The 2018 American Music Awards opened last night with the first awards show performance in three years from Taylor Swift. And she went on to win BIG and breaking a record while at it.
Swift opened the show with her song "I Did Something Bad" from the album reputation. The pop star wore a glittery black bodysuit as she danced and sang against a dark, misty pink backdrop as flames emerged on the sides of the stage. Her backup dancers wore dark makeup and dark, scaled clothing as they flocked her.
Later, a giant cobra rose from the center of the stage – a reference to Swift’s haters calling her a snake. Taylor received a standing ovation when she finished her song.
Swift, was nominated for four of the top awards at the show, including: Artist of the Year, Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist, Favorite Pop/Rock Album (for reputation) and Favorite Tour (for her smash reputation Stadium Tour). She took home Favorite Pop/Rock Album and Favorite Tour along with Artist of the Year, breaking the record for most AMAs won by a female.
During her acceptance speech Taylor said, "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 is the midterm elections on November 6th. Get out and vote."
- Host Tracee Ellis Ross took the stage by rapping along to Cardi B’s "Bodak Yellow," complete with a blinged out grill on her teeth that said "TER." Ross removed her jacket to reveal a sequined bodysuit before she danced onstage to the Childish Gambino song "This is America." Ross continued to dance along to an impressive number of songs, including "APES**T" by Beyoncé and Jay-Z, "Respect" by Aretha Franklin and "Uptown Funk" by Bruno Mars. Ross moved onto "Run the World (Girls)" by Beyoncé, dancing against a backdrop of photos of influential women, including Mother Teresa, Oprah and Carol Burnett.
- Tracee Ellis Ross had a moment where she explored the names of modern singers, coming up with some pretty creative explanations for them. G-Easy? He’s a gangsta who likes to take it easy. Post Malone is obviously the third child, so there’s a Pre and a Mid before him. She presumed that Halsey had a lot of sore throats as a child. "And of course then there’s Lil Dicky," Ross said. After letting that simmer for a moment, she added, "I have no idea what that one means."
- Billy Eichner and Kathryn Hahn introduced the award for Adult Contemporary Artist – but first, they made sure to encourage young people to register to vote before announcing who won (Shawn Mendes).
- Lauren Daigle and Kane Brown presented the award for soul/R&B album and paid tribute to late artist XXXTentacion, with Daigle saying, "Tragically, the bright promise of one is gone too soon." XXXTentacion won the award for his album ?. X’s mother, Cleopatra Bernard, accepted the award on his behalf.
-The show paid tribute to Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin with a retrospective video about the late singer’s career and legacy. Franklin’s contemporary, Gladys Knight, sang "Amazing Grace" in front of portraits of the late diva. Gospel singer Donnie McClurkin performed Franklin’s "Climbing Higher Mountains" before introducing CeCe Winans, who sang "Oh Mary Don’t You Weep" with a gospel choir. Ledisi joined to sing "How I Got Over" before Mary Mary took the stage to close out the tribute.
AUDIO: 2018 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS XXXTENTACIONS MOTHER CLEOPATRA ACCEPTS THE AWARD FOR FAVORITE ALBUM SOUL R AND B FOR 17
AUDIO: 2018 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS KHALID ACCEPTS THE AWARD FOR FAVORITE MALE ARTIST SOUL R AND B
AUDIO: 2018 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS KANE BROWN ACCEPTS THE AWARD FOR FAVORITE MALE ARTIST COUNTRY
AUDIO: 2018 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS CARRIE UNDERWOOD ACCEPTS THE AWARD FOR FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST COUNTRY
AUDIO: 2018 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS CARDI B ACCEPTS THE AWARD FOR FAVORITE ARTIST RAP HIP HOP
AUDIO: 2018 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS CAMILA CABELLO ACCEPTS THE AWARD FOR NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
AUDIO: 2018 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS CAMILA CABELLO ACCEPTS THE AWARD FOR FAVORITE SONG POP ROCK FOR HAVANA
AUDIO: 2018 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS BILLY EICHNER AND KATHRYN HAHN ROCK THE VOTE
AUDIO: 2018 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS TAYLOR SWIFT ACCEPTS THE AWARD FOR ARTIST OF THE YEAR
AUDIO: 2018 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS SHAWN MENDES ACCEPTS THE AWARD FOR FAVORITE ARTIST ADULT CONTEMPORARY
AUDIO: 2018 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS TAYLOR SWIFT ACCEPTS THE AWARD FOR TOUR OF THE YEAR
AUDIO: 2018 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS TAYLOR SWIFT ACCEPTS THE AWARD FOR FAVORITE ALBUM POP ROCK FOR REPUTATION
AUDIO: 2018 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS POST MALONE ACCEPTS THE AWARD FOR FAVORITE MALE ARTIST POP ROCK
AUDIO: 2018 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS MIGOS ACCEPT THE AWARD FOR FAVORITE DUO OR GROUP POP ROCK