Taylor Swift Wins Big At AMAs And Encourages Fans To Vote

Taylor Swift kicked off her week with a rare political post on social media, and at the American Music Awards she continued the conversation by encouraging fans to vote in the upcoming midterm elections.

Swift won four honors including artist of the year at the fan-voted show on Tuesday in Los Angeles, beating out Drake, Ed Sheeran, Imagine Dragons and Post Malone for the top prize.

“This award and every single award given out tonight were voted on by the people, and you know what else is voted on by the people,” she said, “the midterm elections on November 6.”

Swift announced on Sunday that she was voting for Tennessee’s Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen, breaking her long-standing refusal to discuss anything politics.

Voting was a hot topic at the AMAs. Host and Golden Globe-winning “black-ish” actress Tracee Ellis Ross wore a shirt that said, “I am a voter,” and comedian-actor Billy Eichner told the audience, “The biggest election of our lifetime is happening.”

“Please grab your friends and tell them to vote. Now is the time. If you believe in equality for women, for people of color, for the LGBTQ community. If you believe that climate change is real and that we need to do something about it,” he said onstage before presenting an award.

“And you can go to Vote.org like Taylor Swift told you to,” he added.

Swift made history by becoming the most decorated woman in the show’s history with a total of 23 AMAs. Despite having the year’s top-selling album and three No. 1 hits, Drake didn’t win a single award. He did not attend the show but tied Cardi B with most nominations walking into the AMAs.

Swift kicked off the show with a performance of “I Did Something Bad,” while Cardi B — who won three honors — picked up the night’s first award, favorite hip-hop/rap artist, which she dedicated to her daughter.

“I really want to thank my daughter,” said Cardi B, who gave birth to Kulture Kiari Cephus in July. “I gotta prove people wrong. They said I wasn’t going to make it after I had a baby.”

The rapper hit the stage to give a festive and colorful performance of her No. 1 hit, “I Like It,” where she was joined by J Balvin and Bad Bunny, who was wheeled onstage inside a shopping cart. Cardi B’s husband, Offset of the rap trio Migos, danced along in the audience with group member Quavo as Cardi B worked the stage with vibrant dance moves, including the salsa.

The 2018 American Music Awards, the world’s largest fan-voted awards show, will broadcast live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Cardi B returned the favor, screaming happily when Migos was named favorite pop/rock duo or group, beating out Maroon 5 and Imagine Dragons, later in the show.

“We did not know we was winning this at all,” said Quavo, also giving a shout-out to group member Takeoff, who didn’t attend the AMAs.

“I want to thank you sexy lady,” Offset said, pointing to Cardi B.

Like Cardi B’s performance, rising newcomer Ella Mai also won over the crowd when she sang the year’s biggest R&B hit, “Boo’d Up,” starting the performance as she walked down the aisle of the Microsoft Theater. Khalid, Quavo and Offset were some of the audience members dancing along, while others sang and some even filmed her with their phones.

Others who shined onstage included R&B singer Ciara, who showed off her skilled dance moves and was joined by a fierce Missy Elliott. Carrie Underwood was in perfect form vocally, and Camila Cabello — who tied Swift with four wins — gave a heartful, touching and vocally impressive performance of the ballad “Consequences,” earning her a standing ovation.

The three-hour show closed with a rousing tribute to Aretha Franklin, who died in August. Gladys Knight, Ledisi, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin and CeCe Winans were among the musicians who paid tribute to the Queen of Soul’s gospel roots and her iconic album, “Amazing Grace.”

Rapper-singer XXXTentacion, who was fatally shot in June, was also honored: He won favorite soul/R&B album for his 2017 debut, “17.” It was days after he was named best new artist at the BET Hip-Hop Awards.

His mother, Cleopatra Bernard, said she was honored to accept the award on behalf of her son. “I’m so nervous,” Bernard said as the audience cheered her on.

Kane Brown swept the country categories with three wins, including male artist, album and song.

Post Malone, who wore a baby blue suit and performed, won favorite pop/rock male artist, Underwood was named favorite country female artist and Khalid picked up favorite soul/R&B male artist.

Other performers included Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Shawn Mendes and twenty one pilots.

The following is a list of this year’s nominees and winners, Taylor Swift and Camila Cabello led the night with four awards each.

ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Drake

Imagine Dragons

Post Malone

Ed Sheeran

Taylor Swift *WINNER

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR PRESENTED BY CAPITAL ONE

Camila Cabello *WINNER

Cardi B

Khalid

Dua Lipa

XXXTENTACION

COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR

Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug, “Havana” *WINNER

Post Malone ft. 21 Savage, “Rockstar”

Bruno Mars & Cardi B, “Finesse”

Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line, “Meant To Be”

Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey, “The Middle”

TOUR OF THE YEAR

Beyoncé & JAY–Z

Bruno Mars

Ed Sheeran

Taylor Swift *WINNER

U2

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug, “Havana” *WINNER

Cardi B, “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)”

Drake, “God’s Plan”

FAVORITE SOCIAL ARTIST

BTS *WINNER

Cardi B

Ariana Grande

Demi Lovato

Shawn Mendes

FAVORITE MALE ARTIST — POP/ROCK

Drake

Post Malone *WINNER

Ed Sheeran

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST — POP/ROCK

Camila Cabello

Cardi B

Taylor Swift *WINNER

FAVORITE DUO OR GROUP — POP/ROCK

Imagine Dragons

Maroon 5

Migos *WINNER

FAVORITE ALBUM — POP/ROCK

Drake, “Scorpion”

Ed Sheeran, “÷ (Divide)”

Taylor Swift, ‘reputation’ *WINNER

FAVORITE SONG- — POP/ROCK

Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug, “Havana” *WINNER

Drake, “God’s Plan”

Ed Sheeran, “Perfect”

FAVORITE MALE ARTIST — COUNTRY

Kane Brown *WINNER

Luke Bryan

Thomas Rhett

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST — COUNTRY

Kelsea Ballerini

Maren Morris

Carrie Underwood *WINNER

FAVORITE DUO or GROUP — COUNTRY

Dan + Shay

Florida Georgia Line *WINNER

LANCO

FAVORITE ALBUM — COUNTRY

Kane Brown, “Kane Brown” *WINNER

Luke Combs, “This One’s For You”

Thomas Rhett, “Life Changes”

FAVORITE SONG — COUNTRY

Kane Brown, “Heaven” *WINNER

Dan + Shay, “Tequila”

Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line, “Meant To Be”

FAVORITE ARTIST — RAP/HIP-HOP

Cardi B *WINNER

Drake

Post Malone

FAVORITE ALBUM — RAP/HIP-HOP

Drake, “Scorpion”

Lil Uzi Vert, “Luv Is Rage 2”

Post Malone, “beerbongs & bentleys” *WINNER

FAVORITE SONG — RAP/HIP-HOP

Cardi B “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)” *WINNER

Drake “God’s Plan”

Post Malone ft. 21 Savage “Rockstar”

FAVORITE MALE ARTIST — SOUL/R&B

Khalid *WINNER

Bruno Mars

The Weeknd

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST — SOUL/R&B

Ella Mai

Rihanna *WINNER

SZA

FAVORITE ALBUM — SOUL/R&B

Khalid “American Teen”

SZA “CTRL”

XXXTENTACION “17” *WINNER

FAVORITE SONG — SOUL/R&B

Khalid “Young Dumb & Broke”

Ella Mai “Boo’d Up”

Bruno Mars & Cardi B “Finesse” *WINNER

FAVORITE ARTIST — ALTERNATIVE ROCK

Imagine Dragons

Panic! At The Disco *WINNER

Portugal. The Man

FAVORITE ARTIST — ADULT CONTEMPORARY

Shawn Mendes *WINNER

P!NK

Ed Sheeran

FAVORITE ARTIST — LATIN

J Balvin

Daddy Yankee *WINNER

Ozuna

FAVORITE ARTIST — CONTEMPORARY INSPIRATIONAL

Lauren Daigle *WINNER

MercyMe

Zach Williams

FAVORITE ARTIST — ELECTRONIC DANCE MUSIC (EDM)

The Chainsmokers

Marshmello *WINNER

Zedd

FAVORITE SOUNDTRACK

“Black Panther: The Album, Music From And Inspired By” *WINNER

“The Greatest Showman”

“The Fate of the Furious: The Album”