American Music Awards proceed with adjustments

Amanda Fronczak, Staff Writer

The American Music Awards took place on Nov. 22 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Due to the pandemic, there was a reduced in-person audience to a selected group of fans. Those in attendance sat on the balcony with their families in “quarantine pods,” wore facial coverings and maintained social distancing. Cardboard cutouts of stars including Beyoncé, Jay Z, Dolly Parton and Stevie Nicks were also present. Actress Taraji P. Henson hosted the award show and throughout the night rocked 12 different outfits. 

Cardboard cutouts of Beyoncé and Jay Z were placed in the theater, among others shown above. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

To kick off the night, Justin Bieber was joined by Benny Blanco with a performance of their new song, “Lonely.” Bieber then performed his 2020 hit, “Holy,” and finished off his set alongside Shawn Mendes with their newly-released collaboration, “Monster.” Darius Rucker joined Katy Perry as she performed for the first time since giving birth to her daughter in August. 

A spectacular performance by the Weeknd came next; he was joined by Kenny G to perform two songs from the Weekend’s 2020 album After Hours. The pair closed down an entire bridge in Los Angeles to perform “In Your Eyes” and “Save Your Tears.” Fireworks exploded behind them and, for the first time in AMA history, drones captured every angle of their performance. Other live performances included Megan Thee Stallion, Billie Eilish and Dan+Shay. BTS wrapped up the night from South Korea with their songs “Dynamite” and “Life Goes On.” 

In terms of awards, Taylor Swift, The Weekend, Justin Bieber and Dan+Shay brought a broom and each swept up three awards. Taylor Swift won Artist of the Year, Favorite Music Video for her song “Cardigan,” and Favorite Female Artist in the pop and rock category. These victories make Swift the most decorated artist in AMA history, with 32 awards.

The Weeknd accepts one of his three awards, Favorite Soul/R&B Song. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

The Weeknd took a clean sweep of the Soul/R&B category with Favorite Male Artist, Favorite Album for After Hours and favorite song for “Heartless.” 

In the newly-added Latin category, Bad Bunny took home two awards: Favorite Male Artist and Favorite Album with YHLQMLDG

The Favorite Pop/Rock Album went to Harry Styles for Fine Line and Favorite Song went to Dua Lipa with “Don’t Start Now.” 

Finally, in the country music category, Favorite Male Artist went to Kane Brown, Favorite Female Artist was awarded to Maren Morris and Favorite Duo or Group was won by Dan+Shay.