The 44th Annual American Music Awards

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American Music Awards

The American Music Awards is one of the most revered music award shows of the year.

Kelsy Pacheco , Staff Writer

To end the year with a bang, the American Music Awards held their annual award show on Sunday Nov. 20. The star-studded night included performances by Green Day, Fifth Harmony and even Justin Bieber who, thanks to Skype, was able to preform from the middle of the European leg of his Purpose Tour.

Along with all these performers, the show also included many celebrity appearances such as Nina Dobrev, Olivia Munn and Idina Menzel. Here are some highlights from this year’s show:

From Performance to Protest

Throughout the night, many celebrities expressed their disdain towards the new presidential elect, Donald Trump, by poking fun at him and his family and praising those who stood up to him. At the beginning of the night, Gigi Hadid impersonated Melania Trump saying “I love my husband, President Barack Obama and our children Sacha and Malia,” in reference to Melania Trump plagiarizing Michelle Obama’s speech. The band Green Day took a more subtle approach at expressing their dislike towards the new elect. During their performance of their song “Bang Bang,” lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong slightly altered the lyrics and started chanting, “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA.” But there were others such as Idina Menzel, who along with everyone else, took a stand against all the hate and supported those who were fighting for their rights. As she was presenting the award for best Country Duo or Group, she said as an “unsafe, scary theater person” she would not be welcomed to the inauguration and then exclaimed “I love you Hamilton!,” in reference to the past week’s events of Hamilton actors taking a stand against vice-presidential elect Mike Pence.

“I feel like everything now a days is about politics and like it’s all revolving around Trump now. I do agree with many of the people in the show like Idina Menzel, that we don’t need to resort to violence to get our voices heard. Sometimes all we need to do is stand tall and stand together,” sophomore Karina Wu said.

Spread the Love

Amongst all the hate, there were many celebrities that were trying to promote more love. In her first public appearance since she went into rehab, Selena Gomez looked as stunning as ever in a simple red Prada dress with her hair tied back. As she went up to accept her award for Favorite Female Artist in the Pop/Rock category, she said a couple words in a heartfelt speech that touched many. Following Gomez, Lady Gaga gave a soulful performance of “Million Reasons,” a song off her new album “Joanne.” As Gaga sang her heart out, the crowd watched her in awe as she sang with so much raw power behind every note.

Breaking Records 

 This year, rapper Drake was nominated in 13 different categories including Favorite Male Artist and Artist of the Year, setting a new record for most nominations. Following him was Rihanna with seven nominations; she one three, including the one for Favorite Soul/R&B Artist. Drake was not the only Canadian to set records, though. Justin Bieber is now on the top 10 list of most awards won, winning four awards and coming in seventh place, beating Janet Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Rihanna, and tying with Willie Nelson for a total of 12 wins. Currently at No. 1 is Michael Jackson with a total of 45 nominations and 24 wins.

As always, the award show promises to be bigger and better every year and this year, was nothing short of it. From the most honest moments, to the political jokes, this year’s show was full of surprises and has set the bar high for next year’s show.