On Oct. 9, YouTube Music hosted the infamous American Music Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. It was hosted by the star of ABC’s hit TV show Blackish, Tracee Ellis Ross, who did a phenomenal job riling up the crowd and presenting with flowing grace and comedy.
The AMAs focus on rewarding artists who stand out of the crowd and have showed the utmost excellence in their categories of music. The top 15 performances of this year include the following, in no particular order:
- Panic! At the Disco: Bohemian Rhapsody
- Post Malone and Ty Dolla $ign: Psycho/Better Now
- Jennifer Lopez: Limitless
- Benny Blanco, Halsey, and Khalid: Eastside
- Mariah Carey: With You
- Shawn Mendes and Zedd: Lost In Japan
- Ella Mai: Boo’d Up
- Dua Lipa: One Kiss/Electricity
- Camila Cabello: Consequences
- Ciara and Missy Elliott: Level Up/Dose
- Carrie Underwood: Spinning Bottles
- Twenty One Pilots: Jumpsuit
- Gladys Knight, Donnie McClurkin, CeCe Winans, Ledisi and Mary Mary: Aretha Franklin Tribute
- Taylor Swift: I Did Something Bad
- Cardi B, J Balvin and Bad Bunny: I Like It
(Statistics via Billboard.)
Taylor Swift opened the show with her hit song I Did Something Bad, which was released in November 2017. Shet did an amazing job kicking off the award show with a crazy powerful dance number and flashing lights in the background.
Swift also received the first, and arguably most important, award of the evening – Artist of the Year. Not only does Swift influence her fans through her music, but also through her words. In her acceptance speech, she said: “I just want to make a mention of the fact that this award and every single award given out tonight were voted on by the people, and you know what else is voted on by the people? Is the midterm on Nov. 6. Get out and vote, and I love you guys.”
Not only did this speech stir up the adult crowd in the audience, but came as a jarring wake-up call to her largest fan base: the youth. The teenagers and youth of this age are arguably the most influential people on this planet. They have learned to fight for their rights, as shown in the March for Life and in all of the other political movements they have struck up. The Millennials and Generation Z will be the ones to change the world.
Other artists gave speeches regarding voting, including Billy Eichner, star and producer of Billy on the Street. Eichner said: “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. Please grab your friends. Tell them to vote. 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.”
To give a bit of contrast, voter registration for the upcoming midterm election spiked to 65,000 within 24 hours of both speeches. Is this merely a coincidence, or proof that the most influential people sing into a microphone, not into a keyboard?