All-girl group Akb48 were the big winners at the third annual Billboard Japan Music Awards in Tokyo on Saturday (03Mar12), picking up the coveted Artist of the Year trophy.
Sixteen members of the 48-strong collective took the stage to accept the prize and perform a hits medley.
The group made history by becoming the first act to pick up four honours - they were also named one of five Top Pop Artists, and took home awards for Hot 100 Act of the Year and Hot 100 Single Sales of the Year.
Other Top Pop Artists were Avril Lavigne, Korean boy band Tohoshinki, girl group T-ara, and Japanese singer Juju.
Canadian star Lavigne accepted her award via satellite, and told the audience, "Thank you so much guys for listening to my music."
She wasn't the only western success story at the ceremony - Lady Gaga picked up honours for Billboard Japan Adult Contemporary Act of the Year 2011 and Billboard Japan Digital and Overseas Airplay of the Year.
Other winners included Japanese rapper Ak-69 (Independent Artist of the Year), Uehara Hiromi (Jazz Artist of the Year), Miyamoto Emiri (Classic Artist of the Year) and Kaoru to Tomoki, Tama ni Mook (New Artist).
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