Another year, another AMA’s… In this show, performances take precedence with a huge roster of artists taking the stage to showcase their latest, and for some, greatest songs. Since there is so much to cover with this particular show, think of this edition of Trophy Hunting as your own personal live tweet summary – without too many emojis. So settle in, friends – we’re in for quite the recap.
Host Jennifer Lopez kicked off the show with a slowed down version of her millennial hit “Waiting For Tonight” that segued into a dance showcase of some of the year’s top tracks, from The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face” to Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” – and they looked thrilled about it.
The first award of the night (presented by the magical, mystical Prince) for Best Soul/R&B album went to The Weeknd (he also won for Male Soul/R&B Artist). He later performed his hit “The Hills” in his now-signature flame-shrouded stage set. And everyone (and we mean everyone – you too, Wiz Khalifa) was totally feelin’ it.
I see you, Wiz. We all see you.
Early performances of the night included 5 Seconds of Summer, who took to the stage with their latest single “Hey Everybody,” Selena Gomez with her single “Same Old Love,” and Carrie Underwood with her newest track “Heartbeat.”
Demi Lovato took to the stage twice throughout the night – the first for the title track off of her latest album, “Confident,” where she looked and sounded completely (dare I say it…) confident. *bah dum tiss*
and the second time when she joined Alanis Morissette for the latter’s legendary hit “You Oughta Know.” Talk about girl power.
Pop/Rock Duo or Group went to One Direction, while Luke Bryan took home the trophy for Country Male Artist. The “Pitch Perfect 2” Soundtrack was honored at the show, as well as Nicki Minaj’s “The Pinkprint” for Rap/Hip-Hop Album. (She later won Rap/Hip-Hop Artist, besting Drake and Fetty Wap). We can always count on Nicki for the best words of wisdom, too.
Thank you, Nicki.
Meghan Trainor performed a super cute medley of tunes including “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” and “Marvin Gaye,” the latter with Charlie Puth – which ended in a super prolonged make-out sesh between the two. PDA alert, people…
Ariana Grande performed her latest single “Focus” for the first time on television with a throwback-themed intro as a quasi-nightclub singer that bled right into a platinum-hued, big-band playing number. She may have been running all over the stage more than singing the song, but hey, if you can get the crowd on their feet…
Gwen Stefani sang her new (and emotionally charged) single “Used To Love You,” while One Direction performed “Perfect” from their latest record as one of their last performances before their March “hiatus,” prompting gems of posts like this one:
Nick Jonas electrified the crowd with a medley of tracks from his breakout year as a solo artist, including a piano version of “Chains” and a gospel choir-backed “Jealous.” *insert praise hands emoji*
Sam Hunt won the fan-voted New Artist of the Year, while Pop/Rock Female Artist went to Ariana Grande.
Speaking of Grande, she and her brother Frankie were dancing with with their “Nona” during Walk the Moon’s techno-color performance of their smash “Shut Up and Dance.” Shake it, Granny Grande!
Continuing with the colorful performances, Coldplay took to the stage with their new song “Adventure of a Lifetime” after a seven-year hiatus form the ceremony. Cue the dance party – complete with dancing gorillas and big balloons…
Carrie Underwood scored the Country Female award (her 9th AMA overall!) while Skrillex, Diplo and Justin Bieber took home Collaboration of the Year. Later, Fall Out Boy took home the award for Alternative Rock Artist.
Luke Bryan and Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild collaborated on their own with “Home Alone Tonight” before Macklemore & Ryan Lewis premiered their new track “Kevin” featuring upcoming R&B singer-songwriter Leon Bridges.
In a moment of seriousness, Jared Leto spoke on the Paris attacks before segueing into Celine Dion’s touching tribute performance to the City of Light.
After a surprise (?) appearance from Han Solo himself, Harrison Ford, the Star Wars pandemonium took to the AMAs stage with Pentatonix performing the classic score clad in outfits fit for a galaxy far, far away. This was by far the coolest performance of the night.
To end the night, One Direction won top honors with the award for Artist of the Year. Closing the night with a trio of his recent hits including “What Do You Mean?” and a rain-soaked edition of “Sorry.”
Phew! Did we make it through, fam? Rest up – awards season will be in full swing before we know it!
[Gif credit: OhNoTheyDidnt.Livejournal.com]