Jennifer Lopez hosted the 2015 American Music Awards, broadcast last night on ABC, and for the third year in a row, One Direction took home the trophy for “Favorite Duo or Group – Pop/Rock.” The quartet also took home honors for “Artist of the Year.”
The glitzy celebration of pop had token recognitions of Latin (Enrique Iglesias, “Favorite Artist – Latin”) and Christian (Casting Crowns, “Favorite Artist – Contemporary Inspirational”) music, but the night was dominated by country (Florida Georgia Line, “Favorite Duo or Group – Country” and “Favorite Album, Country”) and hip-hop (Nicki Minaj, “Favorite Artist – Rap/Hip-Hop” and “Favorite Album – Rap/Hip-Hop”) stars, and of course, Taylor Swift. Swift won three awards (“Favorite Album – Pop/Rock,” “Favorite Artist – Adult Contemporary,” and “Song of the Year”) but lost out to pint-sized pop princess Ariana Grande for “Favorite Female Artist – Pop/Rock.”
In the most criminal of snubs last night, The Weeknd’s admittedly massive Beauty Behind The Madness beat out D’angelo’s soulful masterpiece Black Messiah for “Favorite Album – Soul/R&B.” But if you want any clue as to the inanity of awards shows such as this, just look to the LA Times‘ live blog of the event, which helpfully reminded us that D’angelo probably never had a chance.
While many of the headlines will no doubt focus on the diabetes-inducing stage makeout session between Charlie Puth and Meghan Trainor, the show’s saving grace was it’s packed schedule of musical performances. Gwen Stefani continued to play out her divorce in the public eye with a performance of “Used to Love You,” Luke Bryan and Karen Fairchild teamed up for a duet of “Home Alone Tonight,” and Alanis Morissette brought out Demi Lovato for (unnecessary) assistance on her Jagged Little Pill jam “You Oughta Know.” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis debuted a new song about drug addiction called “Kevin” featuring Leon Bridges, and Jared Leto gave a tribute to the victims of terror in Paris while introducing Celine Dion for her performance of Edith Piaf’s “Hymn à L’Amour.” The formerly recalcitrant Justin Bieber continued his redemption tour, closing out the show with a “rain”-soaked performance of three recent hits: “What Do You Mean?”, the Skrillex & Diplo collaboration “Where Are Ü Now” (which took home “Collaboration of the Year” honors), and “Sorry.”
It’s unclear how much of a Grammys prognosticator the AMAs will be this year, but regardless, it doesn’t look good for the likes of D’angelo, while we can’t see Taylor Swift losing to Ariana Grande for a major award again. You can see the full list of winners here. And get the hell out of One Direction’s way, because they’re about to clean up.