Nothing like waking up on a Monday morning to a slew of news from a very big awards show that happened the night before, amirite? ICYMI, the 2019 American Music Awards was last night and, guys, SO. MUCH. HAPPENED—from Selena’s comeback performance to Taylor Swift’s much-anticipated medley of hits and, well, all the shade that may or may not have been thrown in between. So if you’re having trouble making sense of all the AMAs content that’s filling your feeds right now, don’t worry—we’ve got you. We’ve rounded up the top AMA moments that everyone is talking about today so you’ll know what to discuss during your Monday coffee break/group chat/team scrum.
Selena Gomez performed her new tracks—to mixed reviews
— Selena Gomez Source (@SSFRMedias) November 25, 2019
OK, so we all know that Selena Gomez is in the middle of making a major comeback with the release of two songs, “Lose You to Love Me” and “Look at Her Now” (which, ahem, are believed to be about her ex Justin Bieber, who’s now married to Hailey Bieber née Baldwin), and the announcement of a new album that’s set to come out on January 10, 2020. As part of that comeback, Sel returned to the stage at Sunday night’s AMAs, marking her first live television performance in two years. Unfortunately, it got mixed reviews. The 27-year-old songstress was dragged on Twitter for singing “Lose You to Love Me” off-key, and many likened her dancing during “Look At Her Now” to Britney Spears’ infamous 2007 MTV VMAs performance (yikes).
According to E! News, however, a source says Gomez suffered from an anxiety attack before taking the stage, which could explain her performance.
“Selena definitely had anxiety and a panic attack before she went out and was putting a lot of pressure on herself,” said the source.
Either way, Sel’s bestie, Taylor Swift, and singer Halsey seemed to enjoy Selena’s performance. Thank goodness for supportive friends!
— Cloud9ineDreams🌻 (@Cloud9ineDreams) November 25, 2019
Taylor Swift’s much-anticipated medley of hits seemingly threw shade at Scooter Braun, Scott Borchetta and Big Machine Records
— ცٳųɛ; 𝐕𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐞 (@SensateForever) November 25, 2019
As you may or may not know, there has been a lot of drama surrounding Taylor Swift’s AMA performance. Here’s a quick recap: Swift has been publicly feuding with Big Machine Records, Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta since the summer due to Big Machine Records and Borchetta selling her masters (a.k.a. her life’s work) to Braun, which Tay was not happy about. Two weeks ago, she took to social media to publicly slam Scooter and Scott for allegedly preventing her from performing her old songs during the AMAs as part of her “Artist of the Decade” honour. She called on her fans and Braun’s high-profile artists (which include Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato) to “talk some sense into the men who are exercising tyrannical control over someone who just wants to play the music she wrote.”
Big Machine Records later denied Swift’s claims in a lengthy post on their website, which read, “Taylor, the narrative you have created does not exist… At no point did we say Taylor could not perform on the AMAs… In fact, we do not have the right to keep her from performing live anywhere.” Braun also took to social media, publicly pleading with Taylor to find a resolution after he and his family had been receiving death threats as a result of Taylor’s post.
At Sunday’s AMAs, Taylor did end up performing a medley of her hits from the past decade, including “Love Story,” “I Knew You Were Trouble,” “Blank Space” and “Shake It Off” (the latter featuring surprise appearances by Halsey ad Camila Cabello). But, Taylor being Taylor, she made a (not so subtle) statement against Big Machine, Braun and Borchetta by opening the performance with “The Man” (a track from Lover that includes the lyrics “I’m so sick of them coming at me again / ’Cause if I was a man, then I’d be the man / They’d say I hustled, put in the work / They wouldn’t shake their heads and question how much of this I deserve”) while wearing a white jacket with her albums’ names on it—including the ones now owned by Braun. Oh, and she had a little girl join her for added effect.
🗣 @taylorswift13 opened with THE MAN: “I'm so sick of them coming at me again / 'Cause if I was a man, then I'd be the man / They'd say I hustled, put in the work / They wouldn’t shake their heads and question how much of this I deserve.” #TaylorOnAMAs #AMAs pic.twitter.com/N0me4Rd1U6
— Brian A. Hernandez (@BAHjournalist) November 25, 2019
Additionally, as Cosmopolitan notes, as Taylor danced and sang onstage, the background was lit up with a design that looked very similar to Big Machine Records’ logo.
Later in the evening, while accepting the award for “Artist of the Year” (which put her total AMA wins at 29, beating Michael Jackson’s record of 24), Swift thanked her fans for supporting her during some of the “hardest things I’ve gone through in my life.”
“…the last year of my life has had some of the most amazing times and also some of just the hardest things I’ve gone through in my life. Not a lot of them are things that haven’t been public, and I wanted to thank you so much for being the thing that has been a constant in my life,” she said.
“This industry is really weird,” she continued. “Sometimes people who do what we do feel like—I’m sure some of you feel like this too, with your lives—like, you feel like your stock is up or down, or people like you or they don’t, or you’re feeling bad about yourself. But the people that hang in there for you are the ones that you will never forget.”
Lizzo won the red carpet with her tiny purse
Though the AMAs red carpet was delightfully exciting in general (Selena’s green Versace dress! Shawn Mendes’ chest hair! Billie Eilish’s diamond beekeeper hat!), nothing could top Lizzo’s itsy-bitsy, teeny-tiny Valentino purse. The minuscule bag, which the “Truth Hurts” singer held so delicately with her fingertips, is apparently one of three in the world and naturally sparked some brilliant memes, with Lizzo herself leading the way by captioning her Instagram post “@maisonvalentino bag big enough for my f*cks to give.” We stan.
Jenna Dewan was caught seemingly throwing shade at Camila Cabello…but later denied it
When lovebirds Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello took to the AMAs stage for a steamy performance of their single, “Señorita,” actress Jenna Dewan seemed a little bit unimpressed. Cameras cut to the pregnant Step Up star during Shawn and Camila’s performance just as Dewan appeared to say “She’s always extra.”
IM YELLINGRBDNSSMSNSN pic.twitter.com/oyb1ttp687
— Trinity (@THEEEhottie) November 25, 2019
Also, so awkward, Buzzfeed later wrote about the news but clearly didn’t recognize Dewan and referred to her simply as “a fan.” (Note: They’ve since caught on and updated the post.)
"A fan"… it's literally Jenna Dewan😭😳 pic.twitter.com/sFJwsT2hF3
— Aimy (@beymaniwanda) November 25, 2019
Dewan later took to her Instagram stories to clear the air about the clip.
“I’m getting a lot of text messages from people wondering if I was shading Camila…no!” she said from the back of her car as she was leaving the event. “I love her. I love her so much. I’m such a big fan of hers.”
Brad Goreski, who was in the car with Dewan, added, “We were bumping and grinding so hard to ‘Señorita’!”
So, no drama, OK??
— Camila Cabello News (@CCabelloNews) November 25, 2019
Shania Twain performed an epic medley and covered Drake, Post Malone, Taylor Swift and Twenty One Pilots
— 🌈 Misunderstood (@erikay84) November 25, 2019
Canadian country queen of our hearts Shania Twain also took to the AMAs stage to perform an epic medley of her hits, including “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” and “Any Man of Mine.” The 54-year-old singer opened her performance with covers of Drake’s “God’s Plan,” Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off,” Twenty One Pilots’ “Stressed Out” and Post Malone’s “Rockstar,” which Posty himself seemed to really enjoy, at least judging by the clip of him dancing his heart out to Twain’s performance.
— The Voice Inside Me (@TheVoiceInside6) November 25, 2019
Twain closed the performance by inviting Taylor Swift and AMAs host Ciara onstage with her to dance.
— 𝓛𝓸𝓿𝓮, C (NEVER Met Tay) 💕 (@grin_likeadevil) November 25, 2019
We guess that means there’s no “Bad Blood” (sorry, we had to) between Twain and Swift after Twain’s awkward red-carpet interview where she may or may not have shaded TayTay.
Post Malone declared his love of grapes
— First We Feast (@firstwefeast) November 25, 2019
While accepting the award for Favorite Album – Rap/Hip-Hop for his latest project, Hollywood’s Bleeding, Post Malone closed his acceptance speech by declaring his love of grapes. Seriously. He just said, “I love grapes.”
According to Variety, the 24-year-0ld rapper made the same comment upon entering his dressing-room trailer, where he found grapes among the catering options. We guess they were really good grapes??
Halsey threw shade at the Grammys while accepting the award for Favorite Song – Pop/Rock
HALSEY REALLY THROW SHADE AT THE GRAMMYS FOR SNUBBING HER, BTS AND FOR OTHER ARTISTS WHOS ALSO NOT NOMINATED. WE STAN pic.twitter.com/YE1jHOH1gp
— 🌙Mochi🐥 (@mochimminee) November 25, 2019
Last week, the 2020 Grammy nominations were announced, and singer Halsey was noticeably absent from the list. However, she won her first American Music Award last night for her hit single “Without Me” and seemed to mention the Grammys snub during her acceptance speech.
“I grew up watching shows like this, and I would sit at home wide-eyed and watch artists in these beautiful gowns and handsome suits, like, stroll up the stairs to the stage and they would hold up these awards and they were usually gold-plated and shiny and weighted—these, like, metaphors, these trophies that were supposed to be some kind of validation for the soul-crushing and heartache-inducing work that they put into writing a song and bringing it to life. And to be honest with you, I really believed that fairy tale,” the 25-year-old singer said.
“I believed these awards. When I was a kid, I used to believe that this award was the ultimate validating and that I’d come up here and laugh and cry, and my fans at home would rejoice because we accomplished this thing together,” she continued. “But the truth is I am older now and I’m also an artist, and apparently I’m doing okay. But most of these awards really aren’t what they seem at all. But that’s okay because I’m up here right now, and I’m so thankful to the AMAs because they’re the world’s largest FAN-voted awards show.”
FWIW, Halsey later took to Twitter to address her Grammys snub and the reactions it got from the Twitterverse:
my fans 💕 please do not waste your anger or frustration. i see a lot of you are upset. of course im sad too. none of it matters. literally none of it. you’re here. im here. + everything is gonna stay exactly the same and without me is still a super tight, record breaking song 🌟
— h (@halsey) November 20, 2019
Billie Eilish seemingly made a bold statement about climate change during her first-ever televised performance
— Complex Music (@ComplexMusic) November 25, 2019
Billie Eilish made her live-television-performance debut at the AMAs last night, choosing to sing her hit single “All Good Girls Go to Hell.” Not only did the 17-year-old Grammy-nominated singer perform on an actual burning set but she also made a clear statement on the climate crisis by wearing a shirt that read “No music on a dead planet.” As for whether the literal flames on stage represented hell or our burning planet (which, essentially, is like hell), we’ll leave that interpretation up to you. All we know is that Billie is the coolest, end of story, goodbye.