The 31st Annual American Music Awards took place last night in downtown Los Angeles, and played host to some of the nation’s biggest musical acts. There were performances by Lady Gaga and R. Kelly, Imagine Dragons, Jennifer Lopez and even Pitbull, who acted as the night’s host. As far as award show’s go, this one was exactly what you could have wanted; plenty of wonderful performances, many extremely grateful artists accepting awards and Miley Cyrus leaving a lasting impression on viewers who tuned in to watch.
There was also the introduction to a new award titled the AMA Icon Award, which honors an artist that has achieved great success in the music business. For example, Rihanna sold 50 million albums and 180 million digital tracks in the past year, which helped her gain the honor of being the first Icon Award recipient.
In case you missed the AMA’s last night, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best (and worst) moments from the night, as well as a complete list of all the 2013 AMA winners. Did your favorite artist take home an AMA? And did your favorite part of the night make it on our list? Let us know in the comments below.
Katy Perry’s Unconditionally Performance
At first, I was a bit confused as to why Katy Perry decided to choose a Japanese theme for her performance, but to be honest it worked. The theatrics were there, she was beautiful (as always), and the song is so catchy that she could have been dressed however she liked, and it still would have made for a great performance. Most of all, it was a breath of fresh air before Pitbull’s unneeded “Twerking of Miami” demonstration about five minutes later (see (dis)Honorable Mentions).
J.T. was just amazing. Between killing his performance of “Drink You Away” featuring The Tennessee Kids and fan-girling with Taylor Swift after he won Soul/R&B Male Artist, he was probably the highlight of the evening. He also made sure to run up and down the aisles, twice, high fiving and hugging as many people as possible after his first AMA win of the evening. On top of all that, he was also well dressed, which made him all the better to gush over. Basically, if there was an easy way to sum up the AMA’s this year, it would be Justin Timberlake ruled that place and he did it with style, grace and a little bit of fan girl attitude.
There isn’t anything better than realizing you were given the honor of being the first artist awarded the AMA’s Icon Award, except realizing it’s your mom who is presenting it to you. After Rihanna sang a very emotional candlelight/orchestral version of “Diamonds,” she was met on stage by her mom who presented the award after giving a heartfelt speech:
“First of all, I’d like to say all praises and honor be to god almighty through Jesus. Rihanna, Rihanna… I’m so proud of you tonight. I know the journey and you’re career has not always been an easy one, but tonight I applaud and admire you for being so strong and so positive and so humble and so focused. I mean it’s amazing how you always manage to take good from all your experiences. I’m so blessed to be a part of this historic moment, and I’m proud to present to you the first ever AMA Icon Award.”
The 90’s and Early 2000s Nostalgia
Thanks to performances by TLC and Florida Georgia Line, fans got to have a bit of nostalgia. TLC performed “Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls” with the help of Lil Mama, with a picture of deceased member Lisa Lopes in the background. Florida Georgia Line had Nelly on stage with them during Cruise, when it turned in to “Ride Wit Me.” Both performances were well done, and a little nostalgia doesn’t hurt every once in a while, especially for songs like those.
(dis)Honorable Mention: Miley Cyrus’s Performance of Wrecking Ball
Now, don’t get me wrong – I love Wrecking Ball. It’s a great song, and after Miley’s crazy VMA performance, I was convinced she was going to give a very emotional performance of the song to sort of counteract her wild acts. Granted, this performance was definitely not degrading-a-foam-finger bad, but it was just a little weird. Behind Miley was a cute kitten, whose mouth moved when Miley sang, and Miley was wearing a grey two-piece (that was actually quite conservative) covered in cat faces. I think her vocals were great, but it’s hard to get in to such an emotional song with there’s a kitten mouthing the words in the background.
(dis)Honorable Mention: Pitbull’s “Twerking of Miami” demonstration
Seriously, need I say more? All I could do was shake my head. I’m just glad it wasn’t him doing the twerking. I got what he was trying to do, which was key in to 2013’s hottest dance trend and of course take us back to his Miami roots, but did we need a demonstration of Miami’s raunchiest twerking? Probably not, but to each their own right?
2013 AMA Winners List
- Artist of the Year – Taylor Swift
- New Artist of the Year presented by Kohl’s – Ariana Grande
- Single of the Year – “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line feat. Nelly
- Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist – Justin Timberlake
- Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist – Taylor Swift
- Favorite Pop/Rock Band, Duo or Group – One Direction
- Favorite Pop/Rock Album – “Take Me Home” by One Direction
- Favorite Country Male Artist – Luke Bryan
- Favorite Country Female Artist – Taylor Swift
- Favorite Country Band, Duo or Group – Lady Antebellum
- Favorite Country Album – “Red” by Taylor Swift
- Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
- Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album – “The Heist” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
- Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist – Justin Timberlake
- Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist – Rihanna
- Favorite Soul/R&B Album – “The 20/20 Experience” by Justin Timberlake
- Favorite Alternative Rock Artist – Imagine Dragons
- Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist – Maroon 5
- Favorite Latin Artist – Marc Anthony
- Favorite Contemporary Inspirational Artist – Matthew West
- Favorite Electronic Dance Music (EDM) Artist – Avicii
- Top Soundtrack – Pitch Perfect