Backed by a lip-syncing cat, Miley Cyrus performs her hit single 'Wrecking Ball.'
(Photo: Kevin Mazur/AMA2013 WireImage)
At Sunday night's American Music Awards in L.A. ...
Taylor Swift continues AMAs reign
Further demonstrating the power of teenage girls and social media, Taylor Swift brought home three major awards (all of which are fan-voted), including artist of the year. It's the third time that Taylor has won the AMAs' top honor since 2009, only bested by Justin Bieber in 2010 and '12 (mind you, she wasn't even nominated either of those years).
Katy Perry's performance sparks mixed reactions
Did the reigning queen of pop take it too far with her Japanese-influenced rendition of Unconditionally, which opened the show on Sunday night? Cosmopolitan's Amy Odell and Vulture's Jesse David Fox certainly think so. Wearing a kimono and wielding a cherry blossom-adorned microphone, Katy was flanked by giant fans and floating lanterns in her geisha-inspired performance, which has ignited cries of racism from many Twitter users. Is this a knee-jerk reaction, or does the pop star have a controversy on her hands? It's a little too soon to tell, but in a night of relatively tame performances, Katy may have drawn attention for all the wrong reasons.
Macklemore proves he's an artist with a conscience
Picking up the award for favorite rap/hip-hop album for The Heist, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis accepted the honor via satellite from Miami, where they played a concert on Sunday night. In his acceptance speech, Macklemore quoted Martin Luther King, Jr., and paid tribute to "Trayvon Martin and the hundreds and hundreds of kids each year that are dying due to racial profiling and the violence that follows it," he said. "This is really happening. These are our friends, our neighbors, our peers, and our fans, and it's time that we look out for the youth and fight against racism and the laws that protect it."
Rihanna receives icon award with mom in tow
After taking the prize for favorite female soul/R&B artist and performing an orchestra-backed rendition of Diamonds, Rihanna brought home the AMAs' first-ever icon award, which was presented to her by her mom, Monica Braithwaite. "I know the journey in your career has not always been an easy one, but tonight I applaud you and admire you for being so strong and so positive and so humble and so focused," Braithwaite said, before kissing her daughter on the cheek and handing her the award. In her acceptance speech, Rihanna poked fun at her own "annoying little husky man voice" growing up, and thanked her mom for letting her audition so she could become the star she is today.
Justin Timberlake, all-around likable guy
Picking up a total of three awards (equaling the night's other big winner, Taylor Swift), J.T. proved that he's not only one of the most lauded artists today, but among the most likable, too. Walking up to the stage to pick up his second trophy of the night, Justin stopped by Taylor's seat so they could share an OMG moment, adorably poking fun at Taylor's many surprised awards-show faces. While onstage, he shared his thoughts on Rihanna's mom while sporting his best Barbadian accent. "Can we talk about how cute Rihanna's mom is?" Justin said. "She's so proud of the icon. I am, too, Rihanna, I love you."
Lady Gaga and R. Kelly get presidential
If Gaga's feeling the sting from her disappointing album sales, she certainly didn't show it on Sunday night. Delivering an electric performance of her latest Artpop single Do What U Want alongside R. Kelly, the pop star channeled both Monica Lewinsky and Marilyn Monroe, playing a love interest tossed to the wayside by Kelly's Commander in Chief. Against a backdrop of newspaper headlines reading "Lady Gaga is fat" and "Lady Gaga is over," the singer brought new depth to the song's titillating lyrics, sitting atop a piano and delivering one of her most impassioned performances to date.
Miley Cyrus strikes again
Leave it to Miley to walk away with yet another awards show. All you foam fingers out there can breathe a sigh of relief - there was no bumping, no grinding, and above all, no twerking. Instead, Miley's Wrecking Ball performance was positively feline, as she rocked a two-piece outfit decked out with kittens, and was backed by a giant, lip-syncing cat floating in space. Miley once again hit the vocals out of the park (as she has with recent stints on Saturday Night Live and the MTV Europe Music Awards), proving that there's more to this controversial star than her antics might lead us to believe.