BTS made history with this big win at the American Music Awards
The 2021 American Music Awards went smooth like butter for the superstars of BTS, who landed three prizes and delivered not one, but two show-stopping performances.
The South Korean boy band made AMAs history Sunday as the first Asian group to win the top award of the night: artist of the year. The “Butter” hitmakers also took home the honors for pop group and pop song for a career total of nine AMAs.
Other big winners included Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion, who each scored three awards. Doja Cat received the honors for collaboration, female R&B artist and R&B album, while Megan Thee Stallion collected prizes for trending song, female hip-hop artist and hip-hop album.
Olivia Rodrigo leads this year’s pack of American Music Award nominees with seven, including artist of the year. The Weeknd is close behind with six.
Heading into the evening with the most nominations was Olivia Rodrigo, who scored the award for new artist of the year.
Here’s a sampling of standout moments from the ceremony, hosted by rapper Cardi B from Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater and televised by ABC.
Cardi B is the hostess with the mostest
The rap sensation slayed her awards-show hosting debut Sunday, bringing her trademark candor and enthusiasm — as well as several flamboyant fashion moments — to the AMAs stage.
“I ain’t gonna lie, I’m a little nervous. I’m shaking,” she said at the top of the show. “Woo! My underarms itch. Woo! I’m sweating. I’m gonna tell y’all right now at home, I might get things messed up, and I might stutter. But whatever, whatever, whatever. I’m giving looks.”
Cardi B’s “Up” won the prize for hip-hop song.
Silk Sonic opens the show with finesse
Dynamic duo Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak of Silk Sonic were positively dripping in finesse while opening the show with a characteristically suave rendition of their latest single, “Smokin out the Window.”
“Smokin’ out the window / Singin’, ‘How could she do this to me?’” they sang while swaying to the music in matching red velvet suits. “Oh, I thought that girl belonged to only me / But I was wrong / ‘Cause she belong to everybody, everybody.”
Silk Sonic’s “Leave the Door Open” won the award for R&B song.
Rodrigo sings her heart out
Top nominee of the night Rodrigo slowed things down for a powerful and emotional performance of her heartbreak ballad “Traitor.”
“You betrayed me / And I know that you’ll never feel sorry / For the way I hurt, yeah,” the teen pop phenom belted amid a sea of roses. “You talked to her when we were together / Loved you at your worst, but that didn’t matter / It took you two weeks to go off and date her / Guess you didn’t cheat, but you’re still a traitor.”
While accepting the prize for best new artist, the “Drivers License” singer said, “Writing songs is my favorite thing in the whole world, and I’m so grateful for everyone who has embraced my music.”
Jennifer Lopez gets married — sort of
The superstar singer and actor previewed her highly anticipated rom-com return with an energetic performance of “On My Way,” from her upcoming film, “Marry Me.”
“Every heartbreak was a yellow brick road,” she sang while modeling an elegant, blush wedding dress and veil. “Pointing me straight, just taking me home / I was never lost, I was just passing through / I was on my way to you.”
BTS shuts it down
BTS closed out the evening with a lively performance of its smash hit “Butter” after joining forces with Coldplay earlier in the show for a crowd-pleasing rendition of their collab “My Universe.”
“Side step, right-left, to my beat / High like the moon, rock with me, baby,” V, Suga, Jin, Jungkook, RM, Jimin and J-Hope sang while effortlessly executing captivating choreography in perfect sync, as usual.
“Know that I got that heat / Let me show you ‘cause talk is cheap / Side step, right-left, to my beat / Get it, let it roll.”
BTS is performing in Los Angeles for the first time in over two years. Tell us what you’re most looking forward to about the concerts.
For the record:
6:35 p.m. Nov. 22, 2021A previous version of this article misattributed a statement from BTS’ RM to BTS’ Jin.
While accepting the award for artist of the year, BTS’ RM reminisced about the first time the group performed at the AMAs four years ago. (The pop sensations come to L.A. for four nights of concerts at Inglewood’s SoFi Stadium starting this weekend.)
“We were so excited and nervous at the time, and it’s been a long and amazing ride since then,” he said. “But nobody could have ever bet on the odds of us standing here receiving this award, except y’all, Army.
“Seven boys from Korea, united by a love for music. ... This whole thing is a miracle. Seriously, we never take this for granted. Thank you so much.”
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