party.” Sky Blu performed his debut dayclub set Sunday afternoon at MGM Grand’s Wet Republic before the awards.

Keeping score? Adele dominated, winning an incredible 12 honors. I was told that her rise to fame and fortune had come so fast that she’d decided to hide out in England and not come to our party capital. LMFAO grabbed six awards, and Lil Wayne and Coldplay each won four awards.

The show also featured three special awards:

*Taylor Swift, 22, made history as the youngest woman to receive the coveted Woman of the Year Award. She is the only female performer in history to score three No. 1 consecutive albums, each selling more than 5 million copies each.

*Stevie Wonder was honored with the Icon Award and performed with Alicia Keys.

*Whitney Houston was posthumously honored with the Millennium Award presented by Whoopi Goldberg to Whitney’s daughter Bobbi Kristina as John Legend and Jordin Sparks sang her hits.

Producers also acknowledged the deaths of Bee Gees founder Robin Gibb over the weekend and Donna Summer last week, both from cancer, with Natasha Bedingfield singing “Last Dance.” Cee Lo Green with Goodie Mob paid tribute to Beastie Boys founder Adam Yauch, who also died recently from cancer, with “Fight For Your Right (to Party)” danced by one-legged marvel Jean Sok from Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour.”

Check out the minute-by-minute coverage of the awards by Senior Editor John Katsilometes at LasVegasSun.com.

ABC officials confirmed to me that the 2013 Billboard Music Awards will return to Las Vegas next year -- then Miley might just make it to the pool. As far as the music superstars are concerned, “What Happens in Vegas” deserves to be broadcast around the world. In fact, more than 70 million people in more than 100 countries watched the 2012 BMAs. It’s great promotion for our city.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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