Weknowthedj Recap: 2013 American Music Awards

November 25, 2013


Award shows are notorious for living up to the Weknowthedj motto “make them talk.” Social media and person-to-person conversations are always buzzing as the biggest celebrities in the world get glammed to the max and celebrate their accomplishments of the past year. Sunday night’s American Music Awards were no different. Opening the show with some help from strobe lights, confetti and geisha-inspired clothes, Katy Perry transformed Los Angeles to Japan in her performance of “Unconditionally.” After viewers experienced Japan, Mr. Worldwide, host Pitbull appeared on stage where he made mention of Psy’s “Gangnam Style” and twerking before bringing four dancers out to show off some racy dancing, making us wonder if the rest of the show would be appropriate for television.

Sunday was a night of first for many stars, including One Direction who brought home their first two American Music Awards for Favorite Band, Duo or Group—Pop/Rock and Favorite Album—Pop/Rock for “Take Me Home.” The group’s two wins came after they wowed the crowd with a performance of “Story of My Life,” a few hours before the release of their new album, “Midnight Memories.”


Rihanna joined the boys of One Direction in the firsts of the night as the beauty from Barbados took home the first ever “AMA Icon Award,” presented by her number one fan, her mom. Mentor Jay-Z provided a video message to Rihanna who thanked those who have joined this crazy journey she’s been on: “So many people I have to thank for keeping me sane: my friends, my family, my fans. I love you so much. You have no idea. You keep me driven. You keep this thing special.” The Icon Award wasn’t Rih’s only time on stage, twenty-five year old also accepted the award for Favorite Female Artist—Soul/R&B and performed “Diamonds,” one of her 12 Billboard 200 Hot 100 number ones!


While the boys from the United Kingdom accepted their first awards, AMA veterans Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake made their way to the acceptance podium multiple times during the three-hour show. Swift will add four AMAs to her mantle, including Favorite Country Album, Favorite Female Country Artist, Favorite Female Pop/Rock Artist and the biggest award of the night, Artist of the Year.  Justin Timberlake, looking like he came right out of The Great Gatsby, brought home three AMAs by the end of the night for Favorite Male Pop/Rock Artist, Favorite Soul/R&B Album and Favorite Male Soul/R&B Artist. Timberlake and his band, the Tennessee Kids provided the standout performance of the night with “Drink You Away,” even featuring a bartender serving drinks onstage! Can we go to that party?

At one point in the show, the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles traveled back in time as they celebrated the 20-year anniversary of TLC. Chilli and T-Boz performed their 1994 hit “Waterfalls,” with special guest Lil Mama who performed late Left Eye’s part. The performance came after VH1’s biopic “CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story,” when fans were reminded of the group from the 90s. Also hitting the stage at the 2013 AMAs, Christina Aguilera teamed up with pop-rock duo A Great Big World to perform their single “Say Something,” a few weeks after the three collaborated on the stage of “The Voice.” Were you a fan of this performance? Well, A Great Big World’s debut album, “Is There Anybody Out There?” has an expected release date of January 2014 so make sure you keep an ear open for that!


In a night of big vocals and surprising performances, Ariana Grande (who also took home the AMA for New Artist of the Year) brought things back old school with a red dress that shimmered as much as her vocals in her performance of “Tattooed Heart.” Grande has voice that’s strong enough to silence the haters and we’re all excited to see where her future brings her! Ariana’s performance earned her a standing ovation, led by Mother Monster Lady Gaga who also took over the stage at one point with R.Kelly. In a Bill Clinton-esque performance, Lady Gaga tried seducing “President Kelly” a week after her album “ARTPOP” topped the Billboard 200 chart with 258,000 copies sold.


Sticking with her theme of the year, keeping things big and interesting, newly twenty-one year old Miley Cyrus ended the award ceremony with a rendition of Wrecking Ball that was a little different than the nude music video for the track. This time, in clothes, a barely there two piece adorned with cats, Miley traded in the dancing teddy bears for a cat that sings in space and cries diamonds. Although the performance was over-the-top and Miley has made herself a permanent fixture in the tabloids, there’s no way around it, the girl can sing! Wrecking Ball was the best choice for a show like the AMAs as it truly demonstrates Cyrus’ capabilities and talents. Keep doing your thing, Miley, we’re enjoying the ride!

As another year of award ceremonies comes to a close, we’re continuously looking back on the year in music and wondering what’s next. Bigger is always better and everyone’s currently striving for the top so we’re excited to see what’s coming! We’ve posted the full list of winners below so check that out and send us a tweet at @weknowthedj to share your thoughts!

Meg C. (@megchamp07)


2013 American Music Awards Winners

Artist of the Year: Taylor Swift

Icon Award: Rihanna

New Artist of the Year: Ariana Grande

Single of the Year: Florida Georgia Line featuring Nelly, “Cruise”

Favorite Male Artist—Pop/Rock: Justin Timberlake

Favorite Female Artist—Pop/Rock: Taylor Swift

Favorite Band, Duo or Group—Pop/Rock: One Direction

Favorite Album—Pop/Rock: One Direction, “Take Me Home”

Favorite Male Artist—Country: Luke Bryan

Favorite Female Artist—Country: Taylor Swift

Favorite Band, Duo or Group—Country: Lady Antebellum

Favorite Album—Country: Taylor Swift, “Red”

Favorite Artist—Rap/Hip-Hop: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Favorite Album—Rap/Hip-Hop: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, “The Heist”

Favorite Male Artist—Soul/R&B: Justin Timberlake

Favorite Female Artist—Soul/R&B: Rihanna

Favorite Album—Soul/R&B: Justin Timberlake, “The 20/20 Experience”

Favorite Artist—Alternative Rock: Imagine Dragons

Favorite Artist—Latin: Marc Anthony

Favorite Artist—Electronic Dance Music (EDM): Avicii

Favorite Artist—Adult Contemporary: Maroon 5

Favorite Artist—Contemporary Inspirational: Matthew West

Top Soundtrack: “Pitch Perfect”

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