The American Music Awards aired last night (Oct. 9) and featured performances from various artists. We saw new artists and veterans alike hit the stage, lighting it up with the creativity and glamor that is expected of the long-standing comprehensive award show.
Among the new artists that performed at the AMA’s was Ella Mai. This was her first AMA performance, and second award-show performance ever, her first being at the BET Awards in June. She performed her single “Boo’d Up.” Emerging from the crowd, much as she has emerged onto the music scene, Mai gave an endearing rendition of one of the biggest songs of the year. The crowd was enthusiastically encouraging the new artist in one of the biggest firsts of her career.
One of the most surprising performances of the night was Mariah Carey’s rendition of her latest single “With You.” This was the veteran vocalist’s first AMA performance since her 2008 appearance. Mariah Carey’s astounding vocals were the focal point of the simple performance, where she stood perfectly still surrounded by clouds, from which men appeared and began dancing around her.
Ciara and Missy Elliot hit the stage to perform their hit “Level Up.” The performance was electrifying, and featured the energetic choreography we’ve come to expect from Cici. Dressed in futuristic gear, the theatrics of the performance, fittingly, took the song to a whole new level. Missy joined her on stage to perform her verse in “Level Up,” before Ciara went on to perform her new song “Dose.”
And in perhaps the most animated staging of the night, Cardi B gave a brilliant live performance of her hit single “I Like It,” featuring artists J. Balvin and Bad Bunny. The rendition featured a live horn section, and a myriad of dancers and colors that made for a playful and awing performance. Cardi showed off her post-baby flexibility and has shown that she’s still got it. Bad Bunny, rolled in on a shopping cart for his verse in the song, gave a lively performance, followed by J. Balvin. The set gave the air of a cirque-du-solei show, and was one of the most lively performances of the night.
Post Malone, Ty Dolla $ign, Jennifer Lopez, Benny Blanco, Halsey and Khalid were also among the performances of the night. Post Malone and Ty Dolla performed their track “Psycho,” while JLo hit the stage with her song “Limitless.” Benny Blanco was joined by Halsey and Khalid in the performance of their hit “Eastside.”
The award show took a turn for the touching, as a heartfelt tribute to fallen star Aretha Franklin was led by Gladys Knight, Ledisi, Mary Mary, Cece Winans and Donnie McClurkin. Gladys Knight, a friend of the late singer, opened the tribute with a haunting rendition of “Amazing Grace.” Donnie McClurkin followed Knight with a performance of “Climbing Higher Mountains,” followed by Cece Winan’s rendition of “Mary Don’t You Weep” accompanied by a live gospel choir, and Ledsi singing “How I Got Over.” The tribute ended with a traditional performance by gospel duo Mary Mary, who sang “Old Landmark.” The tribute focused on highlighting classic hymns that Aretha had performed a signature rendition of, rather than highlighting her hits. The result was a haunting performance that brought the audience to their feet one last time as the show came to a close.
— Masego (@masegosongs) October 10, 2018