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American Music Awards: Hotter Than It Has Ever Been

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The 2018 American Music Awards took place on Tuesday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, where history was made and the crowd stayed on their feet through most of the show.

Kicking off the show off this year, host Tracee Ellis Ross performed Cardi B‘s number one hit single “Bodak Yellow.” Wearing a diamond embedded grill that spelled her initials, she continued her performance to tracks by Childish Gambino‘s “This Is America,” the Carters‘ “Apesh–t,” Aretha Franklin‘s “Respect,” and more.

Hosting the show for the second year, the comedian lost her breath during the performance, and declared, “Wait, I’m not done… J.Lo … how do you do that… I am not dancer… I’m just a lady who moves.” Later in the show, Ross inspired fans to vote by wearing a white shirt bearing the words, “I am a voter.”

Before the show, Ross posted via Twitter that she would only be wearing outfits designed by African Americans.

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Tracee Ellis Ross AMAs 2018

Tracee Ellis Ross wore 12 different looks to the AMAs, all by African American designers

 

Taylor Swift opened the show with her musical performance of a song from her latest album, notably called, “I Did Something Bad.” This marked Swift‘s first performance in two years, as she had not made an appearance on TV since the 2016 Grammys (with the exception of Billboard Music Awards in May). Swift strutted across the stage as fire erupted in the background, and the statue of a giant snake emerged from behind her. The audience gave her a standing ovation after she finished, including Jennifer Lopez and Shawn Mendes.

Swift went on to win the awards for Favorite Album, Tour of the Year, Artist of the Year, and Favorite Soundtrack. She became the most awarded female artist in AMA history, breaking Whitney Houston‘s record. As she accepted the award for Artist of the Year, she made sure to remind the people watching to vote.

“This award and every single award given out tonight were voted on by the people, and you know what else is voted on by the people?” Swift asked. “It is the midterm elections on November 6. Get out and vote. I love you guys.”

 

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>LOOK AT TAYLOR SWIFT’s STAGE DURING I DID SOMETHING BAD! <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/AMAs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#AMAs</a> <a href=”https://t.co/L8NHTju8Bh”>pic.twitter.com/L8NHTju8Bh</a></p>&mdash; Taylor Swift Facts (@blessedswifty) <a href=”https://twitter.com/blessedswifty/status/1049813309569011712?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>October 10, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Rapper Cardi B performed for the first time at the AMAs. This performance marked her second public showing since giving birth to her daughter, Kulture, around 3 months ago. Her Spanglish summer hit, “I Like It,” featuring Bad Bunny and J Balvin, lit up the stage and kept the audience on their feet from start to finish. Cardi B was also the recipient of multiple awards, walking away with the AMAs for Favorite Female Rap/Hip-Hop Artist, Favorite Female Rap/Hip-Hop Song, and Favorite Female Soul/R&B Song. Accepting her award in a flattering floral dress, she thanked her daughter, Kulture, and her husband, Offset.

“I gotta do this…” she told the audience. “[Be]cause they said I wasn’t gonna make it after I had a baby.”

Rihanna won the AMA for Soul/R&B’s Favorite Female Artist, beating out new artist Ella Mia and SZA. Mai later went on to perform her single, “Boo’d Up.” Mai was nominated for two AMAs that night, the second nomination being Favorite Soul/R&B Song.

 

 

 

 

Carrie Underwood won the AMA for Country’s Favorite Female Artist. She later went on to perform an emotional new song called, “Spinning Bottles,” which she announced was a single from her new album, “Cry Pretty.” Touching on sensitive topics with her lyrics, such as substance abuse, Underwood was given a standing ovation after the song was over.

During the red carpet pre-show, Underwood said, “It’s hard to write about…it’s difficult to sing to the world, but it’s a part of life.” She also says “you’re just going into a writing session letting your feelings out… just [to] hope people get it.” Underwood has only managed to attend two awards shows recently since breaking her wrist last year.

 

 

Camila Cabello was another big winner that night, managing to snag four AMAs. Right behind Taylor Swift, Cabello walked away with New Artist of the Year, Collaboration of the Year, Favorite Music Video, and Favorite Pop/Rock Song for her summer hit, “Havana,” featuring Young Thug. Later that night, Cabello took to the stage to perform her song, “Consequences.”

 

 

 

The show ended with a tribute to Aretha Franklin, otherwise known as the Queen of Soul. Franklin received her first AMAs in 1976 for Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist. Gladys Knight performed a touching rendition of Franklin‘s popular song, “Amazing Grace.” Family and friends of the beloved singer took to the stage to pay their respects, including Ledisi, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin, Cece Winans, and Rickey Minor, who all paid tribute to the Queen of Soul.

 

 

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