The 50th Annual American Music Awards were held on Sunday, November 20th, 2022, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, in recognition of the most popular artists and music within the eligibility period of September 24, 2021, through September 22, 2022. The host for the world’s largest fan-voted ceremony this year was Wayne Brady. Among the highlights is when host and comedian Wayne Brady raps during his speech. He sarcastically said, “Ain’t nobody getting slapped tonight,” making fun of Will Smith’s infamous assault on Chris Rock at the Oscars.
The night’s top nominee, Bad Bunny, scored two prizes from eight nominations, with Beyoncé, Harry Styles, BTS, Morgan Wallen, Kendrick Lamar, Wizkid, and Tems also taking home a pair of awards. Just like any show, though, the 2022 AMA’s had some noteworthy moments that caused a buzz on social media. Let’s check out some of the highlights of the 2022 American Music Awards.
Kelly Rowland – Chris Brown Acceptance Speech
If there’s anyone who can handle “this,” it’s Kelly Rowland! The RNB superstar stopped an audience from booing Chris Brown, who was not in attendance at this year’s AMA. Kelly Rowland confidently told the rowdy crowd to “chill out” during her acceptance speech on behalf of Chris Brown. She then continued to thank and praise Chris for making great RNB music and being a great performer.
This moment caused a division on social media, as Brown’s fans felt that he had worked hard and had one of the biggest songs in the world at the moment. However, other people couldn’t hold back from expressing their dislike for him, calling him a colorist and an abuser. Some social media users have gone to the lengths of saying Kelly will regret defending Chris because he wouldn’t have done the same for her. Brown’s controversy has followed him for years, following his case in 2009, where he pleaded guilty to assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Rihanna.
Lionel Richie’s Iconic Moment
Lionell Richie accepted the AMAs’ highest honor, the Icon Award, presented to him by Smokey Robinson. Richie gave a heartfelt speech about his journey to icon status, offering some sage advice to up-and-coming musicians about taking the opportunity to inspire others. “When you hear the word hip, it means today,” said Richie. “When you hear the word inspiring, it means forever.”
Anitta brings out Missy Elliot for “Lobby”
Anitta had an epic night at the American Music Awards on Sunday. She won her first AMA, and she also performed alongside hip-hop icon Missy Elliot. The Brazilian superstar was nominated for her first American Music Award this year, and she won. She took home the award for Favorite Female Latin Artist in a category that included Karol G, Becky G, Kali Uchis, and Rosalía. In her Instagram Stories, she wrote, “And we wonnnnnn. Omg thank you SO MUCH. My fans, I love yall so so so much. I’m so grateful.”
Taylor Swift 6 Award Wins, Including Artist Of The Year
Taylor Swift won six awards on Sunday night, which brings her career total to an even 40. This extends her already considerable lead as the most-awarded artist in the show’s 50-year history. Swift won the most prestigious honor when she was named “Artist of the Year.” The Anti-Hero singer thanked voters for supporting her after releasing four original albums and two re-recordings in the last three years. Her re-recorded album Red (Taylor’s Version) won in the best pop and best country album categories.
Cardi B and GloRilla
Cardi B brought the heat with her featured verse to GloRilla’s performance of “Tomorrow 2” at the AMAs. The duo had a stellar performance that featured coordinated outfits and fiery dance moves as they revved up the crowd.
Stevie Wonder and Charlie Puth shared their favorite Lionel Richie songs on stage to honor the Icon Award recipient. Wonder kicked things off with a snippet of “Three Times a Lady,” which was followed up by Puth’s take on “Easy.” The two riffed on “All Night Long” and slowed it down with “Say You, Say Me.”
BTS won Favorite Pop Duo or Group for the fourth time, which makes them the most awarded group in the history of the category.