DUBAI: Arab designers showed off their creations at Tuesday night’s American Music Awards, with the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey opting for daring designs by some of the region’s creative talents.
Lopez, who performed on the night, shut down the red carpet in a hot pink gown by Lebanese designer Georges Chakra. The plunging neckline and barely-there back turned heads, as did the flowing fabric and high split in the skirt.
For her part, Carey chose a black, embellished dress by Kuwaiti designer-of-the-moment Yousef Al-Jasmi, with a sheer skirt and feathered detailing.
Country singer-songwriter Kelsea Ballerini showed off a yellow-and-black minidress by Lebanese designer Nicolas Jebran, complete with a plunging neckline.
At the awards show in Los Angeles, Taylor Swift won four honors including artist of the year, beating out Drake, Ed Sheeran, Imagine Dragons and Post Malone for the top prize, The Associated Press reported.
“This award and every single award given out tonight were voted on by the people, and you know what else is voted on by the people,” she said, “the midterm elections on November 6.”
Swift announced on Sunday that she was voting for Tennessee’s Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen, breaking her long-standing refusal to discuss anything politics.
Voting was a hot topic at the AMAs. Host and Golden Globe-winning “black-ish” actress Tracee Ellis Ross wore a shirt that said, “I am a voter,” and comedian-actor Billy Eichner told the audience, “The biggest election of our lifetime is happening.”
Swift made history by becoming the most decorated woman in the show’s history with a total of 23 AMAs. Despite having the year’s top-selling album and three No. 1 hits, Drake didn’t win a single award. He did not attend the show but tied Cardi B with most nominations walking into the AMAs.
Swift kicked off the show with a performance of “I Did Something Bad,” while Cardi B — who won three honors — picked up the night’s first award, favorite hip-hop/rap artist, which she dedicated to her daughter.
“I really want to thank my daughter,” said Cardi B, who gave birth to Kulture Kiari Cephus in July. “I gotta prove people wrong. They said I wasn’t going to make it after I had a baby.”
The rapper hit the stage to give a festive and colorful performance of her No. 1 hit, “I Like It,” where she was joined by J Balvin and Bad Bunny, who was wheeled onstage inside a shopping cart. Cardi B’s husband, Offset of the rap trio Migos, danced along in the audience with group member Quavo as Cardi B worked the stage with vibrant dance moves, including the salsa.
Others who shined onstage included R&B singer Ciara, who showed off her skilled dance moves and was joined by a fierce Missy Elliott. Carrie Underwood was in perfect form vocally, and Camila Cabello — who tied Swift with four wins — gave a heartful, touching and vocally impressive performance of the ballad “Consequences,” earning her a standing ovation.
The three-hour show closed with a rousing tribute to Aretha Franklin, who died in August. Gladys Knight, Ledisi, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin and CeCe Winans were among the musicians who paid tribute to the Queen of Soul’s gospel roots and her iconic album, “Amazing Grace.”