Some of music’s biggest stars were all under the same Microsoft Theater roof on Tuesday (Oct. 9) night for the 46th American Music Awards. And the evening’s brightest stars were the female acts.
Over the course of the three-hour ceremony, hosted by the hilarious Tracee Ellis Ross, ladies lit up the stage and bested the boys in key categories, with female performers outweighing male singers and rappers by more than a 2-to-1 ratio.
Taylor Swift, who took home three awards, opened the show with a fiery performance of “I Did Something Bad.” The pop star also continued to use her superstar platform to remind everyone to get out and vote.
“This award and every single award given out tonight were voted on by the people, and you know what else is voted on by the people, is the midterm elections on November 6. Get out and vote.”
Rapper Cardi B was a two-time winner. Her hit “Bodak Yellow” won Favorite Rap Song, and her collaboration with Bruno Mars was awarded Best R&B Song. But it was her smoking-hot performance of the summer anthem “I Like It” that showed why Cardi’s got staying power.
Jennifer Lopez debuted her new song “Limitless” from her upcoming film Second Act. On the red carpet, J.Lo told Access she hopes the Sia-penned track serves as an inspiration for women that they can “make things happen.”
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We breathed life and energy into #Limitless tonight…so grateful for you and happy you’re enjoying the song…something so special happens when we come together…I felt it tonight and I hope you felt it too, love to you all! THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING!!! Goodnight!!#AMAs #SecondAct
Pop newcomer Dua Lipa served retro 80s, MTV realness for her performance of her number-one dance hit “One Kiss.”
Mariah Carey, who has 21 AMAs to her name, hit the stage with a performance of her new single, “With You,” which featured shirtless dancers popping out of her dress like real divas do.
— Rafael Ribeiro (@RafaRibeiroReal) October 10, 2018
Ciara and Missy Elliott destroyed the stage with a performance of the viral “Level Up.”
— Ciara Icon (@CiaraIcon) October 10, 2018
And Aretha Franklin was honored with a star-studded performance highlighting the Queen of Soul’s gospel roots and her 1972 album Amazing Grace.
Gladys Knight started the tribute with a rendition of “Amazing Grace” before introducing Donnie McClurkin who energized the room with “Climbing Higher Mountains.” A gospel choir joined CeCe Winans’ performance of “Mary Don’t You Weep.” Ledisi delivered “How I Got Over.” And the memorial performance ended with gospel duo Mary Mary belting out “Old Landmark.”
Here’s a full list of last night’s winners.