The American Music Awards 2018 was a great night, beginning with Taylor Swift's groovy performance and Cardi B's first award of the night, which she happily dedicated to her daughter. “I really want to thank my daughter,” Cardi B said, adding, “I gotta prove people wrong. They said I wasn’t going to make it after I had a baby.”
The award show was held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles
Airing live on ABC, the AMAs started with Taylor's performance of “I Did Something Bad” from her “reputation” album. She was backed by more than a dozen dancers during the dramatic and smoky performance as a large snake hovered behind her onstage.
The other set included Bad Bunny and J Balvin, Cardi B, Mariah Carey, Carrie Underwood, twenty one pilots and Jennifer Lopez. It paid tribute to Aretha Franklin, who died in August, this year. Taylor is nominated to the top prize Artist of the year and will now compete against Ed Sheeran, Imagine Dragons, Post Malone and Drake, who tied with Cardi B for most nominations with eight.
Drake and Cardi B were nominated in both the pop/rock and rap/hip-hop categories. In the rap/hip-hop and pop/rock categories, Drake is up for favorite male artist, favorite album and favorite song with “God’s Plan.” He has the year’s top-selling album with “Scorpion” and also scored three No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Rapper-singer XXXTentacion, a streaming juggernaut before his death in June and afterward, earned nominations for new artist of the year and favorite soul/R&B album for his 2017 debut, “17.” He won best new artist at the BET Hip-Hop Awards this month.
Sheeran and Malone, who will perform with Ty Dolla $ign, each earned six nominations.
Other performers include Shawn Mendes with Zedd, Camila Cabello, Ciara with Missy Elliott, Ella Mai, Panic! at the Disco, Dua Lipa and Benny Blanco with Halsey and Khalid. The Queen of Soul will be remembered with a performance by Gladys Knight, Ledisi, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin and CeCe Winans. The musicians will pay tribute to her gospel roots and her iconic album, “Amazing Grace.”
Golden Globe-winning “black-ish” actress Tracee Ellis Ross is hosting the fan-voted show and danced to a number of hit songs following Swift’s performance. Presenters include Tyra Banks, Chloe x Halle, Macaulay Culkin, Sara Gilbert, Heidi Klum, Lenny Kravitz, John Stamos, Amandla Stenberg, The Chainsmokers and Rami Malek.