Stevie Wonder, Charlie Puth, More Best and Worst Performances
For its 50th anniversary, the American Music Awards showcase generations of talent, from the first GloRilla nominee and performer to timeless icon Stevie Wonder.
Artists from a variety of genres, including Carrie Underwood, Imagine Dragons, Anitta, Lil Baby and Yola, top Sunday’s lineup, while new Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Lionel Richie is set to take home the annual Icon Award and a tribute directed by Wonder.
Pink is penciled in for a pair of performances – her sparkling new single “Never Gonna Not Dance Again” and a tribute to the late Olivia Newton-John.
Debuts are also an important part of the event: David Guetta and Bebe Rexha unveil “I’m Good (Blue)” for the first time on American television, while Dove Cameron and Anitta take their first steps on the stage of WADA.
Here’s a look at how the artists performed at the 2022 AMAs.
Stevie Wonder and Charlie Puth, “Three Times a Lady”, “Easy”, “All Night”, “Tell You, Tell Me”, “Jesus Is Love”, “We Are the World”
AMAs Icon Award winner Lionel Richie has a bottomless catalog, so extracting it for a condensed mix is an unenviable task.
But Richie’s pal Stevie Wonder and pop prodigy Charlie Puth attempted to engage in a “Lionel Richie tennis match of copyrighted material”, as Puth called it, allowing many extracts. With the pianos facing each other, Wonder and Puth swapped Richie and Commodores classics, including “Three Times a Lady” (Wonder), “Easy” (Puth), “Jesus Is Love” (Wonder) and “Say You, Say Me” (Put).
Musically rich but vocally sparse – Wonder often deviated and Puth’s high notes should be avoided – the presentation nonetheless charmed with its casualness.
Wonder also reminded the crowd that “We Are the World,” which Richie co-wrote, originated after the 1985 AMAs, which led to the natural transition to the anthem with contributions from Ari Lennox, Smokey Robinson, Melissa Etheridge, Yola and others. . Richie jumped onstage to hug and slap his tribute chorus, his seeming and heartfelt grace.
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Dove Cameron, ‘Boyfriend’
Focusing on sensuality, Dove Cameron, in a red bustier and black jacket, weaved her way through the libidinous snapper. The bisexual singer and actress circled the object of her lust, a dancer who returned Cameron’s flirtations, kissing her hand and stroking her face. The song, a blend of pop seduction and Broadway bombast, was given its ideal visual complement.
Yola, ‘Break the branch’
The English soul/rock/R&B powerhouse captured the crowd’s attention from the first honk of the horn and the sound of her powerful vocals. Banging a tambourine against her leg as she stalked the stage tracks, Yola’s enthusiasm was contagious. The combination of lit palm trees and a “Miami Vice” color scheme imbued the scene with a carefree vibe, but Yola’s voice rang out with authority.
Lil Baby, “In a Minute” and “California Breeze”
The Atlanta rapper went for a laid-back vibe for two of his hits from his third album, “It’s Only Me.” An ocean of dry ice blanketed the stage as Lil Baby walked around while unrolling the slow-burning “In a Minute.” During his thoughtful performance, he sat at the end of the stage, looking directly at the audience/camera as he shared his fast-flowing stories (at least what could be discerned between the beeps).
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Rose, ‘desperately devoted to you’
Pink is a very different type of singer from Olivia Newton-John. Pink is all raucous musculature and Newton-John was a honeyed songbird. But Pink’s tribute to the late singer and actress worked like a charm. The beautiful heartbreak ballad from the “Grease” soundtrack remains timeless, and Pink’s expressiveness in singing clearly showed her admiration for Newton-John. Hand to chest, hitting every big note with passion and ending with a beautiful vocal surge, Pink, dressed in a pale dress, enchanted as photos of Newton-John in her feathered-haired beauty stared at the video screens.
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Imagine Dragons, ‘Bones’ and ‘Enemy’ with JID
Dancers aren’t necessarily expected at an Imagine Dragons performance, but frontman Dan Reynolds thrives when surrounded by more playmates in his sandbox. The sculpted singer — we know he is thanks to his shirt opening over his abs — engaged the crowd by leaning low into their faces with his fellow dancers during “Bones.” For “Enemy,” fire engulfed the stage as an intro for JID, who ran through his rap part of the rocker before he, Reynolds, and the dance crew crumbled into a heap at the end of the show. song.
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GloRilla and Cardi B, “Tomorrow 2”
The Memphis rapper GloRilla kicked off her performance while seated on a lighted motorbike before crossing the stage to meet her “Tomorrow 2” costar Cardi B for a sonic lyrical compromise. The pair walked through their fall stunt – dressed in bright yellow (GloRilla) and blue (Cardi B) – looking loose as they swayed across the stage. Butts were rocked, wacky dance moves were undertaken and a flurry of pyro put the exclamation mark on their duet.
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Carrie Underwood, “Crazy Angels”
Doing her best Pink tribute, Carrie Underwood hung upside down above the crowd in a circular device that propelled her onto the stage. Underwood took to the air on her current tour, so she looked comfortable taking the stage in bare feet and a pink, white and black catsuit as she sang the country-rock number. An avid Guns N’ Roses fan, Underwood teased his hair in hair metal mode and even imbued his vigorous performance with some pivoting moves from Axl Rose.
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Anitta and Missy Elliott, ‘Envolver’ and ‘Lobby’
Sexy Anitta prowled the stage, slinky and seductive as she pumped her pelvis against the floor to “Envolver,” singing in Spanish as two eager male suitors followed her swinging hips. The Brazilian star spun offstage on a luggage cart to allow Missy Elliott to make an always-welcome entrance to “Lobby,” the duo’s hit summer collaboration. In her funky glasses, sparkly suit and silver trainers, Elliott looked ageless as she glided down a stage lane, rolling out her liquid rhymes before meeting Anitta at center stage for a hug and kisses. smiles.
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Bebe Rexha, ‘I’m Fine (Blue)’
Presenting her electro-dance collaboration with David Guetta for the first time on American television, Bebe Rexha opted for a futuristic motif. Dressed in a metallic bare-chested jumpsuit, Rexha bounced amidst a smoky blue stage that pulsated with strobe lights. The pair’s reworking of the Eiffel 65’s 1998 hit “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” sparkles, and Rexha continued to sparkle as she was lifted onto a hydraulic platform to belt out the song’s final notes above his circle of dancers in hats that looked like a space-age Mickey Mouse.
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Rose, ‘I will never dance again’
Choosing Ms. “Get The Party Started” to open the 2022 American Music Awards turned out to be a smart move. Once you get past the double-negative grammar in Pink’s new song, it’s easy to savor this bubbly pop cocktail. A pre-recorded track showed Pink, in her cotton candy-colored jacket, roller-skating outside in dark Los Angeles before inevitably ‘arriving’ inside the Microsoft Theater to continue the song. . Pink’s disco-tastic staging – accented with fuchsia and purple neon lights, a group of skating dancers and a few pops of pyro – painted a colorful backdrop to match the song’s carefree vibe. Relatable as always, Pink showed her humanity by stopping for a few seconds to catch her breath.
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