AMAs 2021: Red Carpet Highlights and Winners
By: Natalia Finnis-Smart
This past Sunday, the American Music Awards kicked off with its annual return. Hip-Hop superstar Cardi B with five number-one singles under her belt and an RIAA Diamond Certified song for her breakout hit Bodak Yellow, was announced as this year’s event’s host and is up for three awards. She later won Favorite Hip-Hop Song for her number one single Up, released earlier this year. During an interview with Good Morning America, the rapper expressed her nervousness within this new role, citing pressures to deliver and fear of appearing on television in this capacity compared to a one-time performance. However, she’s open to more hosting gigs in the future.
Despite some of this year’s award winners’ publicization before the show’s airing on ABC, fans and overall music lovers had the chance to vote for their favs, witness them perform, and accept their honors on the main stage. The top three nominees Olivia Rodrigo, The Weeknd, and Doja Cat, with seven, six, and five total nominations, respectively, all snagged the winning title for some of their nominated categories. Some of the night’s other winners included Drake for Favorite Male Hip-Hop Artist, Taylor Swift for Favorite Female Pop Artist, Lil Nas X for Favorite Music Video for MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name), and Machine Gun Kelly for Favorite Rock Artist.
Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak), who won for Favorite R&B song, opened the show performing their new single Smokin’ Out The Window from the duo’s collaborative album An Evening with Silk Sonic, released last week. Fashion-forward Cardi B, who dominated the headlines during last month’s Paris Fashion Week with haute couture ensembles from Mugler to Schiaparelli to Richard Quinn, made a grand entrance nothing short of memorable, wearing custom Alexandre Vauthier. The night’s first presenter, Billy Porter, announced the Favorite Latin Album category (won by Bad Bunny for his album El Último Tour Del Mundo).
Highly successful K-pop group BTS and British band Coldplay graced the AMA stage with a highly anticipated performance of their number one single My Universe, which debuted at the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 a few weeks ago. BTS later won for Favorite Pop Duo or Group for the third consecutive year. While accepting their award, band member Namjoon thanked their fans, ARMY, for making this possible. The group also later won the Favorite Pop Song for their hit single Butter and Artist of the Year. Current Bachelorette Michelle Young also made a surprise appearance on the red carpet wearing Baobab and announced some of the night’s forthcoming acts in the show’s first segment.
Taylor Swift also garnered the award for Evermore in the Favorite Pop Album category. Since physically absent from the show, Swift thanked her fans for their continued dedication via video and credited them for the recent success of her re-released album Red (Taylor’s Version), which debuted on the Billboard 200 with 605K total units. Tyler the Creator also hit the stage with a dynamically intriguing performance for his song MASSA from his latest album, Call Me If You Get Lost, released in July of this year which topped the Billboard 200 chart.
The night’s biggest winners BTS, Doja Cat, and Megan Thee Stallion, each took home three awards. New Kids on the Block and New Edition gave the show a throwback feel during their dual performance of both groups’ greatest hits. Jennifer Lopez was another surprise guest, performing her new single On My Way from the upcoming movie Marry Me, which premiers on Valentine’s Day next year. BTS rounded out the show on a high note with their second performance of the night with Butter.
Red Carpet Highlights
Last night’s awards were filled with countless fashion moments on the red carpet and during the show. Check out some of the fits below: