Lady Gaga, Sting, Nicki Minaj & Ariane Grande Lead A Star-Studded Night To Remember At the 2016 AMAs
Mon, 21 Nov 2016 10:55:27
The American Music Awards never fail to leave an impact on the mindset of the music industry, and the global fan bases of each appearing artist, and this year is no different. The event, broadcast from the Microsoft Center in Los Angeles, had all the usual musical extravagance, captivating performances, and arresting speeches, but this year there was a political charge with many performers weighing in with anti-Trump sentiment, acidic wit, and angry chants.
Lady Gaga turned in a hell of a set - a stripped back, simple version of her track "Million Reasons" from her new album Joanne. In place of her usual theatric, wardrobe, Gaga turned in a barefoot performance, sitting with a guitar in her lap and pouring out a vocal performance of the ballad that reminded fans why they love her.
Sting, currently enjoying the release of his 12th solo studio album, 57th & 9th, accepted the Award of Merit, presented by Robert Downey Jr. The legacy artist performed his new single "I Can't Stop Thinking About You", before launching into the Police's "Message in a Bottle" and "Every Breath You Take" to highlight two of the biggest hits in his former band's catalog.
The AMAs have a reputation of providing a stage for some memorable collaborations, and last night was no different - Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj gave a tropical take on their reggae-infused hit single "Side to Side". The single, from Grande's 2016 LP Dangerous Woman, was performed on a set similar to Minaj's "Anaconda" video, Grande performed surrounded by dancers, while Minaj performed from a large straw peacock chair. The duo had previously tackled the track at the MTV Video Music Awards where they did a light re-creation of the exercise and spin class-themed video they debuted the next day.
Aside from a number of biting comments aimed at the President Elect, Donald Trump, from those accepting and presenting awards, it was Green Day who made their view most explicit. The band chanted, "No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA" before launching into their song "Bang Bang" from their latest number one selling album Revolution Radio.
With a number of show-stopping moments throughout the night, it was Maroon 5 and Kendrick Lamar who closed the show. They performed a live debut of their new single "Don't Wanna Know".
No KKK, No fascist USA, No Trump! pic.twitter.com/Lv2pRgOJJX— Green Day Authority (@GDA) November 21, 2016
—The ARTISTdirect Staff