Stunning Fashion to Show-Stopping Performances

A Recap of the 2020 AMAs



The 2020 American Music Awards took place Sunday, November 23rd, and some of the most popular artists of the year took home big awards. 

AMA nominees are based on streaming, album and digital song sales, radio airplay, social activity, and touring. According to, the “winners are voted entirely by fans,” via Twitter reflecting the time period of September 27, 2019, through September 24, 2020 on

Taraji P. Henson hosted the show from The Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and with COVID-19 protocols in place, the show had several live performances, in person presenters, and a limited live audience. 

Anyone who entered the venue was tested in advance, and the production crew received guidance from L.A. County Department of Public Health. Facial coverings were also required for anyone not on stage inside of the venue, with the exception of the background dancers who were required to wear masks.

Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes opened the show with their new single “Monster,” followed by Bieber covering his songs “Lonely” and “Holy” subsequently. 

Doja Cat won new artist of the year and Becky G won favorite female Latin artist, a brand new category at the AMAs. She dedicated the award to immigrants working in the pandemic and immigrant families and said, “When it comes to me and the decisions I make in my career, I proudly wave both flags – Mexican and American – and children and grandchildren of immigrants…we have seen what sacrifice and hard work looks like.”

Taylor Swift won 3 awards including “Artist of the Year,” breaking her own record for the most AMAs and now holds 32 AMAs. Swift was not there in-person due to prior obligations to re-record her first 5 albums. “This is a fan-voted award, which means so much to me,” she said. “You guys have been beyond wonderful all the years of my career, but especially this one, when we’ve been so far apart. We haven’t been able to see each other in concert, but I still feel really connected to you through the music and your reaction to folklore and all the ways in which your imagination honored that album.”

The AMAs featured a star-studded lineup of performers including Megan Thee Stallion, Billie Eilish, BTS, and many more popular artists. The Weeknd was also making headlines for being covered in bandages and bruises during his performance and acceptance speeches growing concerns to the public. Elle reported that it was his way of addressing his message behind his new album “Blinding Lights.” The Weeknd revealed in the September cover of Esquire, “Blinding Lights’ [is about] how you want to see someone at night, and you’re intoxicated, and you’re driving to this person and you’re just blinded by street lights. But nothing could stop you from trying to go see that person, because you’re so lonely. I don’t want to ever promote drunk driving, but that’s what the dark undertone is.”

Hailey Zill ‘21 said, “ Although it saddened me to watch performers sing with no live audience because I know a lot of performers gain confidence and strength by hearing the voices and cheers of those watching, overall the 2020 AMAs was super fun and entertaining! As a huge fan of the South Korean band BTS, through their performance of “Life Goes On,” I truly realized how much music brings people together from all over the world, regardless of the language you speak or sing in.”  


A full list of the 2020 AMA winners follow below:

Artist of the Year: Taylor Swift

New Artist of the Year: Doja Cat

Collaboration of the Year: Dan + Shay ft. Justin Bieber “10,000 Hours”

Favorite Social Artist: BTS

Favorite Music Video: Taylor Swift “Cardigan”

Favorite Male Artist (Pop/Rock): Justin Bieber

Favorite Female Artist (Pop/Rock): Taylor Swift

Favorite Duo or Group (Pop/Rock): BTS

Favorite Album (Pop/Rock): Harry Styles “Fine Line”

Favorite Song (Pop/Rock): Dua Lipa “Don’t Start Now”

Favorite Male Artist (Country): Kane Brown

Favorite Female Artist (Country): Maren Morris

Favorite Duo or Group (Country): Dan + Shay

Favorite Album (Country): Blake Shelton “Fully Loaded: God’s Country”

Favorite Song (Country): Dan + Shay ft. Justin Bieber “10,000 Hours”

Favorite Male Artist (Rap/Hip-Hop): Juice WRLD

Favorite Female Artist (Rap/Hip-Hop): Nicki Minaj

Favorite Album (Rap/Hip-Hop): Roddy Ricch “Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial”

Favorite Song (Rap/Hip-Hop): Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion “WAP”

Favorite Male Artist (Soul/R&B): The Weeknd

Favorite Female Artist (Soul/R&B): Doja Cat

Favorite Album (Soul/R&B): The Weeknd “After Hours”

Favorite Song (Soul/R&B): The Weeknd “Heartless”

Favorite Male Artist (Latin): Bad Bunny

Favorite Female Artist (Latin): Becky G

Favorite Album (Latin): Bad Bunny “YHLQMDLG”

Favorite Song (Latin): KAROL G & Nicki Minaj “Tusa”

Favorite Artist (Alternative Rock): Twenty One Pilots

Favorite Artist (Adult Contemporary): Jonas Brothers

Favorite Artist (Contemporary Inspirational): Lauren Diagle

Favorite Artist (Electronic Dance Music): Lady Gaga

Favorite Soundtrack: Birds of Prey: The Album