The American Music Awards went down last night in Los Angeles with Carrie Underwood, Dan + Shay and Kane Brown the big country winners of the night. Carrie took home two awards, Favorite Country Album for “Cry Pretty” and Favorite Country, Female. The wins bring Carrie’s AMA total to 15, and it was the sixth time Carrie has won Favorite Country Album.
Dan + Shay also took home two awards, Favorite Duo/Group and Favorite Song, for “Speechless,” while Kane nabbed the honor of Favorite Male. (click here for a complete winners list)
Meanwhile, Taylor Swift the night’s overall big winner, walking away with five trophies, including the night’s biggest award, Artist of the Year, as well as Favorite Female, Pop/Rock and Adult Contemporary, Favorite Video for “You Need To Calm Down” and Favorite Pop/Rock Album for “Lover.” With Taylor’s new wins she is now the artist with the most AMA wins of all time with 28, surpassing previous record holder, Michael Jackson. Taylor took time out of her Artist of the Year speech to thank her fans, noting that her past year has been difficult and tough at times. Also, while accepting the award for Favorite Pop/Rock Album she made it a point to thank her record label for allowing her to “make whatever music I want to make,” which was an obvious reference to her feud with her former label Big Machine.
Taylor was also honored with the Artist of the Decade Award, which was given to her by Carole King. After all the drama around what songs she could and could not perform, Taylor wound up performing a medley of new and old hits, starting things off with a definite message, performing “If I Was A Man,” surrounded by a group of young female dancers, she then went on to perform “Love Story,” “I Knew You Were Trouble,” “Blank Space,” “Shake It Off,” which featured Halsey and Camila Cabello, and “Lover,” which featured a dance by Misty Copeland and Craig Hall.
As for the really big statement everyone was expecting from Taylor regarding her fight over her masters, she did it with her outfit, kicking off her performance in a white shirt that featured the names of all the albums she made with her former label Big Machine, and then ripping it off. As for her speech, Taylor showed her respect for Carole, noting that she taught her that an artist can “transcend so many different phases and changes in people’s lives,” adding, “all artists, any of the artists, or really anyone in this room want is to create something that will last.” She then thanked her fans, sharing, “all that matters to me are the memories I’ve had with you guys, you the fans over the years,” adding, “I’m so lucky I get to do this.”
Of course, the AMAs are really all about the performances and there were certainly a ton last night. Highlights included:
Selena Gomez, dressed in all black, opened the show with “Lose You To Love Me” and then did a costume change into a mirrored bodysuit for a flashy performance of “Look At Her Now,” as her buddies Taylor and Halsey cheered her on. The opening song was a little off key, with many fans noticing, and some simply blaming nerves.
Thomas Rhett got the crowd up for a performance of his fun song “Look What God Gave Her.”
Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello gave another sultry performance of “Senorita,” once again teasing fans with suggestions of an on-stage kiss that never came, although judging by Taylor’s face in the audience she certainly thought it would.
Green Day kicked off their performance with their latest single “Father of All,” and then celebrated the 25th anniversary of their iconic album “Dookie,” with “Basket Case.”
Camila Cabello returned to perform her new song “Living Proof surrounded by lace-wearing dancers, as clouds and flowers were projected behind her.
Christina Aguilera and A Great Big World debuted their powerful new collaboration “Fall On Me,” with Christina proving once again she can belt it out better than anyone.
Post Malone kicked off his performance with his hit “Circles,” and then was joined by Ozzy Osbourne, Travis Scott and WATT for “Take What You Want.”
Shania Twain wrapped the night with a medley that kicked off with odd acoustic snippets of Post Malone’s “Rockstar,” twenty one pilots’ “Stressed Out,” Taylor’s “Shake it Off,” and Drake’s “God’s Plan.” She then got to her songs, performing “Still The One,” “Any Man Of Mine,” “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” and “Man! I Feel Like A Woman.”
Other performances included: host Ciara performed “Melanin” surrounded by dancers of all different sizes and ages; Jonas Brothers performed “Only Human,” although it was simulcast from the Boston stop of their “Happiness Begins” tour; Toni Braxton threw it back to 1996 with her hit “Un-Break My Heart,” and Dua Lupa gave a rousing performance of “Don’t Start Now.”