Watch Tyler, The Creator, Olivia Rodrigo, Silk Sonic, & Coldplay & BTS Play The American Music Awards
Last night, the American Music Awards, the annual show that doesn’t even pretend to aim for prestige, went down in Los Angeles. Last year, the AMAs were a pandemic show, and so everything went down virtually. The big showstopper performance was the Weeknd, with Kenny G and a whole bunch of pyrotechnics, on a Los Angeles bridge. Last night, though, the stars got to sing their songs on stages, in front of human beings.
At least in our corner of the world, the big performance from last night came from Tyler, The Creator, an artist who always goes for elaborate theatricality at awards shows. Tyler performed “Massa,” from his album Call Me If You Get Lost, in front of a wintery cabin, while fake snow fell on him. He wore a fuzzy hat and a winter coat but also some little shorts. “Massa,” by Tyler standards, is a relatively low-key song, but he still made it into something theatrical. Watch it below.
Olivia Rodrigo, the year’s biggest new star, didn’t do any of her big hits. Instead, she gave a stripped-down performance, if you can use “stripped-down” to describe an awards-show performance with a lit-up galactic backdrop. Rodrigo sang the pissed-off ballad “Traitor” while playing an acoustic guitar. Here’s that performance:
Silk Sonic, the duo of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, gave an old-school performance of their hit “Smokin’ Out The Window” that wasn’t too different from the song’s video. Their choreography was as smooth and crispy as ever. Here’s that one:
The night’s big winners were BTS, who won the Artist Of The Year trophy. BTS have a history with this awards show; their 2017 performance on the AMAs was a big moment in their rise. Last night, they got together with Coldplay to perform their collaboration “My Universe,” one of the many BTS chart-toppers from the past year. Here’s that performance:
And speaking of boy bands, the pioneering tinnybopper vocal groups New Edition and New Kids On The Block got together to perform a medley of hits at last night’s show. There’s history there. Both groups are from Boston. Maurice Starr, the manager who discovered New Edition, started the New Kids as a white version of New Edition, and they took off after New Edition fired Starr. There’s also a long history of drama within New Edition, especially around Bobby Brown, who left the group to become a massive solo star and whose reunions with New Edition haven’t always panned out. But there was no rivalry at last night’s show; everyone seemed happy to be back in front of people. Here’s that performance:
Also, Morgan Wallen wasn’t there.