AMAs 2021: Full list of nominees and winners, best performances

Boy bands ruled at the 2021 American Music Awards on Sunday night.

From BTS — the South Korean sensation who performed twice and won three awards, including Artist of the Year — to a Battle of Boston between classic Beantown boy bands New Edition and New Kids on the Block, it was a night of swoonworthy vocals and synchronized dance movies.

It was nice to see BTS — who had been doing their awards performances virtually from South Korea during the pandemic — actually in the house at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. And they certainly made up for lost time on the US stage by first performing “My Universe” with Coldplay before closing the show with “Butter.” 

With the seven members of BTS onstage alongside the four members of Coldplay, the “My Universe” performance was a bit of a hot mess — and it must have set some kind of record for the most people onstage ever at the AMAs. And although the song is an undeniable pop confection, there was some awkward interaction between Chris Martin and BTS, with poor Chris fighting to be seen and heard over all the screaming girls during the live broadcast on ABC.

BTS was far better off alone doing another No. hit, “Butter,” although the song was originally supposed to be done with Megan Thee Stallion, who pulled out of the performance for unexpected personal reasons. Decked out in a buttery yellow, they appropriately ended the night they had owned.

Cardi B was the host for the night.
Cardi B was the host for the night.
Getty Images for MRC

But the night — hosted by the Bronx’s own Cardi B — was just about stolen from BTS by New Edition and New Kids on the Block, who took us back to their heydays in the ’80s and ’90s with a battle of harmonies and hits — from NKOTB’s “The Right Stuff,” “Step by Step” and “Hangin’ Tough” to NE’s “Candy Girl,” “Mr. Telephone Man” “Is This the End” and “Can You Stand the Rain.”  By the time the two groups joined together to end with New Edition’s “If It Isn’t Love,” there was nothing but love for them in the room — especially from BTS, who were on their feet the whole time.

But the night opened with its best performance by Silk Sonic — aka Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak — doing a rendition of retro-soul single “Smokin’ Out the Window” that was indeed smoking. With some real, live vocals — something the AMAs haven’t always been known for — Silk Sonic delivered a performance worthy of the Grammy stage.

Becky G scored the win for favorite female Latin artist.
Becky G scored the win for favorite female Latin artist.
Getty Images

Later, Olivia Rodrigo channeled her inner Taylor with a stripped-down performance of “Traitor,” strumming a guitar as she affectingly went more for feels than fireworks.

Rodrigo, a young superstar at only age 18, was the top nominee with seven total, scoring the win for New Artist of The Year. Five-time winner The Weeknd followed with six nods, including a faceoff with Rodrigo for Artist of the Year, while Bad Bunny, Doja Cat and GIVĒON had five nominations each.

With some of the biggest names not in attendance — including winners Taylor Swift, Drake, The Weeknd and Ed Sheeran — some newer artists got to take the spotlight, including Justin Bieber’s “Peaches” partner Giveon and the Italian rock band Maneskin, winners of this year’s Eurovision contest.

However, The Weeknd still scored a win in the favorite male R&B artist category, Swift for favorite female pop artist, Drake for favorite male hip-hop artist, and Sheeran for favorite male pop artist.

Jennifer Lopez performed at the Microsoft Theater.
Jennifer Lopez performed at the Microsoft Theater.
Getty Images for MRC

And one of the biggest stars to perform, Jennifer Lopez, served up a snorer with boring new ballad “On My Way” from her upcoming romantic comedy “Marry Me.”  The whole thing played like an ad for the movie — and, let’s face, slow jams have never been J.Lo’s specialty.

The show is a precursor to the 2022 Grammy nominations, which will be revealed in a livestream at noon ET Tuesday, Nov. 23, from the Grammy Museum in LA.

Here is the complete list of 2021 American Music Awards winners and nominees:

Artist of the year

Ariana Grande
Olivia Rodrigo
Taylor Swift
The Weeknd

New artist of the year

Masked Wolf
WINNER: Olivia Rodrigo

Collaboration of the year

24kGoldn ft. iann dior, “Mood”
Bad Bunny & Jhay Cortez, “DÁKITI”
Chris Brown & Young Thug, “Go Crazy”
WINNER: Doja Cat ft. SZA, “Kiss Me More”
Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar & Giveon, “Peaches”

Favorite trending song

Erica Banks, “Buss It”
Måneskin, “Beggin’”
WINNER: Megan Thee Stallion, “Body”
Olivia Rodrigo, “drivers license”
Popp Hunna, “Adderall (Corvette Corvette)”

Favorite music video

Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak), “Leave the Door Open”
Cardi B, “Up”
WINNER: Lil Nas X, “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)”
Olivia Rodrigo, “drivers license”
The Weeknd, “Save Your Tears”

