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2015 AMAs

Top 10 Performances from the 2015 American Music Awards

From a 'Star Wars' tribute to a musical makeout session, here are the standout stage performances from the 2015 AMAs

1 / 10

Celine Dion

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 22: Singer Celine Dion performs onstage during the 2015 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

From the best vocals we've seen from Ariana Grande and One Direction to Meghan Trainor and Charlie Puth's onstage butt grabbing, these are the 10 performances you couldn't have missed from the 2015 American Music Awards.

Céline Dion was chosen to perform a tribute to the city of Paris and those fallen in the terrorist attacks less than two weeks ago. What a perfect choice she was. 

Backed by a symphony, the Québec powerhouse belted her way through a performance of "Hymne à L'amour" by Édith Piaf, as images of the French city and memorials to the dead were shown on the screens behind her. Celine was a total pro at handling what was obviously an emotionally raw performance. It clearly affected the audience too, as the camera panned to the teary-eyed crowd, which included Demi Lovato.

Read more about the stirring performance here.

2 / 10


LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 22: (L-R) Singers Avi Kaplan, Kirstie Maldonado, Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi, and Kevin Olusola of
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

In a meeting of movies and music, Pentatonix opened a tribute to Star Wars by singing John Williams' famous score, before the a cappella act performed with a full symphony while classic footage from the film played behind. Even better: PTX wore costumes inspired by the movie, too.

A performance that wowed a cappella nerds, Star Wars geeks and everyone in between? What a cool world we live in here in 2015.

Read more about the tribute (and see their costumes!) here.

3 / 10

The Weeknd

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 22: Singer The Weeknd performs onstage during the 2015 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The Weeknd somehow found a way to make his live show that much more soul-stirring by performing in a literal ring of fire. The star delivered his No. 1 hit "The Hills" on a smoldering stage, in what was undoubtedly one of the hottest performances of the night.

Read more about the hot performance here.

4 / 10

One Direction

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 22: (L-R) Singers Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson of One Direction perform
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Artist of the Year winners One Direction may be going on hiatus soon, but they're at least going out with a bang. The quartet performed new single "Perfect" and offered more intricate harmonies than we're used to hearing from the act. It's these types of performances that prove 1D isn't your run-of-the-mill boy band, and we hope to see more vocal showings like this in their future (post-hiatus of course).

Read more about the emotive performance here.

5 / 10

Jennifer Lopez

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 22: Host Jennifer Lopez performs onstage during the 2015 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theate
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Her main gig of the night might have been host, but Jennifer Lopez kicked off the 2015 AMAs on a note that likely made all the other performers up their game. After she began with a gorgeous cabaret version of her 1999 hit "Waiting for Tonight," Lopez's set got even better when she broke it down to a slew of hits from the past year, with an army of bootyshakers backing her.

Read more about the dazzling dance medley here.

6 / 10

Meghan Trainor & Charlie Puth

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 22: Singers Charlie Puth (L) and Meghan Trainor kiss onstage during the 2015 American Music Awards
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

For a medley that included "Like I'm Gonna Lose You" and "Marvin Gaye," Meghan Trainor and Charlie Puth's performance already had a charming throwback feel, with Trainor's adorable choreographed dancing and Puth crooning at a piano. But the two really made this one to remember when they ended it with a mini-makeout session that saw Puth full-on grabbing his duet partner's bum. We asked ourselves "Why?" but also asked "Why not?"

Watch the musical makeout right here.

7 / 10

Ariana Grande

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 22: Singer Ariana Grande performs onstage during the 2015 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theat
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

For the debut TV performance of new single "Focus," Ariana Grande brought loads of glamour, sass and impressive big notes. The tiny diva strutted her way on the classic Hollywood-inspired stage in an old-school frock and with bright red lips, as she showed some of the most strongest vocal runs of her career. She mixed the high notes in with adorable little "excuse me's" and "oh pardon me's" to her dancers, which recalled an old musical scene from yesteryear.

Read more about the "Focus" performance here.

8 / 10

Mackelmore, Ryan Lewis & Leon Bridges

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 22: Rapper Macklemore (L) and singer Leon Bridges perform onstage during the 2015 American Music A
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis could have easily brought a jam session to the AMAs and it would have been fine. Instead, the duo shifted our expectations and delivered an impassioned performance to debut their new single "Kevin," featuring the underrated soul singer Leon Bridges. 

Macklemore spit verses about addiction, recovering and death, and the solemn tune was a clear shift from past single "Downtown," which would have brought the aforementioned party to the stage. Macklemore and co. instead opted to give us one of the night's more stirring moments.

9 / 10

Gwen Stefani

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 22: Singer Gwen Stefani performs onstage during the 2015 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theate
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Gwen Stefani is in the midst of a divorce from longtime husband Gavin Rossdale, and the No Doubt diva brought her emotions to the 2015 AMAs stage for the biggest performance of new single "Used to Love You" yet. Her feelings were palpable on a gorgeous-but-eerie stage that showed clips from the singer's "Used to Love You" video, along with previously unseen footage that included Gwen sobbing into her arms. It was the details that mattered here, and we think Gwen nailed them.

Read more about the emotional performance here.

10 / 10

Justin Bieber

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 22: Singer Justin Bieber performs onstage during the 2015 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theat
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Justin Bieber ended the AMAs with a worthy finale that showcased all of the different aspects that make the pop star special. It started with the superstar going acoustic for "What Do You Mean?," with just a guitar backing him, before he broke into "Where Are U Now?," that included what's probably the most impressive dance break he's ever performed on TV. Bieber ended with "Sorry," where a waterfall of raindrops fell on him.

It was a very symbolic moment for Bieber, who just snagged his sixth No. 1 album and has seemingly been absolved of his past sins and is now a new, adult superstar.

Read more about the finale here.


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