Sunday marked a big night for the music industry, with the annual American Music Awards taking place to the tune (get it?) of a much tamer show than expected.
The AMAs is notoriously popular, features copious amounts of performances and never is short on star power. But really the only thing you need to know that separates it from the pack is that the fans choose the winners.
And if you’re a little late to the party, let me just fill you in. Almost always anything voted on by the fans will go to Taylor Swift, and Sunday was no different.
T Swift took home awards for Favorite Country Album, Favorite Country Female Artist, Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist and (insert surprised face here) Artist of the Year.
Speaking of crossing over genres, Justin Timberlake took home the other half of the awards, winning in the male category for pop/rock and soul/R&B artist. I’m really not going to complain though because he’s so nice to look at. Do you think his NSYNC buddies are super jealous?
Besides the Taylor and Justin Show, Rihanna did manage to squeeze in winning the first-ever Icon Award.
In perhaps the most confusing presentation, Bill Maher introduced Rihanna, and America collectively scratched their head for the rest of the night in confusion at this arrangement.
BadgalRiRi then took to the stage to perform her uber hit “Diamonds,” and America continued to scratch their heads in confusion as to how someone can be so flawless.
With all the star power that sat in the room before her, RiRi’s mother presented her with her Icon Award, complete with a thick Jamaican accent and plenty of tears, hugs and touching moments.
I know I’m probably the only one in the universe interested in the actual award aspect of the show, so let’s now skip to the interesting part—the performances.
A total of 16 acts took stage from every genre, so let’s hit the high and low notes (see what I did there?)
My girl Katy Perry opened the show, questionably, in every set piece from the movie Memoirs of a Geisha.
I’m so mad at myself about this one, but One Direction performed and it wasn’t all boy-bandy and annoying, it was emotional and great. And I actually liked the song. I’m so open-minded now.
TLC reunited, sort of, with Lil Mama taking the place of Left Eye, who died in 2002. The performance was a complete buzzkill. We had more energy and better vocals in songs we did in my high school show choir. It was no Destiny’s Child reunion to say the least.
Buzzkill #2, Christina Aguilera performed with some guy I’ve never heard of or seen before in my life. Obviously, Xtina sounded and looked jaw dropping but the performance was show stoppingly boring. Snoozefest zzzzz.
Ke$ha and Pitbull performed and all I could think was “Ke$ha is still a thing?” Kind of thought she was in jail?
Florida Georgia Line performed the catchiest song of the year “Cruise” with Nelly in a performance I’ve seen twelve times already. I love them, but they’ll be playing this song at weddings until they die.
Some girl that looked like Selena Gomez sang in Jennifer Hudson’s sequin dress from Dream Girls but she annoyed me so much on the red carpet I muted the whole performance. But apparently everyone loved it. Gaga gave her a standing ovation, so basically she’s validated and now I have to become an Ariana Grande fan. Ugh.
JT and the Sunshine Kids or whatever Timberlake’s band is called gave probably one of my favorite performances of the night. Just an amazing song sang beautifully. You know what would have been better though? Justin Timberlake. Alone. Lose the Brady Bunch, JT.
Then there was Miley Cyrus and a giant cat hologram crying the background. Scared me to pieces, but whatever, I loved the song and she sounded great. Sidenote, anyone who wants to throw shade at Miley’s twerking needs to view Luke Bryan’s performance; he couldn’t keep those hips still.
Jennifer Lopez and all of her perfection flamenco danced and salsa’d her way to one of the best showings of the night, paying tribute to Celia Cruz, the queen of salsa. But when is a JLo performance not over the top, perfect, inspiring, beautiful… etc. etc. etc.
Now we come full circle to Rihanna. She really can’t be beat. Singing “Diamonds” (maybe to herself?) before her Icon Award crowning, she brought emotion, energy and ease to her performance that no one else could replicate.