The 2018 American Music Awards aired last night, and I think we can all agree that this year was particularly epic.
Tracee Ellis Ross hosted for a second consecutive year, and once again struck the perfect balance of funny and mean. She opened the show with a dance routine and a monologue, during which she promised to highlight black designers and hoped that she would end up on 'The Shade Room,' or what she called the 'black TMZ.'
Taylor Swift was the first performance of the night, and came out of the shadows — literally and figuratively — with her song 'I Did Something Bad,' featuring a giant snake. Later on in the evening, Swift called on fans to go out and vote. She then gave the Democrats her endorsement, breaking her long streak of refusing to politically affiliate.
Billy Eichner also told fans to go vote during his presentation of Shawn Mendes' award. Eichner begged young people to voice their concerns about equality, LGBTQ rights, climate change and more. Ross cemented the message by changing into a shirt that read, "I am a voter."
In an exciting moment for the breakout star, Cardi B won favorite rap/hip hop artist, beating out Drake and Post Malone. In her acceptance speech, she thanked her daughter for helping her prove that you can still make it after having a baby. She also won favorite rap/hip hop song with 'Bodak yellow (Money Moves)' and Post Malone won favorite album with 'beerbongs & bentleys.'
Kane Brown won favorite male country artist, along with favorite country album and favorite country song with 'Kane Brown' and 'Heaven,' respectively. Carrie Underwood won favorite female country artist and Florida Georgia Line won favorite country duo or group.
Taylor Swift won favorite female pop/rock artist and favorite pop/rock album with 'Reputation.' Post Malone won favorite pop/rock male artist and Migos won favorite duo or group in the same category. Favorite pop/rock song went to Camila Cabello and Young Thug for 'Havana.' Cabello also won favorite music video and new artist of the year.
Taylor Swift took home the award for tour of the year, beating out Beyonce & JAY-Z along with Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran. Swift also won artist of the year. With this win, Swift beat out Whitney Houston's record for most wins by a female artist and became the most awarded female artist in the AMAs.
Mariah Carey returned to the AMAs stage for the first time since 2008, and sang 'With You,' a song from her upcoming album.
Post Malone also performed, and literally lit the stage on fire with his mash-up of 'Better Now' and 'Psycho.' To keep the pyrotechnics going, 21 Pilots blew up a car on stage during their performance.
The AMAs also paid tribute to Aretha Franklin with a video retrospective and a performance of Franklin's greatest hits by Gladys Knight, Marry Marry and Cece Winans. Many felt this was the kind of tribute Franklin deserved — instead of Madonna's half baked attempt to cover the icon at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Other performances included Panic! At the Disco, Missy Elliott and Jennifer Lopez — the star studded show just kept pumping out the entertainment. It'll be tough for any other award show to top this years dazzling AMAs.
Amber Wang is a freelancer for Popdust, Gearbrain and various other sites. She is also a student at NYU, a photographer and a marketing intern.
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