American Music Awards

American Music Awards

Gabrielle Meas, Reporter

American Music Awards

In 1973, Dick Clark founded the American Music Awards. AMAs award awards in particular genres, including pop/rock, alternative rock, country, rap/hip-hop, soul/r&b, adult contemporary, contemporary inspirational, Latin, EDM, and soundtrack, along with more general categories such as new artist, album, collaboration, and artist of the year. Every year artists are nominated based on key fan interactions – as reflected on the Billboard charts – including streaming, album and digital song sales, radio airplay, and social activity. Whoever has the most votes from the fans, that artist nominee wins that award depending on the artist category. Every year, artists and fans gather to watch and celebrate their favorite celebrities at the event. In the big industry, every award ceremony has an artist that performs during the ceremony, but this year is a little different.

The American Music Awards aired live on Sunday night, November 22, 2020, 4:00 PM PST, and some of the biggest names in music won home awards. Taraji P. Henson held a show at The Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, and with the Covid-19 protocols in place, the show had several live shows, presenters, and even a small audience. The Weekend and Roddy Ricch led the event with eight nominations each. Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes opened the show with their new single, “Monster.” Bieber also played two of his hit songs, “Lonely” and “Holy.” Katy Perry took the stage for the first time since she became a mom and performed “Only Love” with Darius Rucker. Katy Perry was joined by Darius Rucker for an intimate and heartfelt special collaboration of “Only Love.” The Weeknd lit up Downtown Los Angeles with an electrifying performance of “In Your Eyes,” featuring saxophone legend Kenny G, and “Save Your Tears,” accompanied by a vibrant fireworks display.

Billie Ellish gave a spectacular world premiere performance of her new song, “Therefore I Am,” with an appearance from her brother and producer, Finneas, who accompanied her on the guitar. Rapper Nelly energized fans with a performance of his hits from his debut album, “Country Grammar,” celebrating 20 years since its release. Surprises included legendary comedian Cedric The Entertainer – with an intro parroting his skit on Nelly’s first album – and St. Lunatic City Spud, who joined Nelly for “Ride Wit Me.” Jennifer Lopez and Maluma, steamed up the stage with a sultry rendition of “Pa’ Ti” and “Lonely.” The duo rehearsed 50 hours in less than two weeks to deliver the jaw-dropping, world premiere performance to the stage. Megan Thee Stallion brought hot girl energy to the stage with the world premiere performance of her body confidence anthem “BODY.” Earlier in AMAs weekend, Megan The Stallion connected with a lucky group of her fans for a virtual hangout via Messenger Rooms.

Hip-Hop/R&B legends, Bell Biv DeVoe did not disappoint with their high energy performance of their hits, “Do Me (Remix),” and “Poison,” ending their heart-thumping dance induced performance with a sign of unity by raising their fists. Lewis Capaldi gave a soulful, moving performance of his smash hit “Before You Go” that was satisfyingly haunting. Dua Lipa, remote from the Royal Albert Hall in London, delivered an elevated performance of “Levitating,” brought to viewers by Xfinity. Machine Gun Kelly, with a special appearance by drummer Travis Barker, gave electrifying guitar-laden performances of his hits, “my ex’s best friend” and “Bloody Valentine.” Dan + Shay had everyone singing along at home with their fan-favorite, chart-topper “I Should Probably Go To Bed.” 24KGoldn + Iann Dior took to the stage for a spirited performance of their chart-topping hit “Mood,” against a lively backdrop of kaleidoscopic visuals. Shawn Mendes stunned fans with an evocative performance of “Wonder” delivered with soul-stirring power. Lil Baby commanded the stage with a striking performance of “Emotionally Scarred,” with a message expressing the importance of mental health. Bebe Rexha and Doja Cat gave an upbeat performance of their catchy collaboration “Baby, I’m Jealous,” while donning outfits reminiscent of their music video. BTS closed out the night, remote from Seoul, South Korea, with a vibrant nearly six-minute performance of their newly released song ”Life Goes On” and fan-favorite hit “Dynamite.”

Winner Highlights of the “2020 American Music Awards:” Taylor Swift led the pack winning the most coveted honor of the night, Artist of the Year, as well as honors for Favorite Music Video for her pop hit, “Cardigan” and Favorite Female Pop/Rock Artist. In her remote acceptance speech from the studio, Swift revealed she is now re-recording her previous albums. Justin Bieber earned three AMA wins for Favorite Male Pop/Rock Artist, Collaboration of the Year, and Favorite Country Song, the latter two for his team up with Dan+Shay for their song “10,000 Hours.”

The Weeknd took home three honors for Favorite Male Soul/R&B Artist, Favorite Soul/R&B Album and Favorite Soul/R&B Song. BTS won two trophies for Favorite Social Artist and Favorite Pop Group. Nicki Minaj won two AMAs for Favorite Female Rap Artist and Favorite Latin Song for her hit collaboration, “Tusa,” with Colombian reggaeton artist KAROL G. Doja Cat walked away with two wins for Favorite New Artist and Favorite Female Soul/R&B Artist. Winning in two of the four newly expanded Latin categories, reggaeton superstar Bad Bunny took AMAs for Favorite Male Latin Artist and Favorite Latin Album. Becky G. gave an inspiring acceptance speech for her Favorite Female Latin Artist win, honoring Latin artists and others who inspired her to follow her dreams.