The right to vote was one of the real winners at the American Music Awards
The American Music Awards didn’t offer up a particularly surprising crop of winners during its ceremony Tuesday night, but the show itself had its moments.
Even though Gladys Knight honored the late Aretha Franklin’s gospel music career, resurgent divas Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez both performed, and Panic! at the Disco covered Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” nothing could compare to the night’s big winners.
Not only did the brash, brilliant rapper take home three awards, including the trophy for rap/hip-hop artist, but she also stole the show with an absolutely bananas performance of her smash “I Like It.”
Colorful and chaotic, Cardi B brought Bad Bunny and J Balvin out to help her blow the doors off the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
In the wake of her newfound political activism, Taylor Swift could do no wrong at Tuesday’s ceremony.
Swift opened the show with a fiery rendition of her song “I Did Something Bad,” which included a giant (fake) snake. The singer-songwriter went on to win four trophies, including artist of the year, and unseated Whitney Houston as the AMA’s most decorated woman ever.
GET OUT THE VOTE!
But in reality, the real winner of Tuesday night’s ceremony was voting.
During her acceptance speech for artist of the year, Swift pointed out how each award of the evening had been voted on by the people.
“And you know what else is voted on by the people is the midterm elections on Nov. 6,” Swift added. “Get out and vote.”
It was a logical follow-up statement considering Swift had waded into political waters during the weekend with an Instagram post — and prompted a surge in voter registrations.
But it wasn’t just Swift beating the voter registration drum.
One of host Tracee Ellis Ross’ 13 outfits included a white T-shirt proudly announcing, “I’m a voter,” which she reiterated to viewers by asking, “I am a voter, are you?”
Presenter and comedian Billy Eichner also went off script and gave an impassioned speech about the importance of voting.
“Young people of America, the biggest election of our lifetime is happening. That’s right. Tonight is the final night to register in 20 states in this country,” the “Billy on the Street” star said.
“Please grab your friends. Tell them to vote,” he went on. “If you believe in equality for women, for people of color, for the LGBTQ community. If you believe that climate change is real and that we need to do something about it, don’t let anyone tell you your vote won’t count.”
Eichner concluded by telling young people to register and vote — “just like Taylor Swift told you.”