by CAROLINE GAVURA Section Editor
AMA veterans Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake swept the American Music Awards on November 24 with Swift winning four awards, including “Artist of the Year,” and Timberlake going home with three awards, including “Best Soul/R&B Album.” Newbies Ariana Grande and One Direction were both given their first AMA awards.
Highlights included performances by: Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Lady GaGa and R. Kelly, Pitbull and Ke$ha, Ariana Grande, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Rihanna, One Direction, Jennifer Lopez, Kendrick Lamar, Imagine Dragons, Luke Bryan, A Great Big World with Christina Aguilera, and a reunion performance by TLC.
Perry opened the show with a performance of her new track “Unconditional”, with an over-the-top Asian theme. Although it seemed to be an innocent representation of Perry’s love of Asian culture, some perceived it to be racist.
“Thinking Katy’s performance was racist is ridiculous. One culture dressing up as another culture is not racist. If anything, she was celebrating Asian culture and how much she likes it!” says junior Michelle Barclay.
“New Artist of the Year” award winner, Ariana Grande, performed her song “Tattooed Heart,” showing off her seductive Mariah Carey-like vocals.
Fan girls went wild when “Best Pop/Rock Band” winners One Direction came on stage to sing their sweet mom-friendly song “Story Of My Life.”
After Macklemore and Lewis performed their hit song “Can’t Hold Us” and accepted their award for “Best Rap/HipHop Artist,” they gave a heart-warming speech about ending racial profiling and even mentioned the Trayvon Martin case.
Lady GaGa’s performance of “Do What U Want” with R. Kelly, in which she looked somewhat normal in a glittery leotard and danced around male models in business suits, had a JFK/Marilyn, Clinton/Lewinsky-inspired plot.
But the AMA’s saved the best for last – Miley Cyrus. The singer came on stage in a bikini-looking getup, which had cats all over it, and huge plastic earrings and bangles. The cat theme did not end there; while Cyrus performed a very emotional version of “Wrecking Ball,” a hologram of a crying lip-syncing cat floating through space was put up behind her.
“Miley’s performance was fabulous! Her vocals were killer and I loved her cat outfit!” says senior Kelsey Rudowitz.
List of Winners:
Artist of the Year: Taylor Swift
New Artist of the Year: Ariana Grande
Single of the Year: “Cruise,” Florida Georgia Line featuring Nelly
Pop/Rock Female Artist: Taylor Swift
Pop/Rock Male Artist: Justin Timberlake
Pop/Rock Band, Duo or Group: One Direction
Pop/Rock Album: “Take Me Home,” One Direction
Country Female Artist: Taylor Swift
Country Male Artist: Luke Bryan
Country Band, Duo or Group: Lady Antebellum
Country Album: “Red,” Taylor Swift
Rap/Hip-Hop Artist: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Rap/Hip-Hop Album: “The Heist,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Soul/R&B Female Artist: Rihanna
Soul/R&B Male Artist: Justin Timberlake
Soul/R&B Album: “The 20/20 Experience,” Justin Timberlake
Alternative Rock Artist: Imagine Dragons
Latin Artist: Marc Anthony
Adult Contemporary: Maroon 5
Electronic Dance Music Artist: Avicii
Favorite Artist, Contemporary Inspirational: Matthew West
Favorite Soundtrack: “Pitch Perfect”
What was your favorite performance of the AMA’s?