Keith Loves Shawn
Jamie Foxx’s daughter singing along to Shawn Mendes was cute, but it's not a surprise that someone her age knows “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back.” More surprising, however, was watching Keith Urban prove he knows every word of Mendes’ latest smash.
Selena Gomez Bleeds
For her Marshmello collab “Wolves,” Selena Gomez had easily the most creative stage dressing of the night. Done up to look like she’d been hit by a car in the middle of an eerie, woodsy intersection, Selena was lit by the headlights of an idling car while mists and dancers swirled around her. With fake blood dripping from her tousled hair and Marshmello pounding the drums, it was a riveting, strange performance that stuck with you after they’d left the stage.?
Portugal Feeling It, Still
Portugal. The Man brought an extensive musical entourage to the AMAs to deliver their crossover hit “Feel It Still,” putting an emphasis on musicianship vs. theatrics. At the end of the performance, the screen behind them invited the entire audience to join the band for a drink after the show at the Wilshire.
“Stay” Goes Chic
With Zedd on the piano and Alessia Cara in a chic gown, they brought a string-laden version of “Stay” to the AMAs. It was an astonishing vocal showcase for the young talent, proving her live chops are only getting better.
Khalid and Dragons Roar
Go-to awards show collaborators Imagine Dragons teamed up with fresh face Khalid for a mash-up of his irresistible “Young, Dumb and Broke” and their bombastic “Thunder.” It worked surprisingly well, and when Khalid and Dragons’ Dan Reynolds started trading vocals at the end, it was sort of sublime.
P!nk Flying High
After so many aerial stunts at awards shows, what’s left for P!nk? Well, as it turns out, one on the side of a hotel building. Suspended hundreds of feet in the air on the side of the JW Marriott, P!nk used the hotel windows as her stage to sing the title track to her new album Beautiful Trauma, with backup dancers/aerialists tossing her back and forth in the air in a kind of death-defying ballet.
Kelly Clarkson Brings the Soul
After some of “Miss Independent,” Kelly Clarkson segued into her Stax soul-drenched single “Love So Soft,” demonstrating her impressive vocal command, and her ability to sail on the high notes and growl with swamp-rock realness when necessary.
BTS & Tears
The BTS fan army was in full effect at the AMAs while the boy band performed “DNA.” Witnessing the group’s flashy choreography up close and personal had more than one fan in tears, making for the best reaction shots of the night.
Diana Ross & Her Grandkids
Receiving a lifetime achievement award at the AMAs, Diana Ross drew on her lengthy career of hits for a five-song medley to close the show. Watching AMAs host Tracee Ellis Ross singing along to her mom during “I’m Coming Out” was cute, and watching Jamie Foxx boogying to “Ease On Down the Road” from The Wiz was a delight. But it was her grandkids, who took the stage with her during “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” that stole the show.