Green Day Gets Political, and Other Highlights of the 2016 American Music Awards

Home Culture and Entertainment Green Day Gets Political, and Other Highlights of the 2016 American Music Awards
Green Day at the American Music Awards.
Green Day at the 2016 American Music Awards.

The American Music Awards mostly played by the rules this year, but some artists took the opportunity to express their displeasure with the current political atmosphere.

Thank God. This might have been really boring if someone hadn’t!

Bruno Mars kicked off the show with his signature throwback sound in “24K Magic,” complete with track suit and gold chain.

Veteran punks Green Day proved that they are still political and have earned their angrily smeared guyliner. In the middle of their performance of the hit “Bang! Bang!” they tossed in “NO TRUMP, NO KKK, NO FASCIST USA.”

We’re grateful to see Green Day using its time in the spotlight to say something. While Gigi Hadid’s Melania Trump impression fell incredibly flat, it’s a pleasure to see some level of unrest among the wealthy.

Hadid has since been dragged, accusing her parody of the future First Lady’s accent to be racist. Keep in mind, Gigi Hadid is a half-Middle Eastern woman dating Zayn Malik, a half-Pakistani man. However silly the impression of Melania Trump may have been, Hadid is still a woman of Middle Eastern heritage speaking in some way against that of which the Trumps represent and partake.  That’s worth something, and we’ve got our fingers crossed that it will lead to more.

Unfortunately, Jay Pharoah’s Kanye West impression was just about as bad. But then, who ever really gets a chance to be truly funny in these uncomfortably scripted, incredibly stiff award shows? It’s a recipe for failure, no matter how talented one may be.

Other highlights of the AMAs include Drake’s Apple commercial (featuring him lifting weights and singing along to alleged new girlfriend Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood”), as well as the actor-turned-musician’s shout-out to Degrassi while accepting an award from former Degrassi High castmate Nina Dobrev. “We’re still waiting for some love for Andrea Lewis — the woman deserves her own shine and invitations to these makeshift Degrassi reunions.)

Related StyleCrush: Andrea Lewis

Musical God Prince was posthumously awarded Top Soundtrack for his 1984 album Purple Rain. The album soared in its success after The Purple One’s death in April, making it eligible for the 2016 award and bringing tears to the eye of many fans.

Prince’s sister, Tyka Nelson, accepted the award on his behalf.

“Prince defied the odds,” Nelson said of her brother. “A black teen from Minnesota … he had the courage to be different. With his vision and God-given talent, he is still one of the world’s most respected and loved artists.”

“We’ll keep this for you in Paisley Park,” Nelson proclaimed with tears, referencing the singer’s Minneapolis estate, which has become a shrine to his career.

Musician Selena Gomez later took the stage, winning the award for the audience’s favorite female musician. While on stage, she revealed the reason for her August hiatus: lupus.

“I had to stop,” she started. “I had everything and I was absolutely broken inside. And I kept it all together enough never to let you down … [instead] I let myself down.”

Gomez thanked her fans “because you guys are so damn loyal and I don’t know what I did to deserve you.”

Additionally, Niall Horan of One Direction and Lady Gaga’s performances were strong, leaving The Chainsmokers and Fifth Harmony’s lackluster shows looking poorly. Gaga performed a country song, “Million Reasons,” barefoot against a backdrop of a grassy field.