By Amanda Nardiello
On Nov. 20 the 44th Annual American Music Awards, (AMAs) aired from the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on ABC. The ceremony brought together artists from all genres to perform while honoring the best in music.
The awards show opened with Bruno Mars performing his single, “24K Magic.” Mars dressed in a 1980s tracksuit along with a gold chain.
Co-hosts, Gigi Hadid and comic Jay Pharaoh, began with an opening monologue of jokes. There were also some political impressions where Hadid did an impression of the first lady to be, Melania Trump, and Pharaoh followed with a President-elect, Donald Trump impression.
The event may have focused on pop-artists, but the audience was star-studded with other celebrities as well including Julianne Hough, Ryan Seacrest and Seattle Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson.
In between awards and segments from co-hosts Hadid and Pharaoh were some musical performances by “Favorite EDM Artist,” The Chainsmokers, and “Favorite Collaboration,” Fifth Harmony.
Drake, a Canadian rapper, had 13 nominations in total and took home “Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album” for “Views” as well as “Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist.”
Sting, an English artist, won “The American Music Award of Merit,” which was presented by Robert Downey Jr. Following his win, Sting performed his hit songs, “Every Breath You Take,” “Message in a Bottle,” and his brand new single, “I Can’t Stop Thinking About You.”
Later in the ceremony, Prince won the award for “Top Soundtrack,” with his song, “Purple Rain.” The song was originally released in 1984. In remembrance of Prince’s death on April 21, the hit single became popular once again. His sister, Tyka Nelson, accepted the award for him.
“Favorite Female Artist – Pop/Rock,” went to Selena Gomez, which was her first AMA award. Gomez has broadcasted her struggles with lupus and her self-image over the past few years, and addressed her year in review and how her fans bring her to peace. During her acceptance speech for the award, Gomez talked about her mental and physical well being, her road to recovery and she told her fans to never give up.
“I had to stop. I had everything and I was still absolutely broken inside. I kept it all together enough to where I would never let you down, but I kept it too much together where I let myself down. If you are broken, you do not have to stay broken,” said Gomez in her speech.
Another performance came from D.J. Khaled, Nicki Minaj, August Alsina and Future, who performed their single, “Do You Mind.”
Green Day, an American pop-punk band, performed their new single, “Bang Bang” off their new album, “Revolution Radio.” During their time on stage, they used their song to make a political announcement towards Trump. Green Day recited, “No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!” within the “Bang Bang” performance.
The last award of the night, presented by Jenny McCarthy and Donny Wahlberg, was “Artist of the Year,” which was presented to Ariana Grande. Grande followed in a long line of successful recipients including Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Rihanna and Carrie Underwood.
To conclude the ceremony, pop band Maroon 5, and rapper, Kendrick Lamar, performed their single, “Don’t Wanna Go.”