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AMAs Recap

Igor Zalbidea Photo, Courtesy of Flickr

The 44th annual American Music Awards took place this past Sunday, Nov. 20, live from Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater. Every year, the show rounds up some of the biggest names in music for one special night of performances, red carpet interviews, and awards.

The show, which was aired on ABC, puts the power in the hands of the fans, who are able to vote online for their favorite artists. Sweeping the nominations this time around were Drake, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, and Adele.

Daniel Gregory Photo, Courtesy of Flickr
Daniel Gregory Photo, Courtesy of Flickr

Bruno Mars started off the show with a performance of his newest single, “24K Magic.” Mars has just recently made a comeback — the last time we saw him was during his “Uptown Funk” era.

After his opening, hosts Gigi Hadid and Jay Pharoah took over for a few minutes to warm up the crowd and crack a few political jokes before presenting the first award of the night. The award, which was for Favorite Pop/Rock Duo or Group, went to Twenty One Pilots. This was the first AMA for the group, who proved to be victorious over fellow nominees The Chainsmokers and DNCE.

Drake, another big winner of the evening, claimed the award for Favorite Hip-hop album with “Views.” The hip-hop star also took the title for greatest number of nominations with a grand total of 13, shattering Michael Jackson’s reigning record of 11.

Two out of five members of One Direction made individual appearances throughout the night, yet sadly there was no interaction between them. First, Niall Horan took to the stage for an acoustic performance of his debut single, “This Town.” Later on, ZAYN secured a win for Best New Artist.

Other performers of the night included Fifth Harmony, who took to the stage for a theatrical performance of “That’s My Girl.” 5H member Lauren Jauregui just recently made headlines after slamming Trump supporters and for coming out as bisexual.

Jedd Lopez Photo, Courtesy of Flickr
Jedd Lopez Photo, Courtesy of Flickr

Halfway through the show, Justin Bieber gave a performance of “Let Me Love You,” which was aired live from his concert in Italy. James Bay made his AMAs stage debut with his performance of “Let It Go” — his biggest hit in the US. Green Day had everyone politically-charged when they utilized part of their stage time with a “No Trump. No KKK” chant.

Fans also saw Shawn Mendes, Maroon 5 and Kendrick Lamar, Super Bowl LI halftime performer Lady Gaga, Green Day, duo Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj, and Sting. Of course, the night was not complete without The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey’s performance of “Closer,” —the single that made it #1 on the Billboard chart for more than 10 weeks and has been played nonstop on radio stations across the US since its summer debut.

The most anticipated award of the night was for Artist of the Year. Nominees of this category included Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, Rihanna, and Carrie Underwood. Ending the night, Grande took home the prestigious award after giving an emotional speech.

Highlights from the evening can be found on and a complete list of winners can be found here.


Feature Image: Igor Zalbidea Photo, Courtesy of Flickr

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AMAs Recap