It’s difficult to decide if an awards show is worth watching these days. Sometimes they miss their mark, other times they surprise us with a good show. The 2018 American Music Awards hit every mark plus some.
For the second year in a row, Tracee Ellis Ross hosted the AMAs and she killed it. Who else would make a shout out to “the black TMZ” AKA the Shade Room? Tracee’s energy kept the show at a steady rhythm that kept the audience engaged and entertained.
Check out the top moments of the night!
Taylor Swift opened the show singing “I Did Something Bad” and brought out a giant snake. It wasn’t Britney Spears level awesome, but it was still a great performance. This was also Swift’s first live TV performance in over three years. That girl shook off those cobwebs and owned the stage.
Afterwards, Tracee Ellis Ross entered for her opening number. It included a medley of songs like “Bodak Yellow,” “Apesh*t,” “Level Up,” “Respect,” and more. It wouldn’t be Tracee without putting her own comedy twist on it. While she could have worked that dance floor and sang the hell out of those songs, she made it funny, and we love her for that.
Once the bells and whistles simmered down, the first award of the night was for favorite rap/hip-hop artist of the year. Cardi B took the win and delivered a speech that set the night right. “I gotta prove people wrong, cause they said I wasn’t going to make it after I had a baby.” Cardi also waved to her hubby Offset on stage and the whole thing was probably the most adorable moment of the night.
Cardi’s “I Like It” performance at the AMAs was her most unforgettable one to date. No one can say this woman doesn’t have stage presence. She brought her culture, her home, and her personality to the stage and recreated a block party. Cardi was singing and dancing like she didn’t just push out a baby three months ago.
Ciara performed her latest hit “Level Up” at the AMAs, and she brought Missy Elliott on stage to bring the house down.
Gladys Knight, CeCe Winans, Donnie McClurkin, Ledisi and Mary Mary sang in remembrance of the late, great Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. This is the tribute Aretha deserved at an awards show. Honoring Aretha’s soulful gospel roots, “Amazing Grace,” “Climbing Higher Mountains,” “Mary, Don’t You Weep” and “How I Got Over” were performed with her in mind.
Taylor won four awards in total for the night, including Tour of the Year, Favorite Female Artist Pop/Rock, Favorite Album Pop/Rock, and Artist of the Year. Whitney Houston previously held the record for most AMAs won by a female artist, but Swift took the title with 23 wins in total. Swift hinted in her speech that she has already started to work on her next album.
With the help of stylist and close friend Karla Welch, all of Tracee’s outfits were made by black designers.