The 2014 American Music Awards were hosted by Pitbull in Los Angeles on Sunday night and oh what a night it was. One Direction was the big winner of the evening taking home three AMAs and best artist of the year honors. The band’s been on a tear supporting a sold out world tour that will reportedly net an excess of fifty million dollars in 2014.
The biggest upset of the evening was Iggy Azalea as she beat out Eminem and Drake for the favorite rap/hip hop award. Azalea also won favorite rap/hip hop album for her hit record “The New Classic.”
The weirdest moment of the show was an awkward cut away to a very husky Garth Brooks singing his hokey new song “People Loving People.” Also less than stellar, Five Seconds of Summer butchered The Romantic’s new wave classic “What I like About You.”
Here’s our pick of the best (and worst) performances:
- Taylor Swift
Swift kicked off the show with a stage version of her video “Blank Space.” While most of us still can’t get “Shake It Off” out of our heads, “Blank Space” has helped drive sales of her 1989 album to over a million copies, making it the best-selling album since 2004.
Lorde twisted and gyrated her way through the most daring performance of the AMAs on her song “Yellow Flicker Beat” from The Hunger Games soundtrack. Lorde is fortunate to be too young to care what anyone thinks (she just turned 18 ) and she’s also geographically removed from the self-awareness of American culture (she lives in New Zealand with her parents), which gives her the freedom to take risks not usually seen in pop.
- J.Lo & Iggy
Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea’s performance on “Booty.” One word. Wow.
- Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj
Another award show performance of “Bang Bang.” Jessie J strutted down the center aisle in the audience, Nicki attacked the mic and and Ariana Grande looked a little intimidated. We loved it.
- Five Seconds of Summer
The Australians won big at the AMAs, though they absolutely neutered The Romantics 1979 New Wave classic “What I Like About You.” While teenage girls love the faux punk rockers, and 5SOS took home best new artist of the year, they are about as dangerous as a herd of kittens. In honor of The Romantics we’re posting the original version of the video.
- Pitbull and Ne-Yo
Ne-Yo and Pitbull peformed “Time of Our Lives.” Pitbull, in addition to hosting, also cranked out “Fireball.” Mr. Worldwide proved again that he’s the hardest working guy in the biz!
- Lil Wayne ft. Christina Milian
Lil Wayne was joined by Christina Milian for a killer performance of his new song “Let’s Start a Fire.”
- Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez delivered a solid performance on the emotional “The Heart Wants What It Wants.”
The Black Eyed Peas star killed it on her new single “LA Love.” It’s great to see Fergie back in the game and in top form.
- Nicki Minaj ft. Skylar Grey
A fully clothed Nicki Minaj sang “Bed of Lies” featuring Skylar Grey. That’s right, fully clothed. Her performances was amazing.
Here’s the full list of AMA Award Winners:
- Artist of the year: One Direction
- New artist of the year: 5 Seconds of Summer
- Single of the year: “Dark Horse,” Katy Perry feat. Juicy J
- Dick Clark Award of Excellence: Taylor Swift
- Favorite male artist — pop/rock: Sam Smith
- Favorite female artist — pop/rock: Katy Perry
- Favorite band, duo or group — pop/rock: One Direction
- Favorite album — pop/rock: “Midnight Memories,” One Direction
- Favorite male artist — country: Luke Bryan
- Favorite female artist — country: Carrie Underwood
- Favorite band, duo or group — country: Florida Georgia Line
- Favorite album — country: “Just As I Am,” Brantley Gilbert
- Favorite artist — rap/hip-hop: Iggy Azalea
- Favorite album — rap/hip-hop: “The New Classic,” Iggy Azalea
- Favorite male artist — soul/R&B: John Legend
- Favorite female artist — soul/R&B: Beyonce
- Favorite album — soul/R&B: Beyonce
- Favorite artist — adult contemporary: Katy Perry
- Favorite artist — contemporary inspirational: Casting Crowns
- Favorite artist — electronic dance music: Calvin Harris
- Favorite artist— Latin: Enrique Iglesias
- Favorite soundtrack: “Frozen”