The awards, which were co-hosted by Gigi Hadid and Jay Pharoah, were full of show stopping performances — including John Legend’s emotional performance of “Love Me Now,” and Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj’s racy “Side To Side” duet.
But besides the performances, it was a competitive night. Drake led the way with a record 13 nominations and brought his dad as his plus one. At the top of the show the rapper won the award for “Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album” and gave a shout out to actress Nina Dobrev who presented him with his award.
“Thank you very much. Me and Nina were on ‘Degrassi’ together by the way,” he said. “I really want to thank everybody who helped me make this album … I want to thank the city of Toronto, and of course I want to thank the fans and my parents. My dad’s here tonight.”
Drake also debuted a new Apple commercial during the show, which featured him working out and lip syncing to Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood.”
Green Day got political during the award show while singing their new song “Bang Bang.” During the performance, the punk rockers chanted “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA” six times. The lines have been used in anti-Trump protests. The performance sent Green Day trending on Twitter with some wondering if the band would be the next target of Trump’s Twitter tirade after his “Hamilton” rant.
A sentimental moment came when Prince’s sister, Tyka Nelson, took the stage to accept the award for “Best Soundtrack” for “Purple Rain” on behalf of her brother. There wasn’t a dry eye in the audience as she gave an emotional speech.
“Prince defied the odds, a Black teen from Minneapolis with a goal to electrify the world. He had the courage to be different,” Nelson said. “With his vision and god-given talent, he is still one of the world’s most respected and loved artists.”
Another major moment of the night was when actor Robert Downey Jr. presented Sting with the American Music Awards’ “Award of Merit.” The singer had the audience on their feet as he sang a medley of his greatest hits.
Check out the full AMAs winners list below:
Award Of Merit
Favorite Band, Duo or Group – Pop/Rock
Twenty One Pilots
Favorite Album – Rap/Hip Hop
Favorite Artist – Electronic Dance Music
Collaboration of the Year
Fifth Harmony Ft. Ty Dolla Sign, “Work From Home”
Favorite Country Song
Tim McGraw “Humble and Kind”
New Artist of the Year
Favorite Artist – Rap/Hip Hop
Favorite Band, Duo or Group – Country
Florida Georgia Line
Favorite Artist – Alternative Rock
Twenty One Pilots
Favorite Female Artist – Pop/Rock
Artist of the Year
Favorite Song – Rap/Hip Hop
Drake “Hotline Bling”
Favorite Male Artist – Soul/R&B
Favorite Female Artist – Soul/R&B
Favorite Album – Soul/R&B
Favorite Song – Soul/R&B
Favorite Artist Adult Contemporary
Favorite Artist Latin
Favorite Artist Contemporary Inspiration
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