American Music Awards 2015: A Night In Music To Remember

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Story by Valeria Munoz, Copy Editor

Jennifer Lopez surprised everyone when she opened the American Music Awards with a dance compilation of all the nominees’ hits instead of one of her own singles.  In fact, she performed the choreography of NappyTabs and Kyle Hanagami alongside professional dancers. While this gesture did not go unrecognized, Lopez’s performance was a bit underwhelming as she tried to hold her own ground. The night was full of amazing performances but the highlights were Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Celine Dion, and Nick Jonas.

Ariana Grande performed a 1920s inspired version of “Focus” and channeled her inner Marilyn Monroe as she ran up a staircase and was able to deliver amazing vocals. Grande won Best Female Pop Artist and even had a star-struck moment greeting Paula Abdul mid-speech. However, it was her grandmother who stole the show, as Grande thanked her for voting because Marjorie Grande had assured her granddaughter earlier that she was the popstar’s good luck charm.

Nick Jonas surprised the audience with a medley of his latest hits, “Chains,” “Levels,” and “Jealous” with an entire Gospel choir backing him up with impressive vocals. In fact, Jonas was able to get the entire audience on their feet and singing along to the chorus. He also channeled his Disney days by demonstrating his drumming skills. On a similar note, Demi Lovato delivered a powerful set while the cameras panned to Joe Jonas, her ex-beau, teasing the audience’s nostalgia for the Camp Rock duo as she belted out the lyrics to her song “Confident.”

Justin Bieber closed the show with an acoustic set of “What Do You Mean.” He kept up during Nick Demoura’s choreography for “Where R U Now” alongside his backup dancers. Props to Bieber for maintaining the stamina to end with his newest single “Sorry.” Creative director Demoura pulled out all the stops by ensuing a rainstorm on Bieber and his dancers throughout the last song.

Before Celine Dion’s emotional performance of Edith Piaf’s “Hymne à l’amour”, Jared Leto drew more than a couple of tears from the audience. When he addressed the recent terrorist attacks in Paris which is a cause very near to his heart as his band Thirty Seconds to Mars had performed at Le Bataclan, the venue of the tragedy, seven months prior to the attacks.  Leto mentioned Syria, Russia, Mali, and France, concluding that the world matters and that there is still possibility of peace. He also referenced the refugee debate by pointing out the fact that many audience members are the sons and daughters of immigrants as well as trailblazers, like Steve Jobs and Barack Obama. He proceeded to quote Antoine Leiris, the spouse of a woman who passed away that night.

“Friday night, you took an exceptional life. The love of my life, the mother of my son. But, you will not have my hatred,” Leto quoted Leiris.

Leto continued with his heartwarming speech, “You’re asking for it, but responding with hatred and anger is falling victim to the same ignorance that has made you what you are. You want me to be scared, to view my countrymen with mistrust, to sacrifice my liberty for my security—you lost. We are just two now, my son and me. But we are stronger than all the armies in the world.”

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