The American Music Awards brought the star power to Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater on Sunday night with an A-list roster of performers and plenty of action backstage. Read on for what you didn’t see on TV.
A Posty Afternoon: For Post Malone, the party started during daylight hours as the artist, along with a crew of friends, commandeered a rooftop installation by Dolby to host his own pre-game party complete with Sunday football on multiple screens — with crisp Dolby sound to boot. As for that “I love grapes” line he delivered later in his acceptance speech for favorite rap/hip-hop album, it was apparently an offhand comment he made upon entering his dressing room trailer to find grapes among the catering options — a remark he inexplicably chose to repeat.
The Shawn Mendes Show: Thanks to his multiple appearances during the stage, Shawn Mendes was spotted all over the venue — running his hands through his hair as he prepped for “Senorita”; later walking out of his rooftop dressing room trailer in the outfit that would be his collaboration award acceptance look. Camila Cabello, however, was a building away with a dressing room indoors, not far from Taylor Swift’s, that allowed for easy access to the stage.
Taylor Nation: Anytime Taylor Swift made a move, it was a mob scene inside the house. After the first commercial break, photographers swarmed to snap Swift with seat-mates Halsey and Billy Porter. Fans also inched toward the front rows to try and get a glimpse of the star, though security did its best to keep the flow of traffic moving.
Lizzo’s Looks: From the orange frills of her red carpet look to the magenta lace of her “Jerome” performance, Lizzo was a sight to behold backstage — especially wearing hotel room slippers to traverse the long distances between her trailer and the stage — but it was her voice, heard as she warmed up her vocal cords before hitting the stage, that cut through the noise.
Ain’t No Party Like a Kesha Party: Following a triumphant performance of “Raising Hell” into “Tik-Tok,” Kesha gathered her team members and dancers for a celebratory toast, ensuring that each had at least a half-full glass of white wine.
Toni Braxton Stumbles: Following a soaring performance of “Unbreak My Heart,” Toni Braxton tripped as she stepped offstage spraining her ankle and forcing the R&B icon to limp her way backstage. After some medical attention, she was back on her feet an hour later as she made the press rounds.
Chants of Champions: With some acts featuring as many as 40 dancers (Taylor Swift), and others counting at least 20 (Camila Cabello, Shania Twain, Dua Lipa), the hallways of the Microsoft rang with the chants of blood-pumping anticipation. Taking the top prize: Camila’s wedding dress-themed dance crew. And for choreography: Halsey, who, word has it, choreographed her own Pollack-esque performance of “Graveyard.”
AMAs MVP: There was no question that Post Malone was the most popular person backstage. In between selfies with, well, everyone, he held court with Green Day, Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo and Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz, who had to make a hasty exit following Post’s performance with Ozzy Osbourne and Watt because, he said, “I have, like, 100 kids.” Later, Lil Nas X came by for an audience with Posty.
All About Billie: Strutting the grounds in head-to-toe Burberry, Billie Eilish turned heads and elicited whispered gasps — like a boss. Even Universal Music Group chairman/CEO Lucian Grainge was seen making a beeline for the Darkroom/Interscope artist’s trailer.
Bottoms Up: While typically pop-heavy events are dry, the AMAs got its drink on. And guests didn’t have to head to the bar for cocktails — servers were passing out beer, wine and vodka and sodas and gin and tonics on trays. Post Malone grabbed a beer, while Constance Wu reached for a drink from a tray and Heidi Klum sipped at her seat.