The 2014 American Music Awards proved, once again, that anything can happen when you put a bunch of musicians under one roof and give Pitbull a mic. Here are the (many!) moments we can’t stop talking about.
1. Taylor Swift’s opening number
To kick off the show, Taylor Swift performed her latest mega-hit, “Blank Space.” And, predictably, she looked fabulous and put on one hell of a show from the super elaborate and oh-so-Taylory-set.
Photo credit: Adriana M. Barraza/WENN.com
2. Pitbull’s controversial comments
Maybe the third time will be the hosting charm for Pitbull. Last year, he caught flak for slipping into his native tongue too much. This year, he’s being lambasted on social media for his mildly sexist remarks and his “I’m not American” comment.
3. Charli XCX’s naughty and nice performance
At the onset, Charli XCX starts singing her hit song “Boom Clap” on a sweet note — decked out in a ’50s-style prom dress upon a retro prom stage. But, lo and behold, as the song segues into “Break the Rules,” Charli rips off that nostalgic gown to reveal a racy leather ensemble and proceeds to sit on an angry green rabbit’s face.
4. Wyclef Jean’s #malfuncjean
The next time Wyclef Jean hits a stage for an awards show performance, we imagine he’ll think twice before rocking a leather biker jacket that may or may not get stuck on his arm and could possibly lead to a wardrobe malfunction that will trend on Twitter for days.
5. Jamie Foxx’s adorable daddy-daughter moment
As if Jamie Foxx wasn’t adorable enough, when he took the stage to present the award for Best Rap/Hip-Hop Album, he came out carrying his adorable 4-year-old daughter, Annalise Bishop Foxx. He even let her announce Iggy Azalea as the winner… awwww!
6. Iggy Azalea’s revealing acceptance speech
When Iggy Azalea won for Best Rap/Hip-Hop album, we learned things about the star we never knew. Like, for starters, that this is new territory for the Australia native. “This award is the first award I’ve won in my entire life,” she said. She also revealed that hip-hop music is what inspired her to move to America.
7. Sam Smith’s dreamy duet with A$AP
In full disclosure, we’re Sam Smith fans for life. So, naturally, we swooned through his entire performance of “I’m Not the Only One,” and nearly died when A$AP came on to rap a bit. Loved — yes, loved — it.
8. Luke Bryan’s adorably bumbling acceptance speech
Luke Bryan won the award for Best Country Artist again. And, c’mon, he’s nothing if not cute. First, his wife kissed him with some bright ass red lipstick, so he had to accept the award looking all dolled up. He ran with it, though, thanking everyone from God to his bus driver from his pretty scarlet lips.
9. Three words: “Yellow Flicker Beat”
Leave it to Lorde to make Taylor Swift totally fangirl out. During her performance of the song from the The Hunger Games soundtrack, Lorde showed off her distinctive dance moves — which her bestie, Swift, echoed from the audience with a look of total adoration on her face.
10. Ariana Grande gettin’ jazzy with the Weeknd
Although lately it seems like Ariana Grande has one tempo, and that’s fast, the pop princess slowed it down for a special, jazzy rendition of “Love Me Harder” alongside the Weeknd. She sounded amazing, not to mention the fact that she was the picture of glamour in a floor-sweeping black gown.
11. That time Imagine Dragons championed a sweet cause
When Imagine Dragons bested Lorde and Bastille to win the Best Alternative Award, lead singer Dan Reynolds was a class act during their speech, offering respect up for his peers/rivals. Before exiting stage left, he added, “Most importantly, go to TRF.org and support the fight against childhood cancer.”
12. Selena Gomez having a “Thank you, Jesus” moment
When Selena Gomez appeared on stage to sing “The Heart Wants What It Wants,” everyone was waiting with bated breath to see if she’d break down over the Biebs. At the end when, after visibly exhaling and choking back tears, she mouthed, “Thank you, Jesus.” Then a shadowy figure with suspiciously Bieber-like fingers appeared on the screen behind her.
13. Taylor Swift and Lorde getting misty-eyed over Selena
Much like Taylor Swift fangirled over Lorde’s performance, she and Lorde fangirled over Selena Gomez’s performance by appearing completely enamored with their friend — and completely heartbroken for her at the same time.
14. Zayn frickin’ Malik
Although quiet during their earlier speech, recently beleaguered One Direction member Zayn Malik was front and center (rasta earpiece and all) for their performance of “Night Changes.” And, OK, fine — we admit we got a little lost in his mile-long eyelashes and Uncle Jesse-ish mullet.
15. Christina Milian/Lil Wayne/Nicki Minaj/Skylar Grey
Christina Milian in next to nothing. Lil Wayne bleeping his way through the song in a hoodie. Nicki Minaj looking uncharacteristically covered up. And Skylar Grey killing it. Yep, that about sums this one up.
16. Diana Ross and Dick Clark, y’all
Photo credit: Apega/WENN.com
Diana Ross, looking ever like the diva that she is, took to the stage dripping in diamonds and fur to honor the late Dick Clark and present Taylor Swift with the Dick Clark Award for Excellence.
17. Josh Duhamel’s sweet shout-out to his wife
We’re constantly crushing on Josh Duhamel, and couple-crushing on him and his “Fergs.” Last night, they did not disappoint when he stepped up to the mic to introduce his wife’s performance and point out that “she makes pretty cute babies, too.”
18. Fergie’s mini wardrobe malfunction
Like Wyclef Jean before her, Fergie had an eensy stitch of trouble with her ensemble — when she tried to untie and take over her top, it got snagged somehow and put up a fight before becoming free.
19. Khloé Kardashian grinding on Jessie J
During an impassioned performance of “Bang Bang,” Jessie J took to the aisle to drum up excitement. And, well, she got it. Khloé Kardashian — who looked fabulous, for the record — couldn’t help rubbing up against Jessie J and smacking the singer’s booty as she walked away.
20. The end
What better way to wrap up the American Music Awards than by handing the night’s top honors to a boy band fawned over by preteen girls — One Direction, of course — and then turning around (literally) and having JLo and Iggy Azalea close out the night on a semi-obscene note with “Booty”?