Monday Memos: 2014 AMAs Recap
Hello people of the internet!!! On last night’s (November 24, 2013) AMAs, A LOT of stuff happened. Ok, ready? Let’s get started!
This year’s AMAs were hosted by Latin rap superstar Pitbull, who certainly seemed to be appreciative of his hosting gig. Pitbull said that it was a miracle that he was hosting the award show, and that he was living the American dream. Although Pitbull’s opening monologue was short, he did make a pop culture reference when he asked several female dancers to come on stage to twerk for the crowd. He also explained that twerking was not a new concept, and stated various names that twerking has been giving, previous to Miley Cyrus adopting the dance.
- Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist: Justin Timberlake
With the tremendous success of his latest 2 part album ‘The 20/20 Experience’, it’s obvious why Justin tops pop this year.
- Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist: Rihanna
Once again Rihanna proves why she is an unstoppable force in the music industry, by adding yet another award to her long list of achievements.
- Favorite Country Album: ‘Red’ by Taylor Swift
The golden girl strikes again (and no I was not referring to her hair color) ! The first award that Taylor won last night was so appropriate and well deserved.
- Favorite Rap/Hip Hop Album: ‘The Heist’ by Ryan Lewis & Macklemore
This team has had an iron claw on radio since their song ‘Thrift Shop’ made thrift stores cool (now you know you want to go to a thrift store and just start rapping…yes you do, don’t deny it!). They have had similar success with their numerous other tracks such as ‘Same Love’ and ‘Can’t Hold Us’, so it’s obvious why they would take this award home.
- Favorite Alternative Rock Artist: Imagine Dragons
One thing that keeps this band on top is their constant habit to always evolve musically. Even though they had us hooked when their hit song ‘It’s Time’ first hit the airways, Imagine Dragon has continued to push their musical capabilities with their equally infectious tracks ‘Radioactive’ and ‘Demons’.
- Favorite Latin Music Artist: Marc Anthony
For the past few decades Marc Anthony has been an icon in Latin and mainstream music, so it’s not surprising that fans still love him.
- Favorite Pop/Rock Album: ‘Take Me Home’ by One Direction
C’mon was it ever a question that this super group would win! Since their U.S. debut in 2011 with the smash ‘What Makes You Beautiful’, this boy band has had an iron grip on the hearts of U.S fans. This was One Direction’s first AMA, and as if that wasn’t special enough, they were the only British group of the night to win an American Music Award.
- Favorite New Artist of the Year: Ariana Grande
This powerhouse vocalist has been compared to many iconic female vocalists, and if this year is any indication, she will have a very long and successful career. At only 20 years old, Ariana has had a role on a successful Broadway musical, has been on two highly successful TV shows, and has had a number 1 album. So this is a girl you should definitely keep your eye on, and if you haven’t, pick up her debut album ‘Yours Truly’.
- Icon Award: Rihanna
At the ripe old age of 25, super star Rihanna won the 1st ever Icon Award last night. With many accolades which include: six Grammy Awards, 12 number one singles, and the honor of being Billboard’s highest selling digital artist of the 2000s, it is obvious to see why Rihanna is a musical icon. The award was made extra special because Rihanna’s mother presented the award to her (Ok, everyone say AWWWWWWW!), so last night was a good night to be Rihanna, good job girl!
- Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist: Justin Timberlake
Since 1993, when a fresh faced young boy named Justin Timberlake appeared on ‘The Mickey Mouse Club’, he has had full control of the hearts of fans. From his time as a member of the highly successful boy band N’ Sync, to his even more successful solo career, Justin’s iron grip on the music industry has only tightened with age. And I have to say that it was so funny when Justin won, he walked over to Taylor Swift and started mouthing “Oh my god, oh my god” (yes, my words exactly Justin).
- Favorite Country Female Artist: Taylor Swift
Ok, for 1 minute we’re going to pretend that this was a surprise…ok minute over now back to the blog. Well, Taylor had such a successful night last night, adding 4 more awards to her large collections (Have you ever wondered how many award shelves she must have?).
- Favorite Single of the Year: ‘Cruise’ by Florida Georgia Line Feat. Nelly
This cross-over track has controlled mainstream and country radio for the last year, and has turned country duo Florida Georgia Line into a household name. With all of this considered, it makes perfect sense that this song won the AMAs first ever ‘Single of the Year’ award.
- Favorite Soul/R&B Album: Justin Timberlake
Yes Justin Timberlake won again! (It was a good night to be Justin Timberlake! GO Justin GO Justin! ok my fangirl moment is over).
