Taylor Swift was all over the American Music Awards, presenting, performing and ultimately winning the top prize, Artist of the Year. No surprise, the AMAs are a popularity contest with little to do with artistic integrity or talent.
She topped Justin Timberlake, rappers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Rihanna and Bruno Mars, who is having a breakout year and probably deserved to win.
Swift also won for best country album and best country singer female. Why are we not surprised. Still it could easily be questioned, why Taylor is still even being considered a country artist. And, her album Red is pure pop.
But the AMAs are basically a popularity contest, and Taylor Swift’s fan base is just too insurmountable to overcome. Still she had a solid year with her new album Red, and she has thoroughly transitioned from country to a cross-genre superstar.
The list of snubbed artists includes Kanye West, Chris Brown, Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber. Anything they share in common? Their off-stage antics this year obviously turned off much of the public.
The same can’t be said for Katy Perry, who didn’t receive a single nomination.
In another stunning development, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, won for favorite Rap/Hip-Hop album with their set The Heist. That’s sure to lead to complaints in some quarters that white rappers are “culturally appropriating” black thing.
They beat out the king of rap Jay-Z’s Magna Carta… Holy Grail and Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d. city. Lamar is the breakout rap artist of the year (no award for that) and probably deserved to win the category.
Then, again, rap and hip hop have always been powered by white suburban kids, who make up the majority of rap and hip hop music buyers.
In another sign that the AMA’s generally lack credibility Justin Timberlake won for best male artist pop/rock and best male artist soul/R&B. Say what??? Brown may be a punk, but he got no consideration at all. And, what about Frank Ocean?
Bieber never even made the list of nominees.
And, riddle me this: How did Ariana Grande win New Artist of the Year? She’s nothing if not another homogenized pop princess, with only middling talent.
Same goes for One Direction, winner of Favorite Band, Duo or Group in the Pop/Rock category. Sounds like these awards went to the acts with the biggest marketing budgets.
Here’s how this year’s nominations broke down. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis had six; Swift and Justin Timberlake had five each, and Florida Georgia Line, Rihanna and Robin Thicke collected foureach. Bruno Mars and Imagine Dragons were nominated for three each. Is the talent pool really this thin?
One Direction, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus highlighted performances.
|Winners of the 2013 American Music Awards|
Artist of Year
Single of Year
Florida Georgia Line featuring Nelly – “Cruise”
Favorite Male Artist, Pop/Rock
Favorite Band, Duo, Group, Pop/Rock
Favorite Album, Pop/Rock
One Direction: Take Me Home
Favorite Male Artist, Country
Female Artist, Country
Favorite Album, Country
Taylor Swift, Red
Favorite Album, Rap/Hip-Hop
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: The Heist
Favorite Male Artist, Soul/R&B
Favorite Female Artist, Soul/R&B
Favorite Album, Soul/R&B
Justin Timberlake: The 20/20 Experience
Favorite Artist, Alternative Rock
Favorite Artist, Latin Music
Favorite Artist, Electronic Dance Music (EDM)