Last weekend, Lady Gaga and R. Kelly set The Internets™ on fire with their rendition of “Do What U Want” on Saturday Night Live, a performance that reintroduced the concept of sex pushups back into the national consciousness. Earlier today, though, Kells set the bar for tonight’s performance at the American Music Awards impossibly high when he told Rolling Stone that “No offense to #SNL but that was a dress rehearsal for #AMAs.”
American Music Awards
How early is too early to begin your Christmas caroling? Never, if you sound as Pentatonix do. We caught up with the The Sing-Off winners ahead of the American Music Awards on Sunday and asked them if they might ring in the holiday season with a tune. The group has just released their second EP, a Christmas collection called PTXmas, so they had a few festive options ready to roll and they happily obliged. Above, check out the group singing “Angels We Have Heard on High” on the AMAs red carpet.
The biggest pop news of the last few weeks has been the rumored split — and possible reuniting? — of Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. Young love is tough and love in the spotlight tougher, so we figured we would take the opportunity of the American Music Awards red carpet to solicit advice for the young and struggling and oh-so-famous couple from some of music’s hottest stars. First up? Auto-tune casanova Jason Derulo. Mmm whatcha say, Jason?
As he has and will be called on to do at so many award shows this season, Psy closed out tonight’s American Music Awards show ceremony with his hit gone viral “Gangnam Style.” And as he has done for all performances prior, he made sure to keep things fresh with a last minute surprise After the first round of giddy up-ing, the lights went dark and we were left to consider the possibilities — Britney’s gone Gangnam, as have Madonna and The Wanted. Psy’s “special guest” could really have been anyone but what happened was probably better than anything we could have imagined, because out stepped none less than MC Hammer. Together they performed a mash-up of Hammer’s 1991 smash hit “To Legit To Quit” and “Gangnam,” and the house — and Will.I.Am in particular — just lost it. There were a lot of performances tonight, and most of them were great, but this was something else all together. It perfect surprise to call it a night.
All bundled up and looking mighty a white fur jacket and a pair of yeti boots, Nicki Minaj performed her new no-apologies given Re-Up track, “Freedom.” Having just picked up awards for Best Rap/Hip Hop album and Best Rap Hip Hop Artist, she put her all into rapping while mostly opting-out of singing the hook. But at the end, she was joined by a white-robbed choir and they more than managed to set the song soaring.
Nicki returned to the stage later in the evening to join Justin Bieber for “Beauty And The Beast.” And despite the week’s heart breaking news, she kept the “gotta keep an eye out for Selen-er line.”
Like Kelly Clarkson did, Usher treated the American Music Awards to a medley, his compete with selections from his recent Looking 4 Myself. Being so nimble and athletic as he is, he studded the three performance with plenty of dance moves and he even took a turn on a treadmill. And none of this, nor his all leather everything outfit, kept him from hitting all the notes as he powered through “Numb,” “Climax” and “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop,” though. How’s that for fitness?
Don’t let the pretty white dress and bare-lips (a rare sighting during this Red-promo round!) fool you, Taylor Swift brought plenty of “Trouble” to the American Music Awards tonight. Performing it for the first time live, tonight’s mix of the Red standout came complete with some digi hand-clapping and an orchestral undertow that the album version doesn’t have, but all the same charge when the “oh oohs” come in and the bass drops. And for the song’s final act, Taylor stripped her flouncy white dress to reveal a red and black corseted dress. Trouble? Throw in some close dancing with her masked men and a little writhing and oh, ohh, yes — this is certainly a place Tayor has never been, and we think we like it?
American Idol‘s longest sitting judge, Randy Jackson, appropriately introduced Kelly Clarkson tonight at the American Music Awards. Clarkson performed a medley of her biggest hits ever — “Miss Independent,” “Since U Been Gone,” “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” and “Catch My Breath” — in front of a fake panel of judges and with a bib boasting her winning American Idol contestant number, 2311. There were also lots of feathers and sequins on her dress and a pillow fight seemed to break out during “Since U Been Gone,” though we hardly noticed so captivated by her belting as we were. Not many can sing like Kelly and her Chapter One really was a great one — let’s send her to the next round?
We are no Nate Silver, but probability seems to have it that Nicki Minaj will more often than not be on stage at the American Music Awards next month. Already up for four awards — Favorite Female Artist: Pop/Rock, Favorite Artist: Rap/Hip-Hop, Favorite Album: Rap/Hip-Hop as well as Favorite Album: Pop/Rock — the Young Money leading lady will, at some point between all that acceptance speech giving, also be called on to perform any one of her recent releases. If there were one artist best suited to handle that sort of multitasking, though, we suspect she would be Miss Minaj.
Also joining her on the bill as performers are Favorite Female Artist: Country nominee Taylor Swift, Favorite Artist: Alternative Rock nominees Linkin Park and Christina Aguilera, as was previously announced. It should be a big night, so mark your calenders and set your DVRs: The American Music Awards will be broadcast live from Los Angeles on November 18 at 8 PM ET.
The American Music Awards are to the Grammy Awards what the Golden Globes are to the Oscars — they’re slightly looser, filled with more frivolity and slightly less consequential in the grand scheme of things. However, when it comes to generating viral moments, score one for the producers of the AMAs.
Tonight’s show opened with Nicki Minaj performing her a medley of her song with David Guetta, “Turn Me On,” and her 2011 Song Of The Summer contender, “Super Bass.” While she was performing, someone in the truck noticed that Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez were rapping along to the song in the crowd and wisely cut to that shot, which we have for you above courtesy of @mattchew03.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that T-Swizzle has publicly professed her love for the Queen of the Barbies. Back in February, she rapped a few bars of “Super Bass” during a trip to a Los Angeles area radio station, and Nicki returned the favor by duetting with Taylor at a concert over the summer.