- Favorite Electronic Dance Music Artist: Avicii
This has been a huge year for electronic dance music, and Avicii’s mega hit ‘Wake Me Up’, featuring vocalist Aloe Blacc, has certainly put him in the fore front of the minds of music lovers.
- Favorite Country Male Artist: Luke Bryan
The country superstar has been burning up the charts, as well as celebrating a very successful year with a lot of awards. It seems that fans just can’t get enough of this rising king of country.
- Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group: One Direction
Now when you say the words ‘favorite’, ‘pop’, ‘group’, you gotta think of One Direction. These guys have gone from reality show contestants to full-fledged pop superstars, and with the release of yet another #1 album, it’s obvious that there is no stopping these talented guys (good job Simon Cowell, we are forever in debt to you!).
- Favorite Country Group: Lady Antebellum
This group has had quite the year, from releasing a successful album, to performing with the legendary Stevie Nicks; this group is truly making their mark on music history.
- Favorite Artist of the Year: Taylor Swift
Just when you think that Taylor can’t do anything else to surprise us, she does something amazing like this. Good job Taylor, after all your success with ‘Red’ you deserve this award (c’mon you know she does…don’t be mean)
The following awards were not presented during the actual award show:
- Favorite Female Artist-Pop/Rock:
This award shows that Taylor’s music has now gone beyond genre restrictions, and that her fans now span an extremely large demographic.
- Favorite Artist-Adult Contemporary:
From their hit 2002 album ‘Songs about Jane’, this rock band has had the hearts and ears of fans worldwide. With front man Adam Levine’s participation on the hit NBC show ‘The Voice’, this band has only gotten more and more popular.
- Favorite Artist-Contemporary Inspirational: Matthew West
This super star has been taking his fans “to church” ever since his award winning 2003 debut album ‘Happy’. Matthew has also written tracks for numerous Christian and mainstream acts (such as Rascal Flatts, Billy Ray Cyrus, and country music legend Vince Gill).
- Top Soundtrack: Pitch Perfect
Ok on the count of three everyone say YESSSSS. Ready? One, two, oh I can’t wait YESSSSS! You know you’ve been spending the past year quoting every line form this movie, and singing every song. So of course it would make sense that this movie is so successful I mean it brought us Fat Amy right?! You may now jump in the air and fangirl…ok time’s up.
There were so many amazing performances this year so let’s get started!
Katy Perry kicked off the show with a performance of her hit song ‘Unconditionally’. The performance had a Japanese theme, complete with Katy and her dancers wearing beautiful, multicolored kimonos, and dancing with fans. The screens behind Katy had visuals of Japanese lanterns rising up, which helped the overall effect of the performance. There was also a Zen garden on the stage, and midway through the performance, Katy danced with an umbrella as strobe lights shined around her. The performance ended with confetti falling from the ceiling, as some of the dancers did acrobatic tricks in the air. Katy then ascended the stairs, a smoke screen emerged, and then Katy disappeared. A very cool way to end a performance if you ask me!
- Next up was the super group of the moment, One Direction. The guys sang the track ‘Story of my Life’ one of the singles off of their latest hit record ‘Midnight Memories’. The staging consisted of several small light bulbs which resembled candles, and gave a very intimate feel to the performance. The guys mostly stood still during their performance, but in typical 1D fashion, they looked as if they were singing to every individual girl in the audience. Such a solid performance by the guys on their big night!
- Ariana Grande was the next performer, and even though she tweeted that she was extremely nervous about her performance, she certainly didn’t show it. Ariana sang a very small portion of her hit song ‘The Way’, and then dove into a full rendition of her 50’s inspired hit ‘Tattooed Heart’. The throwback style performance was made complete with 4 backup singers, who all sang with old school 50’s style mics (you know the one’s that can’t be taken off of their stand, but look really cool. Oh and Ariana also sang with this kind of mic, so it made her performance that much more authentic). When Ariana finished performing, she received a standing ovation, and it was definitely deserved, because her voice was so strong and precise, despite the fact that she has been performing A LOT…don’t you wish you were this amazing? I sure do!
- Imagine Dragons were up next, and they definitely brought the rock and roll with them. Their set started with their newest hit ‘Demons’, which included cool blue lights and a lot of smoke on the stage. They then transitioned into their song ‘Radioactive’, which included red lights and yeah you guessed it smoke! At another part of the performance, all the members of the band had a drum solo, so that was so different and cool!
- The man of the honor was up next…yup you guessed it Pitbull! Pop star Ke$ha joined him on their hit song ‘Timber’ with several dancers on stage with them. The staging consisted of two staircases, and there was a lot of really cool fire shooting all over the stage. The pressure was definitely on for Pitbull to deliver on this performance because of his job as host, and….he delivered. Two thumbs up!
