The 2021 American Music Awards, presented by Cardi B, took place at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday night, bringing together some of the greatest stars in music. Silk Sonic is a duo comprised of Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak who started the event in similar red velvet jackets serenaded the audience with their classic “Smoking Out the Window.”
BTS, the K-pop boy band, also performed on stage alongside Coldplay, and their collaboration “My Universe” got the audience rocking. Following that, the trio picked home a slew of AMAs, including Artist of the Year, Best Pop Duo or Group, and Favorite Pop Song for “Butter,” which they performed to finish off the evening.
Olivia Rodrigo, who had the most nominations of the night, sang her song “Traitor” barefoot and with her guitar in hand. She received the AMA for New Artist of the Year. When it came to Favorite Pop Album, Taylor Swift, who was not there, snatched the award and received it by video message.
Maneskin, an Italian band, made their first performance with their hit song “Beggin,” leaving the audience wanting more. Similarly, Givon approached the stage for the first time and sang “Heartbreak Anniversary,” his hit TikTok single. Jennifer Lopez, on the other hand, isn’t new to the AMA stage, but she did sing “On My Way,” a new song from her album.
As a special treat, the AMAs momentarily returned to the 1980s with the Battle of Boston, a duel between New Kids On The Block and New Edition. Both bands took turns singing some of their best hits before it was confirmed that they will proceed on separate tours.
For the third year in a row, the South Korean band won the best pop group and best pop song for their chart-topping dance hit, Butter.
BTS Receiving Award
Taylor Swift won best female pop artist for the sixth award, as well as the best pop album for her album Evermore.
Swift’s overall number of American Music Awards now stands at 34, increasing her lead as the artist with the most awards. Michael Jackson comes in second with 26 victories. She was also named Artist of the decade in 2019.
BTS played twice, first with Coldplay for a pyrotechnically-assisted version of My Universe, and then with a breathless rendition of Butter – clad in similar butter-colored costumes – to close the event.
Megan Thee Stallion, a rapper who was supposed to join them, backed out at the last minute owing to “an unanticipated personal problem.”
Despite this, the Houston native took up three accolades on the night, including best female hip-hop artist and best trending song for Body. The prize was presented by Stranger Things actress Madelyn Cline.
Olivia Rodrigo was named best new artist, putting her on track to win the same honor at the Grammys in January (nominations are announced on Tuesday).
Bad Bunny, Bruno Mars, and Anderson all performed in the evening. Silk Sonic is Paak’s collaboration effort.
Jennifer Lopez wore a magnificent wedding gown as she sang On My Way, from her upcoming rom-com Marry Me. But her lover, Ben Affleck, was nowhere to be seen.
New Kids On The Block and New Edition, two aging boy bands, competed in a “Battle of the Boston Bands,” performing medleys of their best songs.