In the spirit of award shows, the American Music Awards were jam-packed with musical performances and celebrities. Hosted by Saturday Night Live comedian Jay Pharoah and model Gigi Hadid, there were several exciting and moving moments during the show. Here are some of the top highlights from the 2016 AMAs.
Bruno Mars Performs “24k Magic”
Bruno Mars opened the show by performing his recent hit “24k Magic.” The upbeat song that’s been blasting out of all of our radios for the past few weeks was the perfect way to kick off the ceremony. Bruno Mars always gets everyone feeling pumped up and excited, so he was the perfect first performance. It was great to see the crowd singing and dancing along with Bruno Mars to start off the night.
In the wake of the recent election, tonight’s award show held no shortage of political talk. It seemed almost every new speaker who took the stage had some political remark to make. Many of the artists used the show as a chance to relay messages of hope and encouragement, which was nice to see. There were many political jokes made as well throughout the night. Although many of the comments were funny and relatable, the political talk did seem a little overdone. It, at times, seemed to take away from the actual music.
The Weeknd Performs “Starboy”
The Weeknd delivered a great performance of his hit single, “Starboy.” The performance was fascinating as it looked as though The Weeknd was standing inside a diamond while he performed.
Taylor Swift and Drake’s Apple Music Commercials
Both Taylor Swift and Drake’s Apple Music commercials were shown during the AMAs. Swifts showed her running on the treadmill while singing along to Drake before she gets too into it and goes flying off. They then showed Drake’s commercial, where he is working out lifting weights and singing along to Swift’s “Bad Blood” before he gets distracted and falls off his bench press. Both commercials were hysterical.
John Legend Performs “Love Me Now”
Introduced by his wife, Chrissy Teigen, John Legend gave a moving performance of his song, “Love Me Now.” The performance was accompanied by a montage of people embracing each other.
The award for Top Soundtrack was given to Prince’s Purple Rain. This was actually the third American Music Award the album had received. On behalf of Prince, his sister Tyka Nelson accepted the award for him. She delivered a moving speech in which she said, “He is still one of the world’s most respected and loved artists, but what he told me was he wanted to be known as the world’s most prolific songwriters, and with 984 titles to his credit and counting, he has done just that. In the words of Prince, ‘With love, honor, and respect for every living thing in the universe, separation ceases. And we all become one being, singing one song.’ On behalf of Prince, our wonderful friend, teacher and brother, I humbly accept this award.”
Selena Gomez Wins Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist
Selena Gomez hands down delivered the best acceptance speech of the night. The speech was heartbreakingly honest about the difficulties she has faced as a result of being in the public eye and how she was had to fight to overcome these. It was honest and brave. She said, “Most of you knew a lot of my life whether I liked it or not and I had to stop because I had everything and I was absolutely broken inside…I don’t want to see your bodies on Instagram. I want to see what’s in here … If you are broken, you do not have to stay broken.”
Award of Merit – Sting
Sting was presented the Award of Merit tonight for his lifetime achievement in music. Introduced by Robert Downy Jr., Sting sang a medley of some of his most popular hits.
Lady Gaga Performs “Million Reasons”
Veering away from her typical over-the-top award show performances, Lady Gaga sang her hit single “Million Reasons” from her new album, Joanne. The slow tempoed song allowed Gaga to give a beautifully moving performance featuring her in a simple black, western-style dress, no shoes, and playing her guitar. It was definitely one of the best performances of the night.
Maroon 5 and Kendrick Lamar perform “Don’t Wanna Know”
Maroon 5 and Kendrick Lamar were there to close out the show his the catchy and upbeat hit “Don’t Wanna Know.” They couldn’t have chose a better song and performance to close out the show with. It was a great and exciting way to finish off the night. Both Maroon 5 and Kendrick Lamar delivered and incredible performance of the song.
Below is a list of all the winners of the night:
Pop Rock Duo or Group: Twenty One Pilots
Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album: Drake – Views
Favorite Artist – Electronic Dance Music: The Chainsmokers
Favorite Country Song: Tim McGraw – “Humble and Kind”
New Artist of the Year Un-leashed by T-Mobile: Zayn
Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist: Drake
Best Soundtrack: Prince – Purple Rain
Favorite Country Duo or Group: Florida Georgia Line
Favorite Alternative Rock Artist: Twenty One Pilots
Award of Merit: Sting
Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist: Selena Gomez
Artist of the Year: Ariana Grande
Tour of the Year: Beyonce
Video of the Year: Justin Bieber – “Sorry”
Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist: Justin Bieber
Favorite Album Pop/Rock: Justin Bieber – Purpose
Favorite Song – Pop/Rock: Justin Bieber – “Love Yourself”
Favorite Male Artist – Country: Blake Shelton
Favorite Female Artist – Country: Carrie Underwood
Favorite Country Album: Carrie Underwood – Storyteller
Favorite Hip-Hop/Rap Song: Drake – “Hotline Bling”
Favorite Male Artist – Soul/R&B: Chris Brown
Favorite Album – Soul/R&B: Rihanna – Anti
Favorite Song – Soul/R&B: Rihanna feat. Drake – “Work”
Favorite Artist – Adult Contemporary: Adele
Favorite Artist – Latin: Enrique Iglesias
Favorite Artist – Contemporary Inspirational: Hillsong UNITED
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Featured image courtesy of New York Daily News