- Justin Timberlake was up next and as always he delivered. JT sang the track ‘Drink You Away’, one of the songs off of his album ‘The 20/20 Experience’. He introduced himself as Justin Timberlake and the Tennessee Kids, and the band included several backup singers, and instrumentalist. Justin also played the guitar during his performance (he sings, dances, acts, writes music, plays guitar, seriously what can this guy not do!). The performance once again proved that this super star isn’t going anywhere!
- Country duo Florida Georgia Line performed their infectious cross-over hit ‘Cruise’ with hip hop star Nelly next. All three guys did an amazing job performing the song, and once the song was completed, they transitioned into singing Nelly’s 2001 hit ‘Ride wit Me’, which was unexpected, but was also a very cool transition. Since Florida Georgia Line and Nelly have been performing this song on award shows all year, it was nice to see them do something different with this performance.
- AMA Icon award .winner Rihanna performed her super hit ‘Diamonds’ next, and she definitely “shined bright like a diamond” (I’m sorry I had to say it). Rihanna wore a beautiful black dress, a pearl chocker, pearl barrettes, and diamond earrings, which made her performance, look very elegant. Between the stunning ensemble that Rihanna wore, and her incredible vocals, Rihanna proved that she is a musical icon!
- Next up was Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, who performed live from Miami via satellite feed (don’t you just love technology!). The two performed their latest hit ‘Can’t Hold Us’, and their staging had lights of various colors, and some of the lyrics appeared on the screen behind them. They brought a lot of energy to their performance (as always!), and proved why they deserved such a great year (because c’mon, 2013 was a very good year for these guys!).
- Multi-talented superstar Jennifer Lopez performed next, with an amazing tribute to late Cuban superstar Celia Cruz. JLo performed a medley of some of the late superstar’s hit songs. Her performance showcased numerous dancers doing many Latin style dances, and JLo (who had 3 quick changes during the performance) proved that her dancing skills haven’t lost a beat during her many years in the industry. She did many difficult dances, including one move at the end of her performance where she was lifted into the air by her partner, and ended in a plank position above his head. This performance was actually my favorite of the night, you gotta love her.
- Great Big World and Christina Aguilera performed their chart topper ‘Say Something’ next, and it was pure magic. My favorite thing about their performance was the fact that the two acts have such distinct voices; however their voices still blend together so perfectly.
- Hip Hop artist Kendrick Lamar performed his hit track ‘Swimming Pools (Drank)’ next and showed that he is one to watch in hip hop. The artist is currently opening for Kanye West, and his performance at the AMAS last night demonstrated that he won’t remain an opening act for very long.
- Country superstar Luke Bryan performed his hit ‘My Kinda Night’ next, and he certainly received a warm welcome form the crowd. The back screen behind Luke had a ring pattern that grew and then collapsed (it sort of reminded me of a screensaver, it was really cool). The staging also consisted of lots of red and white lights, and of course included Luke’s signature dancing. All in all it was a very fun performance, that made you wanna get up and dance.
- Iconic R&B group TLC made a special appearance next, and performed their hit ‘Waterfalls’ with the assistance of rap/hip hop artist Lil’ Mama. The group performed all of the original dance moves from the ‘Waterfalls’ music video, and Lil’ Mama did an excellent job performing the rapping segment of the song. At the end of the performance, the back screen showed a photo of the late Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes, which was a beautiful touch to the performance. The performance itself was amazing, and showed just how great T-Boz and Chili are, due to the fact that they can still perform the iconic song with such precession and skill, even after all these years.
So all in all, the AMAs were full of exciting moments and amazing musical numbers. The show definitely did not disappoint, and made me excited for next year.
- All photos and information used in this blog belong to all those who have any part of the production, conception, implementation, or are in any other way involved with the AMA awards, Pitbull, Justin Timberlake, all those involved in the production, conception, implementation, or are in any other way involved with the following albums or singles: The 20/20 Experience, Red, The Heist, Take me Home, Songs of Jane, Thrift Shop, It’s Time, Can’t Stop Us, Yours Truly, Same Love, Radioactive, Demons, What Makes You Beautiful, Cruise, Wake Me Up, and Happy, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Imagine Dragons, Marc Anthony, One Direction, Ariana Grande, The Mickey Mouse Club, N’ Sync, Nelly, Florida Georgia Line, Avicii, Aleo Blacc, Luke Bryan, Simon Cowell, Lady Antebellum, Stevie Nicks, Maroon 5, Adam Levine, Matthew West, Fat Amy, Rascal Flatts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Vince Gill, all of the individuals, labels, and other corporations associated with any and all artists, bands, groups, and individuals mentioned in this blog post, and all other original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.