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2010 American Music Awards – Highs and Lows Featured

The Black-Eyed Peas performed and self-promoted at the 2010 AMAs. The Black-Eyed Peas performed and self-promoted at the 2010 AMAs.

The 38th annual American Music Awards took place Sunday in L.A. with big names were out in full force. Taylor Swift, Usher, Justin Bieber, Black-Eyed Peas, Pink, Lady Gaga, Bon Jovi, Katy Perry, and many more made the star-studded event the spectacle that it is renowned for. In fact, if there was any doubt, this year’s show proved it’s much more about spectacle and promotion than celebrating the year’s best artists.

You need look no further than to artists like the Black-Eyed Peas, who shouted out the release date of their new album both during their acceptance speech and during their on-stage performance. Rapper/singer Nicki Minaj was maybe even more self-serving, as she shouted out the release date of her new album while on stage as a presenter. She and R&B songster Trey Songz were co-presenters, when Minaj interrupted Songz mid-sentence to plug her album.

Another notable moment was rock band Muse accepting the award for Favorite Alternative Artist. Seemingly in response to an artist like Usher thanking God in his acceptance speech for Favorite Soul/R&B Artist and Favorite Soul/R&B Album, the UK rockers thanked Charles Darwin when they had their turn at the mic.

As for the performances on Sunday, some of them reached nearly unparalleled levels of ostentation. Katy Perry hit the stage with a group of dancers shooting off fireworks, making Justin Bieber seem down-to-earth with his massive gospel choir. Fair enough. The AMAs are the time to play your pop-star image to the hilt, and almost no one does that better than Katy Perry these days.  

Those over-the-top moments of self-aggrandizement made for a nice counterpoint to Kid Rock’s stripped down performance. The former rap-rocker showed his folksy side with an acoustic guitar-and-vocals only rendition of a new song lamenting the declining state of his hometown Detroit. Say what you will about the song, it was probably the most sincere and down-to-earth moment of the night.

Oh, and then there were the awards themselves. Pubescent bubblegum sensation Justin Bieber cleaned up, nabbing four awards including Artist of the Year, Breakthrough Artist, Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist, and Favorite Pop/Rock Album. Lady Gaga won Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist, while Eminem won for both Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Male Artist and Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album. Other winners included Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Michael Buble, Rihanna, Shakira, and Lady Antebellum.

One of the biggest nights in the music industry, the American Music Awards are annually a spectacle to watch. This year, however, the AMAs provided much grist for the cynical mill. Over-the-top performances that blur the line between earnestness and self-parody; lip-synching; and classless self-promotion struck an alienating note for meat-and-potatoes music fans. Never mind the fact that the ubiquitous presence of the adolescent Justin Bieber dominated the program. It’s enough to make anyone over the age of 20 feel ancient. From Usher to Bon Jovi, Eminem to Katy Perry, the AMAs offer a pop culture smorgasboard. Too bad this year there was so much junk food at the musical buffet.

© Copyright RosebudMag.com, 2010



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Last modified on Friday, 09 November 2012 09:25

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