By Erin Moonyeen Haley
The Microsoft Theater was abuzz and bejeweled thanks to celebrities striking a pose before enjoying the music at the 2022 America Music Awards on November 20th. With Wayne Brady as host, the night's crowning moment was when 17-time AMA winner Lionel Ritchie won the Icon Award.
The event itself has long been host to glorious fashion moments. There was Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears in 2001 with their matching denim ensembles that called to mind Barbie & Ken in the most cutesy, kitschy of ways, and then Lizzo with her itsy-bitsy, Polly-Pocket-size purse. On the dramatically gilded side was Cardi B in 2021 in her Schiaparelli mask that gave the red carpet serious Eyes Wide Shut feels.
This year, black, metallics and fuchsia dominated the carpet, along with slit skirts, sequins and bodacious jewelry. Puerto Rican performer Bad Bunny was among the most eminent artists, with eight nominations, one of which was for Artist of the Year. At the night’s end, he took home the award for favorite Latin album for “Un Verano Sin Ti” and favorite male Latin artist.
Taylor Swift was another luminary, winning six awards, making her the "most decorated artist in AMAs history, with 40 career wins.”
Pink opened the show and was followed up by Bebe Rexha, Imagine Dragons, Carrie Underwood and others. Fashion-wise, some stars - like Sheryl Lee Ralph and Meghan Trainor - rocked the Barbiecore look with head-to-toe pink, (including watermelon-pink slingbacks with bows for Ralph). Others, such as Sabrina Carpenter, tingled with silvery gowns reminiscent of avant-garde chandeliers. Dencia took the metallic look a step further, wearing a sculptured black and platinum cyber outfit that evoked robotic vibes.
Kelly Rowland was a breath of burlesque fresh air in a cinched cheetah-print corset with an endlessly long train and leather opera gloves. Kim Petras wore a denim outfit from Bluemarine that elicited the campy mood of the early aughts, while Tinashe rocked Marc Jacobs while sporting Bjork buns so coveted in the late 90s thanks to Human Behavior. Other gowns flaunted architectural elements that made the fabric seem molded. For Karrueche Tran that look included a black flame shoulder flourish that was reminiscent of a Hunger Games gown, while Muni Long sported scalloped shoulders that blended into a mini dress. Becky G was a total 90s prom queen, also in a strapless mini dress, long train and coiffed hairdo.
Stars like Mackenzie Porter and Ari Lennox swept across the carpet in romantic looks reminiscent of Grecian temptresses, with the latter wearing a cerulean blue Aliette that could have been custom-made for Calypso. Ever the va-va-voom chanteuse, Bebe Rexha sizzled in a red tulle gown that seemed like a wink to Winona Ryder’s Beetlejuice wedding dress. Kali Uchis went for a Moulin Rouge-inspired gown, complete with a scarlet corset and an elaborate feathered headdress.
All in all, the stars sizzled and the music was perfection as it seemed to coax award season to linger well into the holidays.
Sheryl Lee Ralph
Machine Gun Kelly
Linda Wallem and Melissa Ethridge