AMAs 2018 Recap: The Biggest Moments You Need to Know About

The 46th annual American Music Awards (AMAs) kicked off at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles tonight, October 9, with a show-stopping performance from Taylor Swift, and things didn’t slow down from there. From a beautiful tribute to the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin to a high-energy dance party led by host Tracee Ellis Ross and every hilarious Cardi B meme in between, this year’s lineup was pure gold. At just over three hours, the AMAs saw a slew of performances and buzzy moments that are sure to keep the Twitterverse talking, so catch up on all of those and more, below.

Taylor Swift’s show opener: For her first awards show performance in nearly three years, T.Swift kicked off the night by singing “I Did Something Bad” with the help of a giant cobra (named Karyn, believe it or not) and an impressive display of pyrotechnics.

Tracee Ellis Ross’ epic dance medley: Wearing custom grillz and a kickass sparkly black jumpsuit, Tracee Ellis Ross served up a high-energy dance number to a medley of hits, from Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” to Beyoncé’s “Run the World.”

Cardi B winning “Favorite Artist – Rap/Hip Hop”: Not only did Cardi beat out the male contenders in this category, including Drake and Post Malone, but she accepted her award as only Cardi can, thanking her daughter for giving her the motivation to “prove people wrong.” She finished it off with a perfect shoutout to Offset: “And where’s my husband? Hey, husband!”

Mariah Carey’s performance: Mariah sang her new song, “With You,” surrounded by a sea of shirtless men on a bed of red sequin tulle. It was a mood.

Camila Cabello…the entire night: When she wasn’t performing, Camila was busy bopping along to all of the other performances, acting like everyone’s hype girl. We needed that energy this week!

Khalid winning his first AMA for “Favorite Male Artist – Soul/R&B”: “I just want to thank my mom first because she’s my biggest inspiration.” Swoon.

All the hype around the midterm elections: From Tracee Ellis Ross wearing an “I am a voter” T-shirt to Billy Eichner and Katherine Hahn reminding the audience that today’s the last day to register in 20 states to Taylor Swift making yet another plea for her fans to vote in November, tonight got political.

Taran Kilam’s reaction to Cardi B’s performance of “I Like It”: I think I speak for everyone when I say: Same, Taran. Same.

J.Lo’s Performance of “Limitless”: Written by Sia for J.Lo’s new film Second Act, this song is the female anthem we need right now.

Taylor Swift’s record-setting wins: By taking home three awards tonight, Taylor has officially won more AMAs than any other female artist. Congrats!

That emotional Aretha tribute: In a perfect celebration of the “Queen of Soul’s” legacy, Gladys Knight led an emotional tribute to her friend, as only a fellow icon can.

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