American Music Awards 2020: Everything to know about tonight’s show

Roddy Ricch
Rapper Roddy Ricch has tied the Weeknd for the most American Music Awards nominations this year.
(Scott Dudelson / Getty Images)

As the pandemic rages on, so does this quasi-virtual whirlwind of an awards season. Days after a stacked lineup of entertainment luminaries took the stage at the Latin Grammy Awards, it’s already time for the next 2020 ceremony: Sunday’s American Music Awards.

As we await Tuesday’s 63rd Grammy Award nominations, many of music’s biggest stars will vie for fan-determined prizes, from favorite music video to artist of the year.

And this year, the AMAs have introduced new categories in the Latin and hip-hop genres, including favorite male and female rap/hip-hop artist, favorite male and female Latin artist, and favorite Latin song.

Here’s everything you need to know about the 2020 AMAs broadcast.


What time is the show, and where can I watch it?

Lizzo performs at the 2019 American Music Awards.
(Kevin Winter / Getty Images for dcp)

The three-hour AMAs telecast will air live from Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater tonight on ABC starting at 5 p.m. Pacific. The ceremony also will be available to stream on the ABC website, with a cable subscription, and on Hulu Live TV.

Viewers will be able to access additional AMAs content on the award show’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube pages throughout the night.

Who’s the host?

Taraji P. Henson
Taraji P. Henson presents an award during the 2020 Billboard Music Awards in Hollywood.
(Andrew Gombert / Los Angeles Times)

Who better to host the American Music Awards than Cookie Lyon herself, Taraji P. Henson, who plays a powerful music executive on Fox’s hit hip-hop drama “Empire.”

The Emmy- and Oscar-nominated actress has previously emceed the BET Soul Train and Black Girls Rock! Awards. She also recently participated in the 2020 Billboard Music Awards as a presenter.

“I am so excited,” Henson told Jimmy Kimmel of her AMAs gig earlier this month. “I mean, it’s bittersweet because I ... was trained in theater, so I love a live audience. But obviously because of COVID, that b—, no one can go outside and play. We’re all punished.

“At this point, I’ll do anything to get out of the house,” she added. Same, Taraji.

Who’s nominated?

A woman dressed in a red latex body suit dancing and sticking her tongue out
Rapper Megan Thee Stallion is nominated for five American Music Awards this year.
(Will Heath / Associated Press)

Canadian singer-songwriter the Weeknd and rapper Roddy Ricch lead the pack of nominees with eight nods apiece, followed by “Hot Girl Summer” sensation Megan Thee Stallion with five.

Ricch and Meg are also up for the coveted new artist of the year award, alongside Lewis Capaldi, Doja Cat, DaBaby and Lil Baby. And in the running for the top artist of the year prize are Ricch, Justin Bieber, Post Malone, Taylor Swift and the Weeknd.

Other nominees include Lady Gaga, Bad Bunny, Billie Eilish, Kanye West, Dan + Shay, BTS, Harry Styles and Juice Wrld, the last of whom received a posthumous nomination for male rap/hip-hop artist after he suffered a seizure and died at age 21 in December.

Here’s a full list of this year’s contenders.

The Weeknd and Roddy Ricch are the leading nominees for this year’s American Music Awards with eight apiece

Who’s performing?

South Korean pop sensation BTS will perform at the 2020 American Music Awards.
(Ben Hider / Invision/AP)

Several nominees — including the Weeknd, Megan Thee Stallion, Bad Bunny, Dua Lipa and BTS — have also joined the AMAs performance lineup.

Meg will likely debut a live version of a track from her brand-new album, “Good News,” which arrived Friday. And pop star Katy Perry is set to perform “Only Love,” also a tune from her most recent studio entry, “Smile.”

Other participants include Bell Biv DeVoe and Nelly, each slated to showcase “a medley of memorable club-banging hits,” as well as Jennifer Lopez and Maluma, who will bring their twofold “Pa Ti"/"Lonely” collaboration from the forthcoming romantic comedy “Marry Me” to the AMAs stage.

And pop phenom Bieber will deliver renditions of his emotional new singles “Lonely,” featuring Benny Blanco, and “Holy,” featuring Chance the Rapper.

Rounding out this year’s performers are:

  • Bebe Rexha
  • Doja Cat
  • Dan + Shay
  • Lewis Capaldi
  • Machine Gun Kelly
  • Kenny G
  • Jhay Cortez
  • Lil Baby
  • Shawn Mendes

How will COVID affect things?

Much like previous pandemic-era award shows, Henson and some of the other talent will take turns on the Microsoft Theater stage. But because of the ongoing public health emergency, there will be no in-studio audience.