The 2014 American Music Awards have come and gone, and it was certainly an action packed show. The night was hosted by everybody’s favorite, Pitbull. I guess hosting award shows is what Pitbull does now, because he seems to do a lot of it. He did an alright job, but his opening monologue was hit-and-miss and some of his jokes just came off plain creepy. (Yeah, I am looking right at that “Booty” joke)
Fan choice award shows, especially fan choice music award shows, tend to make me grumble. It’s when one band gets a massive following to stand behind them and vote them to the top of every category that they are nominated for. Yes, this may speak to an artist’s talent, but this always isn’t the case. Sometimes a band can get a massive following do to their looks, for example. A massive fan-base is not always proportionate to an artist’s talent.
With that being said, it was One Direction that took home the most awards of the night at the Nokia Theater in L.A., including the big one; Artist of the Year. For Artist of the Year, the band was up against the likes of Iggy Azalea, Luke Bryan, Beyonce, and Katy Perry. All four of those artists, in my opinion, probably deserved the award the most. But since there was no committee voting for the awards, it was the fans that had the final say.
Iggy Azalea was also a big winner last night, wrapping up all of the awards for the hip-hop category. There is some interesting commentary that can be had about this as well, given the recent controversy between Eminem and Iggy. If you haven’t heard already, Eminem released a snippet of the song “Vegas” of his newest album that contained lyrics about physical harm and rape directed at both Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea. Iggy ended up getting back at Eminem by calling him an “old man” and speaking her thoughts on Twitter. Both Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea were at the awards last night, and it was Iggy that got the last laugh. She was facing both Drake and Eminem for the two hip hop categories, and she came out on top for both of them.
In her speeches, she name checked Eminem (in the lightest way possible) saying that because she got the award, she knew she was heading in the right direction. These two awards were the first two AMAs she has ever received. Her mentor T.I., who seemed to have picked up the role of peacemaker in light of all of Iggy’s harassment, was right by her side during the acceptance. It was a big night for her.
Other notable awards included Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist, which went to Sam Smith. The Favorite Rock/Alternative Artist award went to Imagine Dragons, who has been having a pretty big year. The Favorite Country Album award went to Brantley Gilbert for his third studio album Just As I Am. Taylor Swift also won big, being the recipient of the Dick Clark Award for Excellence.
But anyway, the American Music Awards, in my opinion, are about the performances and the moments that come along with them.
Taylor Swift kicked off the show with a bang, performing her newest hit “Blank Space.” She transformed the stage into a black-and-white striped mansion and danced all throughout the halls with her army of back-up dancers. It was quite a spectacle and a great way to kick off the show.
There were a lot of acts that involved first time live performances of a lot of songs. Imagine Dragons sung their newest hit “I Bet My Life” with an energetic and sentimental performance. We also saw Lil Wayne later in the show debuting his new song of the Carter V, “Start A Fire”, with Christina Milian. We also got a performance by Sam Smith and A$ap Rocky, who performed “I’m Not The Only One”.
The most fun performance of the night probably came from Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj who performed the hit “Bang Bang.” I always like when they play this song live because it’s easy to see how much fan the trio have with the song. You can tell that they never get tired of it. Fergie also had a colorful and exotic performance of “L.A. Love” with DJ Mustard and YG. There were some massive set-pieces and a lot going on onstage. It’s was a performance that evidenced that Fergie is still relevant in today’s music sphere.
Ariana Grande gave a brilliant acoustic performance of her songs “Problem” and “Break Free”, which really showcased the true talent of the young artist. Her performance was finally topped off with a rendition of her newest song “Love Me Harder”, which featured the vocal magic of The Weeknd. Those two on stage together was a pretty awesome showing. We also got “emotional performance of the night” from Selena Gomez, who sung her deeply intimate “The Heart Wants What It Wants.”
There were a bunch of other performances, some lackluster and others completely fine. The most intriguing performance was Garth Brooks, who came live from North Carolina and performed the song “People Loving People” to a large arena crowd. We also had Iggy Azalea and Charlie XCX, who both gave performances of their songs “Boom Clap” and “Fancy”. Iggy Azalea went back on stage with Jennifer Lopez at the end to close out the show with “Booty.” The performance was not big enough to close out the show, but it did deliver on the promise of high levels of booty.
Like I said before, there was a lot going on during last nights festivities. I may not have agreed with most of the winners, but I knew I wasn’t going to before the show even started. However, there was a lot of great performances that made up for it. Pitbull should also stop hosting awards shows. That is all.
The full list of winners can be found below:
Artist of the Year: One Direction
New Artist of the Year: 5 Seconds of Summer
Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist: Sam Smith
Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist: Katy Perry
Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group: One Direction
Favorite Pop/Rock Album: Midnight Memories by One Direction
Favorite Country Male Artist: Luke Bryan
Favorite Country Female Artist: Carrie Underwood
Favorite Country Duo or Group: Florida Georgia Line
Favorite Country Album: Just As I Am by Brantley Gilbert
Favorite Rap/Hip-hop Artist: Iggy Azalea
Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album: The New Classic by Iggy Azalea
Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist: John Legend
Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist: Beyonce
Favorite Soul/R&B Album: Beyonce by Beyonce
Favorite Alternative Artist: Imagine Dragons
Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist: Katy Perry
Favorite Latin Artist: Enrique Inglesias
Favorite Contemporary Inspirational Artist: Casting Crowns
Favorite EDM Artist: Calvin Harris
Single of the Year: “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry, featuring Juicy J
Top Soundtrack: Frozen
Dick Clark Award for Excellence: Taylor Swift