American Music Awards Recap: Music and Politics Rule the Night

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Bruno Mars kicked off the American Music Awards Sunday with some of his “24K Magic,” and that was just the beginning of a long night with amazing performances. Lady Gaga gave us a “Million Reasons” to love her performance, while Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj walked “Side to Side” through their performance. And Sting used “Every Breath” during a musical montage, before accepting the American Music Award of Merit.

Jay Pharoah and Gigi Hadid were the hosts of the evening, and even though Jay is known for his impressions, it was Gigi’s impression of Melania Trump that had people talking … and not in a good way. But the hosts weren’t the only ones who brought politics into the show: Chrissy Teigen made headlines for her revealing dress and for revealing her opinion about the election, which had the censors working overtime. Plus, Idina Menzel and Mark Cuban joked about not being invited to Trump’s inauguration, with Idina saying, “Us unsafe, scary theater people won’t be invited either … I love you, Hamilton!”

The biggest statement of the night was made by Green Day during their performance of “Bang Bang,” when frontman Billie Joe Armstrong decided to add a few new lyrics. Billie stood in the middle of the stage chanting, “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA!”

However, the night wasn’t all about music and politics; some of it was just goofy and fun. Jay spoofed Taylor Swift’s Apple Music commercial, where she wipes out while running on a treadmill, listening to Drake and Future’s “Jumpman.” Jay re-created the commercial, wearing a blond wig and taking a spill on a treadmill. Then he premiered a new ad featuring Drake working out to Taylor’s “Bad Blood.”  

Like any awards show, there were some emotional moments as well. Selena Gomez made her first public appearance since taking a career hiatus earlier this year, and when she won Favorite Female Artist — Pop/Rock, Selena gave a powerful speech. And Selena wasn’t alone: When Purple Rain won top soundtrack, more than 30 years after it was released, Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson had a hard time holding back the tears. Tyka ended her speech with, “Until we see you again, this is for you,” as she held the award toward the sky.

Watch Green Day’s Billie Joe insert ‘Trump’ into ‘American Idiot’ at MTV EMAs:

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