The 2018 AMAs: Recap and Award Winners

Stars around the country and even abroad gathered at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on October 9th to be apart of one of the biggest award shows on the U.S.A., the forty-sixth annual American Music Awards, hosted by blackish star Tracee Ellis Ross.

Stars slay the Red Carpet

Before the awards show kicked off, many stars had the chance to show off their stunning and expensive outfits for the whole world to see.

The main theme of the night seemed to be sequins, sparkles, and metallics, with big stars like Taylor Swift shining in the spotlight.

Black and gold seemed to be another apparent theme, as well as bold florals and colors, with celebrities like Cardi B (and her husband Offset) and JLo taking center stage.

Some fresh faces were also seen on the 2018 Red Carpet, including much-anticipated NCT 127, a South Korean K-pop boy group making their American debut to promote their new album Regular-Irregular.

Taylor Swift’s Incredible Show Opener

After a three-year hiatus from award shows, Taylor Swift kicked off the night with the performance of her song “I Did Something Bad” from her album Reputation, with the help of an enormous cobra and amazing pyrotechnics.

That night she topped Whitney Houston’s record for most AMA wins by a female artist, taking home four trophies.

During one of her speeches, she noted to the audience that the AMA winners are determined by public voting, so she encouraged people to “Get out and vote.”

Tracee Ellis Ross’ Epic Dance Party

Wearing a badass sparkly black jumpsuit and custom grillz, host Tracee Ellis Ross displayed a high-energy dance routine with a number of hits, including Beyonce’s “Run the World (Girls)” and Childish Gambino’s “This Is America.”

She also promised to highlight black dancers with her fashion throughout the night and hoped to end up on what she called “black TMZ,” Shade Room, before the night was over.

Cardi B, J Balvin, and Bad Bunny turn the AMAs into a Latin festival

Cardi B teamed up with J Balvin and Bad Bunny to perform the song “I Like It,” complete with palm trees everywhere.

Later that night, she won the award for Favorite Artist -- Rap/Hip-Hop, beating out the male contenders in this category, including Drake and Post Malone.

Cardi accepted her award by thanking her daughter for giving her the motivation to "prove people wrong."

She finished her speech off with a shout-out to her husband Offset: "And where's my husband? Hey, husband!"

Mariah Carey Returns to the AMAs

Not being at the AMAs since 2008, Mariah debuted her new single “With You” for the first time on TV, wearing a mermaid-style pink dress.

As she performed, a pink cloud erupted from around her and a group of shirtless men popped up from her red sequined tulle skirt to dance around her, making the performance even more memorable.

Camila Cabello Sings a Ballad

Camila Cabello took the stage to perform the ballad song from her debut album Camila, “Consequences,” with a whole orchestra to back the song.

Camila snagged multiple awards that night, including Favorite Pop/Rock Song, Video of the Year, New Artist of the Year and Best Collaboration.

Khalid Wins his First AMA

Singer Khalid took home the award for Favorite Male Artist -- Soul/R&B, beating out other contenders like Bruno Mars and The Weeknd.

The AMAs Get Political

With the midterm elections coming up in November, stars took the chance to spread the word out to young people to vote.

Tracee Ellis Ross made a backstage outfit change into a t-shirt that read “I am a voter.” on it.

Also, Billy Eichner and Kathryn Hahn reminded the audience that  October 9th was the last day to vote in 20 different states.

After her tweet asking for her followers to vote, Taylor Swift made yet another plea for those watching to go out and vote as well.

J.Lo Performs “Limitless”

Written by Sia for J.Lo's new film Second Act, J.Lo took to the stage to perform this song, amidst a stormy backdrop, wearing a suit surrounded by other female dancers.

Fire (literally) Performances

Post Malone nearly lit the stage on fire with insane pyrotechnics for his mash-up of “Better Now” and “Psycho” with Ty Dolla $ign.

Twenty-One Pilots blew up a car while performing “Jumpsuit.”

Carrie Underwood performed “Spinning Bottles” on stage surrounded by wine bottle candle holders that spun around her in a circle...literally.

Not Many Male Appearances

Some of the biggest male stars in music did not make an appearance that night, in more ways than one.

Superstars like Ed Sheeran and Drake did not attend the show nor win any awards at all.

Panic! At The Disco performed a cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” but in Australia. 

The insanely popular South Korean K-pop boy group BTS took home yet another Favorite Social Artist award, beating out contenders like Shawn Mendes and Ariana Grande.

The one notable male winner that night was actually posthumous. XXXTentacion won the award for Favorite Album -- Soul/R&B, which was accepted by his mother Cleopatra, who then gave a short speech.

An Emotional Tribute

For the grand finale of the show, Gladys Knight and gospel legends Mary Mary, Cece Winans, Ledisi, and Donnie McClurkin sang a medley of Aretha Franklin’s songs in celebration of the Queen of Soul’s legacy.

All and all, the 2018 AMAs was definitely made memorable due to jaw-dropping performances by Taylor Swift, Cardi B, Mariah Carey, and many more stars. In just three hours, award show history was made, and many artists took home awards that they’ll treasure forever.