Sunday’s American Music Awards exemplified how music can bring people together. Starting with P!nk and Kelly Clarkson’s emotional opening cover of R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts”, to Diana Ross’ decade-defining closing performance, the AMAs were packed full of excitement. Here’s 5 performances that stood out throughout the night:
1. Khalid & Imagine Dragons – “Young Dumb & Broke/Thunder”
While also winning its third AMA, Imagine Dragons took to the stage with up-and-coming Khalid. The unlikely, yet interesting pairing created high energy on stage, and even blasted confetti. Front man of Imagine Dragons, Dan Reynolds, and Khalid effortlessly blended both of their songs while playing off our each other on stage. The performance was definitely one of the best of the night and, it was cool to see an up-and-comer with a band that’s been around for quite some time.
2. Kelly Clarkson – “Miss Independent/Love So Soft”
Celebrating 15 years since her American Idol win, Clarkson performed and showed America just why she won in the first place. Starting off with one of her classic songs “Miss Independent,” Clarkson got the audience off their feet and blew them all away with her killer vocals. The pop singer then transitioned into “Love So Soft” off of her new album. Clarkson was energetic and powerful, and showed that you don’t necessarily need to be showy or have gimmicks to kill a performance.
3. Selena Gomez & Marshmello – “Wolves”
Selena Gomez is back. Having been on a yearlong hiatus and undergone a kidney transplant, Gomez was back with a dark performance of her new single “Wolves,” which features electronic dance music producer Marshmello. Gomez flaunted her new blonde hair and gave the audience a performance that was equally entertaining and dramatic. Having her AMA performance being her only performance of the year, it was great to see Gomez back in her element.
4. P!nk – “Beautiful Trauma”
P!nk is no stranger to wonderfully risky, yet equally beautiful performances. Having previously performed lyrical dances and acrobatics, P!nk decided to one-up herself. Hanging high up on the side of the JW Marriot Hotel, P!nk delivered a gravity defying show. Along with other dancers, the pop singer surprised crowds with her beautifully executed routine. The performance showed how the boundaries of live performances can be pushed, and who better to do that than P!nk?
5. Christina Aguilera – “The Bodyguard Tribute”
It’s obvious no one can match the vocal range of the late, great Whitney Houston. However, Christina Aguilera is one of the only vocalists who can do Houston’s legacy justice. Aguilera started with “I Will Always Love You” and blew the crowd away with her high notes. While also featuring “I Have Nothing” and “I’m Every Woman,” Aguilera showcased how Houston was one of her idols. Aguilera’s performance exquisitely paid tribute to the film, which is just about to mark its 25th anniversary, and undoubtedly got the whole audience up and singing along.