November 23, 2015


AMAs Recap: One Direction & Nicki Minaj Win Big, Justin Bieber Closes in Style

Getty Images
Getty Images

The 43rd annual American Music Awards hit L.A.'s Microsoft Theatre on Sunday night (Nov. 22) for a night of energetic performances and genre-spanning awards. Here's the big stuff that went down:

One Direction took home Artist of the Year, their second top prize in a row. The Weeknd and Nicki Minaj each grabbed multiple marquee wins. (Read the full winners list here!) 

Host Jennifer Lopez memorably opened the show with a revamped take on "Waiting for Tonight" before whipping into a jaw-dropping dance number that cycled through—deeeeep breath—"Bad Blood," "Uptown Funk," "Trap Queen," "Can't Feel My Face," "Anaconda," "Hotline Bling," "Thinking of You," "Where Are Ü Now," "Bitch Better Have My Money" and "Girl Crush."

Early on, Prince showed in all his magnificence to dole out Favorite Soul/R&B Album to the Weeknd; starry presenters to follow included Paula Abdul, Kylie Jenner, Avengers actor Jeremy Renner, Chloë Grace Moretz, The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus and reunited Clueless kids Alicia Silverstone and Jeremy Sisto.

Céline Dion visited to pay tribute to the victims of Nov. 13's Paris terrorist attacks. As the extended celebration of Jagged Little Pill's 20th anniversary soldiers on, Alanis Morissette and Demi Lovato both donned black to rock "You Oughta Know" in a dual-generation duet. Justin Bieber closed things out with a montage of Purpose hits, and yeah, the dancing was wild. In mushier news, Meghan Trainor and Charlie Puth wrapped their collaboration with a serious makeout sesh.

In the in-between moments, a Muppets commercial expertly parodied Adele's "Hello" video—24 hours after SNL gleefully did the sameRihanna's AntiDiaRy website, a mysterious buildup to her forthcoming (maybe?) album, was teased numerous times through the show. Online, Aaron Carter Twitter-crashed the show by spending time telling the world Michael Jackson crowned him his successor. He's since deleted the tweet (preserved online, never fear) but went into more detail with the many skeptics:

And if you were looking for drama, Nicki took home Favorite Hip Hop Artist over Drake and Fetty Wap (neither of whom were in the house). In her acceptance speech, she marveled over what an "incredible year" Fetty's made more himself. Of YMCMB label-mate Drizzy's fiery 2015— "Hotline Bling"! What a Time to Be Alive! If You're Reading This It's Too Late!—she said...nada.