Bieber, Shawn Mendes Kick Off AMAs; Weeknd Wins R&B Album


NEW YORK: Canadian-born pop stars Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes kicked off the 2020 American Music Awards with a performance by their new duo Monster.

The singers released the track on Friday and the AMAs, which aired Sunday on ABC, marked the first time they performed it together. The performance began with a stripped-down Bieber singing his recent hit Lonely, “With Songwriter-Producer Benny Blanco on Piano, and Holy,” where masked background dancers joined him.

Mendes, strumming his guitar, then appeared for Monster, “which featured the twentysomethings singing lyrics about celebrity and growing up as celebrities that caught the public’s attention.

The performance, like many of them at AMAs, was recently pre-recorded due to the coronavirus pandemic. But host Taraji P. Henson, who enthusiastically danced to a mix of songs, appeared live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. She joked that A-list celebrities were in the audience, including Beyonc (a cardboard cutout of the singer appeared in a seat).

And another Canadian, The Weeknd, is about to have an all-star night: he’s nominated for eight awards and won the favorite soul / R & B debut album televised for After Hours.

The last time I received this award, it was presented to me by the late Grand Prince. And, you know, that’s why I constantly question the R&B genre and yeah, I’d like to dedicate that to him, ”he says.

Later in the series, The Weeknd and Kenny G will join forces for a rendition of the pop star hit In Your Eyes. The Weeknd will also play Save Your Tears.

The show will also include performances by Billie Eilish, BTS, Megan Thee Stallion, Bad Bunny, Jennifer Lopez and Maluma, Dua Lipa, Katy Perry, Bebe Rexha with Doja Cat, Dan + Shay, Lewis Capaldi, Machine Gun Kelly, Lil Baby, Nelly and Bell Biv DeVoe.

The Weeknd and Roddy Ricch also nominated for eight awards will compete for the show’s highest honor, Artist of the Year. Other nominees include Bieber, Taylor Swift and Post Malone.

Megan Thee Stallion, who released her much-anticipated debut album on Friday, won five nominations, including a nomination for New Artist of the Year. Six artists won four nominations each, including Bieber, Swift, Lady Gaga, Bad Bunny, DaBaby and Doja Cat.

Nominees are based on streaming, album and digital sales, radio broadcast and social activity, and reflect the period September 27, 2019 to September 24, 2020.

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