By Robyn Forbes
The American Music Awards are the world’s largest fan-voted awards show, and this year’s show was presented by YouTube Music and hosted and executive produced by the fabulous Tracee Ellis Ross. It also welcomed a plethora of presenters ranging from singing sister duo, ChloexHalle, to beloved actor John Stamos.
Rapper Cardi B received the first award of the night for Best Rap/Hip-hop Artist. It served not only as the first award of the night, but the first of her music career. Rap artist Offset, who happens to be Cardi B’s husband, also won his first AMA with the Migos.
Cardi also performed her Billboard Hot 100 hit “I Like It” with Bad Bunny and J Balvin, delivering a performance that quickly became a fan favorite. Trumpets ushered in the playing of the Spanglish bop while Cardi lay sprawled out on a rotating block of stage amidst colorful palm trees and strobe lights. Cardi, who was nominated in eight categories, tied with Drake for the most nominations of the evening.
Mariah Carey performed “With You”, a song from her upcoming album, and Ciara performed a high-energy medley of her songs “Level Up” and “Dose” with a cameo from Hip-hop legend Missy Elliot. During the performance cameras panned over to a lady in the audience: Mary Halsey, a Rhode Island native who became internet famous for her karaoke rendition of “Work It”. She has come to be known by the public as ‘Missy’s Funky White Sister’.
Camila Cabello took home New Artist of the Year, her first AMA as a solo artist. It was the second most anticipated award of the evening and Camila excitedly accepted it with a slight stumble on her way up the steps to the stage and an enthusiastic vote of thanks to her parents.
Prior to this year’s awards singer-songwriter Taylor Swift held 19 AMAs– three less than it would take to set a record for most AMAs held by any music artist ever. She won four last night: Tour of the Year, Pop/Rock Female Artist, Pop/Rock Album, and finally, the most anticipated award of the evening Artist of the Year. With her last words on stage she thanked her fans, expressed her excitement for things to come, and finally reminded viewers and the audience to “get out and vote” on November 6.
Taylor’s brief promotion of civil engagement was not the only one of its kind for the evening. Aside from Swift’s reminders at each of her acceptances, one of host Tracee Ellis Ross’ several outfits of the night was a simple white T-shirt that read ‘I am a voter’ paired with a floor length red skirt. Actor and comedian Billy Eichner teamed up with fellow comedian and actor Kathryn Hahn to encourage young Americans to vote in “ the biggest election of our lives” before presenting Shawn Mendes with the award for Adult Contemporary Artist.
Mendes performed “Lost in Japan” and Ella Mai’s performance of “Boo’d Up” picked up seamlessly after his as she walked up the aisle singing alongside the crowd before taking the round stage.
The night ended with a beautifully over the top tribute to the late Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin by the Empress of Soul, Gladys Knight. Gospel acts Cece Winans, Donnie McClurkin, and Mary Mary also lended their voices to the tribute.
Source:: The Harbinger