The Best Performances From The American Music Awards

Taylor Swift

The 2018 American Music Awards celebrated the biggest artists of the year on Tuesday night, with the annual show also doing its part to stay woke for the kids. An empowering opening dance number by host Tracee Ellis Ross was followed by calls to action in the upcoming U.S. election by Billy Eichner and Taylor Swift, with Swift also having a record-breaking night.

There was no shortage of star-power at last night’s show, which included some huge performances from artists in pop, rock, and rap. While the awards have been given out, we decided to hand out a few of our own. Check out the best performance below and  watch the 2018 American Music Awards here on


Best Record Breaker

Taylor Swift opened the show with a performance of her new single “I Did Something Bad,” proving that her award show dancing has improved drastically. The singer stunned with her sequin body suit and over-the-knee boots, remixing the intro of her song to give it a jazz-inspired makeover. Having just wrapped her Reputation Tour and declaring herself a Democrat once and for all, Swift has fully come into her womanhood and looks better than ever. Swift returned to the stage four times throughout the night, taking home awards for Best Tour, Favourite Album Pop/Rock, Favourite Female Artist Pop/Rock, and Artist of the Year, bringing her total number of AMAs to 23 and breaking the record for most wins by a female artist.


Best Remix

Shawn Mendes’ latest single from his self-titled third studio album is the joyful “Lost In Japan” and we’re so glad the Canadian singer is promoting the song. Upping the level of happiness with the track, Mendes has teamed up with Zedd for a remix that forces listeners to smile. Really, how can you not love this song?


Best Overcompensation

Honestly, we were ready to use Mariah Carey’s performance as our bathroom break. We’d leave the volume turned up loud enough to still hear her, but Carey isn’t known for having particularly exciting performances. We’re just amazed she’s able to hit those notes without moving her body. After decades in the industry it looks like Carey has figured out how to get around her lack of physicality on stage and put on captivating performance thanks to a huge pink skirt and a team of incredible male dances. We need to do more yoga.


Best Euro Performance

English singer Dua Lipa’s performance of “One Kiss” and “Electricity” was the most European three minutes of the American Music Awards. High waisted track pants, bucket hats, fanny packs, and neon jackets screamed ‘U.K. dance scene’ throughout, with Lipa going full 1990s rave with neon paint, dancers making out, and a trust fall that made us really feel like we were watching the PG-13 version of Trainspotting.


Best Orchestra Backing

Camila Cabello has a long track record of impressive award show performances both with Fifth Harmony and as a solo artist, but Tuesday night’s AMAs and the singer’s delivery of her new single “Consequences” was the best she’s ever sounded. The singer tied bestie Taylor Swift with four wins on Tuesday night, including Best New Artist.


Best Return To The Stage

It’s been a minute since Twenty One Pilots performed at an award show, but the duo are back in action after dropping their fifth studio album Trench on Friday. Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun returned in fine form to deliver an electrifying performance of their new single “Jumpsuit.”


Best Audience Reaction

Dancers, costumes, a horn section, elaborate set, brightly coloured screens, and a spinning platform. The only thing that could have made Cardi B, Bad Bunny, and J Balvin’s performance of “I Like It” any better would have been a hilarious reaction from the audience.

Thank you, Taran Killam.


Best Tribute

We’re sure that actor Rami Malek will do a great job playing the late Freddie Mercury when the highly anticipated Bohemian Rhapsody biopic opens in November, but maybe the film studio should have cast Panic! At The Disco’s Brendon Urie.


Best Throwback

It was feeling very 2005 when Ciara and Missy Elliott reunited on stage to perform “Level Up” together at the AMAs. The former collaborators brought back their famous “1, 2, Step” dance moves for the choreography-heavy performance, which also included a crowd shot of Missy’s ‘funky white sister’ Mary Halsey.