The 45th annual American Music Awards was hosted by the sassy, intelligent actress, Tracee Ellis Ross at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, California on Nov. 19. Many talented artists assembled yearly for the event to enjoy the achievements of themselves and their peers and the 16 versatile performances of the night.
These fantastic artists are all chosen based on the Billboard charts, meaning the listeners have sole control over who is chosen. The artists do not have to be American, although it is called the American Music Awards, to vie for an award or even to perform. BTS, a K-Pop mega-group, has been chosen to perform this year at the awards.
Jamie Foxx and his daughter opened the show by showing love and appreciation for the first responders of this year’s tragedies. Some of those heroes were present on the stage. Following this heartfelt speech, P!nk and Kelly Clarkson performed a cover of R.E.M’S “Everybody Hurts” and filled the audience with emotions as the artists’ beautiful melodious voices echoed through the arena.
Next, Demi Lovato performed her hit single “Sorry Not Sorry.” The performance began with the presentation of mean tweets on the screen in the background as a means of bringing awareness to bullying. Lovato emerged from the audience before heading onstage.
Selena Gomez performed for the first time since her kidney transplant earlier this year. She performed her new single “Wolves” with Marshello on the piano. She wore a silk, lingerie-like dress, complemented by the dancers, who wore white medieval-like undergarments. The scenery was similar to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” because it presented an old broken down car in the forest at night.
The most memorable performance was P!nk’s. P!nk performed “Beautiful Traumas” while scaling a JW Marriott hotel. This was similar to her gravity-defying 2014 Grammy’s performance, but instead of remaining in the confines of an arena, this time, she chose to sing stories above the ground. If she held any anxiety, her vocals did not reveal it.
Another memorable performance of the night was that of BTS, who made their television debut on American TV at the ceremony, though they debuted in South Korea four years ago. The arena was in a frenzy after their performance, and even the presenter Jared Leto, frontman of the band Thirty Seconds to Mars, said that he needed “a moment to recover from that performance.”
The night was filled with great expectations, especially for “24K Magic” singer, Bruno Mars, who was nominated for a total of eight awards. Mars had the most nominations of all of the artists this year. He received total seven of the eight for the night. Sadly, Mars, was unable to attend the awards, but he sent a video acceptance speech to claim his award of “Artist of the Year.” Lady Gaga also could not be physically present at the show, but this did not stop her. She performed live from her Washington D.C. tour singing her smash hit “The Cure” while wearing a stunning embezzled dress and matching eye makeup.
Keith Urban emerged as another big winner of the night. When Urban was pronounced “Favorite Country Artist of the Year,” the presenters surprised him with two additional awards for “The Best Country Song” and “Country Album of the Year.” His hands were so filled with awards that his wife Nicole Kidman had to accept some
Christina Aguilera did a tribute to the late Whitney Houston in honor of the 25th anniversary of “The Bodyguard,” a film in which Houston had starred. Aguilera performed a selection of Houston’s songs from the film’s soundtrack, hailed as the most successful movie soundtrack of all time.
The night continued on a bittersweet note as Linkin Park won the “Favorite Alternative Rock Artist” award while the vocals of their late frontman, Chester Bennington, from one of their final songs as a group echoed across the room. The lyric “Who cares if one more light goes out” that Bennington sang struck too close to home, but their bandmates proved that they do care by dedicating that win to their fallen star.
It was a family event for the legendary Motown artist, Diana Ross who had received her “Lifetime Achievement Award” after she treated the audience with a timeline of her songs throughout the years. She proved that age is nothing but a number in her clenched black gown with a matching purple and black shawl, and her vocals have stood the test of time as they were just as powerful in this performance as ever. During her last song, she qued for all of her grandchildren to come on stage. Her grandson, Raif-Henok Emmanuel Kendrick, completely stole the show from behind her, literally. He began to dance up a storm behind his grandmother and even did splits, proving that the apple does not fall far from the tree.
With Ross was her Motown family, both Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown, and Smokey Robinson, former frontman for Motown group The Miracles, was on stage to help bask in Ross’ glory. Ross family helped present the award from the oldest to the youngest. The audience could feel the love and admiration of everyone on that stage for Ross.
Here’s List of the Winners from Sunday Night’s event
- Favorite Pop Rock Duo/ Group: Imagine Dragon
- Favorite Rap/ Hip-Hop Song: DJ Khalid ft Justin Bieber, Quavo, Lil Wayne, Chance the rapper
- Favorite Country Artist: Keith Urban
- Favorite Country Song: Keith Urban
- Favorite Country Album: Keith Urban
- Favorite EDM artist: The Chainsmokers
- Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist: Shawn Mendes
- Pop/Rock Female Artist: Lady Gaga
- New Artist of the Year: Niall Horan
- Tour of the Year: Garth Brooks
- Video of the Year: Bruno Mars
- Collaboration of the Year: Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee
- Favorite Alternative Rock Artist- Linkin Park
- Artist of the Year: Bruno Mars
- Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist: Drake
- Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album of the Year: Kendrick Lamar
- Favorite Female Soul/R&B Artist: Beyoncé
- Favorite Soul/R&B Song: Bruno Mars
- Lifetime Achievement Award – Diana Ross
- Favorite Album of the Year – 24 k Magic
- Favorite Latin Artist – Shakira
- Top Soundtrack – Moana
- Favourite Contemporary Inspirational Artist – Lauren Daigle