Label volunteer, Katrina Maria Sweeney, provides us with a summary of the AMA awards that took place towards the end of November.

The recent AMAs (American Music Awards) rewarded 2020’s most popular artists and albums. With great songs and artists nominated, we take a look at the winners and other nominees of certain categories and see if these were deserved.

‘Favourite Soundtrack’ was awarded to ‘Birds of Prey: The Album’, the music for Harley Quinn’s latest movie. The runners up were ‘Frozen 2’ and ‘Trolls: World Tour’. The ‘Birds of Prey’ album included songs such as Doja Cat’s ‘Boss B*tch’, Megan Thee Stallion & Normani’s ‘Diamonds’, Halsey’s ‘Experiment on me’, and Summer Walker’s ‘I’m Gonna Love You Just A Little More Baby’. Just looking at some of the artists found on the soundtrack, it’s clear the film had very current, popular artists, and can be praised for having an all-female album – as pitched by Kevin Weaver alongside music supervisors Gabe Hilfer and Season Kent. For this aspect, I think this win was very worthy, empowering female artists and women, through these exclusive tracks. As a fan of ‘Frozen’ and musicals generally, I did personally love the ‘Frozen 2 soundtrack’, especially the song ‘Into the Unknown’, and whilst ‘Trolls’ included some feel-good pop songs like Justin Timberlake’s ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’, it seems ‘Birds of Prey’s’ range of genres through a celebratory all-female soundtrack was the most worthy winner for this award.

‘Favourite Artist – Alternative Rock’ was awarded to Twenty One Pilots, with Billie Eilish and Tame Impala coming runners up. Some of Twenty One Pilots’ most-streamed songs include ‘Stressed Out’, ‘Ride’, and ‘Heathens’, and whilst they deserved to be nominated, I believe Billie Eilish and Tame Impala have had more successful and influential songs and albums. However, whilst Billie Eilish’s songs ’Therefore I am’, ‘lovely’ (with Khalid), ‘bad guy’ and ‘when the party’s over’, are widely recognised and praised, considering the genre is Alternative Rock I think Tame Impala’s songs and style are more fitting to this award. Their classic songs ‘The Less I Know The Better’, ‘Feel Like We Only Go Backwards’ and ‘Let it Happen’ are great examples of Alternative Rock which have millions of streams, popularity, and wide recognition.

The ‘Favourite song – Rap/Hip-Hop’, was ‘WAP’ by Cardi B ft Megan Thee Stallion, with ‘Rockstar’ by DaBaby ft Roddy Rich and ‘The Box’ by Roddy Ricch coming runners up. Whilst ‘Rockstar’ and ‘The Box’ were popular hits, particularly ‘The Box’ being used globally on the app TikTok, ‘WAP’ has been an iconic song globally. It is the first time we hear female rappers discussing their bodies and sexuality, from the female perspective, opposed to the typical rap genre that may present an overtly sexualised portrayal of women from a male rapper’s perspective. Therefore I, as I’m sure all women, believe this award was deserved as this popular song will remain iconic for many years to come and will be a club favourite when they re-open again.

The award for ‘Favourite Album -Pop/ Rock’ went to Harry Styles’ ‘Fine Line’, beating Taylor Swift’s ‘Folklore’ and The Weeknd’s ‘After Hours’. ‘Fine Line’ included popular songs ‘Golden’, ‘Watermelon Sugar’, ‘She’ and ‘Adore you’ which have seen popularity on the radio, Spotify, and on TikTok. This album perfectly encompasses the pop/rock genre, and Harry Styles continuously challenges gendered norms through clothing, seen in this album – making his music and image presented, fitting and deserving of winning this award. ‘Folklore’ and ‘After Hours’ were both successful albums, but they did gain recognition in other categories and more suited music genres – The Weeknd won the best Album for Soul/R&B, best Male Artist for Soul/R&B, and best Song for Soul/R&B, whilst Taylor Swift also won a multitude of awards, discussed next.

The top prize of the AMA’s, the ‘Artist Of The Year’ went to Taylor Swift, beating Justin Bieber, Post Malone, Roddy Ricch, and The Weeknd. Taylor Swift was unable to accept the award in-person because she was rerecording her early music, which is just proof of her determination and work ethic when it comes to her music. Swift 100% deserves this award, working harder than most on her music. Her documentary on Netflix ‘Miss Americana’ accurately displayed this, showing her continuously, and often independently, writing, producing, and directing her songs and music videos. Her 16-track album ‘Folklore’ was written and recorded in isolation during Covid-19 lockdown, proving her skillset and determination. This was further rewarded by Taylor Swift also winning ‘Favourite Music Video’ for ‘cardigan’ from the ‘Folklore’ album and winning ‘Favourite Female Artist -Pop/Rock’ – holding the record for most AMA career wins by a single artist, worthy of winning ‘Artist of the Year’.


Header designed by Annabel Smith

Article Edited by Music Editor Matthew Rousou


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