HE IS already in the media spotlight as one of the world’s highest paid DJs and the new beau of pop singer Taylor Swift.
But now Calvin Harris – who started his working life stacking shelves for Marks & Spencer in Dumfries – has been named top of his industry at a glittering awards ceremony in Las Vegas.
Harris, 31, picked up the gong for the top dance/electronic artist at the Billboard Music Awards, which also saw British singer Sam Smith named top male artist, among other awards.
The former pupil of Dumfries High School, who has shot to stardom in recent years with hits such as I’m Not Alone and Ready for the Weekend, took to Twitter to express his delight at winning the award.
“Wow I won top dance/electronic artist at Billboard Awards thank you!!!!!!!” he tweeted.
His girlfriend Swift, with whom he was first linked romantically in February, was a big winner at the ceremony, winning in eight of the 14 categories in which she was nominated including the fan-voted Billboard chart achievement prize and the night’s biggest honour, top artist.
“I love you so much, more than I will be able to say to you”Taylor Swift
Swift sat in the front row next to the Scottish DJ and the pair kissed and cuddled throughout the evening, especially when he congratulated her as her name was called again and again from the stage. During the breaks, she reportedly proudly introduced her new boyfriend to her friends, including singer Nick Jonas.
Harris, who became the first Scot to top the US charts for 18 years in 2011, also joked with Ed Sheeran, one of Swift’s best friends, as they watched the ceremony. Swift’s brother, Austin, was also part of the group.
The show opened with the debut of Swift’s highly anticipated music video for Bad Blood, starring a long cast list of her celebrity friends including Cara Delevingne, Lena Dunham, Ellie Goulding, Selena Gomez, Hailee Steinfeld, Karlie Kloss and Cindy Crawford.
The former country singer spoke of her joy at scoring the award for top Billboard 200 album for her first pop album 1989.
Dressed in a white jumpsuit with cut-out panels, she said: “I am so happy to win this for 1989 because I worked with so many amazing people who are so talented and we put it out and you embraced change. I love you so much, more than I will be able to say to you.”
Smith, who is recovering from throat surgery and could not attend the Las Vegas ceremony, thanked his fans using flash cards in a surprise video message. The singer, who also won top new artist and top radio songs artist at the star-studded show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, paid tribute to his fans.
Using the flash cards, he said: “Thank you Billboard for this incredible honour. Secondly, thank you to my amazing fans. It’s times like this that I realise how lucky I am to have you in my life.
“I can’t wait to get this surgery out of the way so I can sing my ass off for you again.”
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea won top rap song for Fancy, her collaboration with Charli XCX.
Coldplay won in the rock album category for Ghost Stories.
During the show, the crowd was treated to a performance of Scots band Simple Minds’s hit Don’t You (Forget About Me) from the film The Breakfast Club, which was released 30 years ago – in the presence of star Molly Ringwald.
In tribute to the late singer Ben E King rock band Imagine Dragons performed Stand By Me to an audience that included the late singer’s daughters and granddaughters.
Presenter Ludacris also gave a touching tribute to blues star BB King, who died last Thursday.
The show closed with a dramatic performance of new single All Day and 2013 hit Black Skinhead from rapper Kanye West, who was met with a mix of cheers and boos from the crowd in Las Vegas.
The star rapped in silhouette in front of pyrotechnic effects but was largely muted in the US television broadcast.
The winners are …
Top artist: Taylor Swift
Top new artist: Sam Smith
Top male artist: Sam Smith
Top female artist: Taylor Swift
Top duo/group: One Direction
Top Billboard 200 artist: Taylor Swift
Top Hot 100 artist: Taylor Swift
Top digital songs artist: Taylor Swift
Top radio songs artist: Sam Smith
Top touring artist One Direction
Top R&B artist: Pharrell Williams
Top rap artist: Iggy Azalea
Top country artist: Florida Georgia Line
Top rock artist: Hozier
Top dance/electronic artist: Calvin Harris
Top Billboard 200 album: Taylor Swift 1989
Top soundtrack: Frozen
Top R&B album: Pharrell G I R L
Top rap album: J Cole 2014 Forest Hill Drive
Top country album: Jason Aldean Old Boots, New Dirt
Top rock album: Coldplay Ghost Stories
Top dance/electronic album: Lindsey Stirling Shatter Me
Top Hot 100 song: Meghan Trainor All About That Bass
Top digital song: Meghan Trainor All About That Bass
Top radio song: John Legend All Of Me
Top R&B song: Pharrell Happy
Top rap song: Iggy Azalea Feat. Charli XCX Fancy
Top country song: Jason Aldean Burnin’ It Down
Top rock song: Hozier Take Me To Church
Top dance/electronic song: DJ Snake & Lil Jon Turn Down For What
Billboard chart achievement award: Taylor Swift