The 43rd American Music Awards kicked off on Sunday, and it did not disappoint.
Host, Jennifer Lopez, left the audience’s jaws on the floor with an epic choreographed opening routine that included tribal bodysuits, numerous backup dancers and a laundry list of 2015 hits. Opening with her own song, “Waiting for Tonight,” incorporating songs “Anaconda” by Nicki Minaj, “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars and ending the six-minute–long number with Rihanna’s “B**** Better Have My Money,” J.Lo stole the night.
“Tonight’s not about me,” Lopez said, and the audience responded with laughter. “Tonight’s about the music.” 10 wardrobe changes were also configured into the night for the host.
Other performances included ones from Ariana Grande with a premiere performance of her single “Focus”; Gwen Stefani’s performance of “Used To Love You” that generated many, many emotions; Nick Jonas’s medley of “Chains,” “Levels,” and “Jealous”; Macklemore, Ryan Lewis and Leon Bridges debuted a new song called “Kevin”; and Demi Lovato performed “Confident.”
With a heartfelt introduction from Jared Leto, Céline Dion entered the stage to perform an iconic French song from Edith Piaf in honor of the tragedies that struck Paris recently, bringing many of those in the room to tears.
“Tonight, we honor the victims of the unimaginable violence that has taken place in Paris and around the world,” Leto said.
Harrison Ford made a guest appearance to introduce a special Star Wars: The Force Awakens scene and a tribute to some famous musical scores, performed by bestselling acapella group Pentatonix.
Justin Bieber closed the show with a “wet” performance. Starting off slow with a melodic rendition of “What Do U Mean?”, it transitioned into a dance break before rain literally poured all over Bieber for “Sorry.”
As for the award ceremony aspect of the night: One Direction took home Artist of the Year, Sam Hunt was given New Artist of the Year, Taylor Swift’s 1989 was named Favorite Album, Ed Sheeran was given the recognition of Favorite Male Pop/Rock Artist of the Year and Ariana Grande received the female counterpart of the award.
Luke Bryan and Carrie Underwood ruled the country world as Favorite Male Country Artist and Favorite Female Country Artist. Florida Georgia Line took home the gold with two awards for Favorite Country Duo and Favorite Country Album for their “Anything Goes” album.
Nicki Minaj swept the floor with two awards herself for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop artist and Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop album for “The Pinkprint.” Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist was given to The Weeknd, and the female counterpart to the award was taken by Rihanna.
Despite its hiatus, Fall Out Boy was named Favorite Alternative Rock Artist. Finally, Pitch Perfect 2 took home the award for Favorite Soundtrack.