Chlöe got down on stage at the AMAs.
Chlöe got down on stage at the AMAs.
Getty Images for MRC

Favorite male pop artist

WINNER: Ed Sheeran
Justin Bieber
Lil Nas X
The Weeknd

Favorite female pop artist

Ariana Grande
Doja Cat
Dua Lipa
Olivia Rodrigo
WINNER: Taylor Swift

Favorite pop duo or group

Glass Animals
Maroon 5
Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak)

Favorite pop album

Ariana Grande, Positions
Dua Lipa, Future Nostalgia
Olivia Rodrigo, SOUR
WINNER: Taylor Swift, evermore

Favorite pop song

WINNER: BTS, “Butter”
Doja Cat ft. SZA, “Kiss Me More”
Dua Lipa, “Levitating”
Olivia Rodrigo, “drivers license”
The Weeknd & Ariana Grande, “Save Your Tears (Remix)”

Favorite male country artist

Chris Stapleton
Jason Aldean
WINNER: Luke Bryan
Luke Combs
Morgan Wallen

Host Cardi B scored a win for favorite hip-hop song, "Up."
Host Cardi B scored a win for favorite hip-hop song, “Up.”
Getty Images for MRC

Favorite female country artist

WINNER: Carrie Underwood
Gabby Barrett
Kacey Musgraves
Maren Morris
Miranda Lambert

Favorite country duo or group

WINNER: Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Lady A
Old Dominion
Zac Brown Band

Favorite country album

Chris Stapleton, Starting Over
WINNER: Gabby Barrett, Goldmine
Lee Brice, Hey World
Luke Bryan, Born Here Live Here Die Here
Morgan Wallen, Dangerous: The Double Album

Favorite country song

Chris Stapleton, “Starting Over”
Chris Young & Kane Brown, “Famous Friends”
WINNER: Gabby Barrett, “The Good Ones”
Luke Combs, “Forever After All”
Walker Hayes, “Fancy Like”

Favorite male hip-hop artist

Lil Baby
Moneybagg Yo
Polo G
Pop Smoke

Favorite female hip-hop artist

Cardi B
Coi Leray
Erica Banks
WINNER: Megan Thee Stallion

Favorite hip-hop album

Drake, Certified Lover Boy
Juice WRLD, Legends Never Die
WINNER: Megan Thee Stallion, Good News
Pop Smoke, Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon
Rod Wave, SoulFly

Favorite hip-hop song

WINNER: Cardi B, “Up”
Internet Money ft. Gunna, Don Toliver & NAV, “Lemonade”
Lil Tjay ft. 6LACK, “Calling My Phone”
Pop Smoke, “What You Know Bout Love”

Favorite male R&B artist

Chris Brown
WINNER: The Weeknd

Favorite female R&B artist

WINNER: Doja Cat
Jazmine Sullivan
Jhené Aiko

Favorite R&B album

WINNER: Doja Cat, Planet Her
Giveon, When It’s All Said and Done… Take Time
H.E.R., Back of My Mind
Jazmine Sullivan, Heaux Tales
Queen Naija, missunderstood

Favorite R&B song

WINNER: Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak), “Leave the Door Open”
Chris Brown & Young Thug, “Go Crazy”
Giveon, “Heartbreak Anniversary”
H.E.R., “Damage”
Jazmine Sullivan, “Pick Up Your Feelings”

Favorite male Latin artist

WINNER: Bad Bunny
J Balvin
Rauw Alejandro

Favorite female Latin artist

Kali Uchis
Natti Natasha

Bad Bunny picked up the win for favorite male Latin artist.
Bad Bunny picked up the win for favorite male Latin artist.
Getty Images for MRC

Favorite Latin duo or group

WINNER: Banda MS de Sergio Lizárraga
Calibre 50
Eslabon Armado
La Arrolladora Banda El Limón De Rene Camacho
Los Dos Carnales

Favorite Latin album

WINNER: Bad Bunny, El Último Tour Del Mundo
Kali Uchis, Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios)
Maluma, Papi Juancho
Rauw Alejandro, Afrodisíaco

Favorite Latin song

Bad Bunny & Jhay Cortez, “DÁKITI”
Farruko, “Pepas”
WINNER: Kali Uchis, “telepatía”
Maluma & The Weeknd, “Hawái (Remix)”

Favorite rock artist

All Time Low
Foo Fighters
Glass Animals
WINNER: Machine Gun Kelly

Favorite inspirational artist

WINNER: Carrie Underwood
Elevation Worship
Lauren Daigle
Zach Williams

Favorite gospel artist

WINNER: Kanye West
Kirk Franklin
Koryn Hawthorne
Maverick City Music
Tasha Cobbs Leonard

Favorite dance/electronic artist

David Guetta
WINNER: Marshmello