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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press Cardi B accepts the award for favorite rap/hip-hop artist at the American Music Awards on Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 1:00 am

Music awards' mood swiftly turns political

Associated Press

Taylor Swift kicked off her week with a rare political post on social media, and at the American Music Awards she continued the conversation by encouraging fans to vote in the upcoming midterm elections.

Swift won artist of the year at the fan-voted show Tuesday in Los Angeles, beating out Drake, Ed Sheeran, Imagine Dragons and Post Malone for the top prize.

“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.”

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.”

“Please grab your friends and tell them to vote. Now is the time,” he said onstage before presenting an award. “And you can go to like Taylor Swift told you to,” he added.

Swift kicked off the AMAs with “I Did Something Bad,” while Cardi B 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 perform her hit “I Like It.” Cardi B's husband, Offset of the rap trio Migos, danced along in the audience.

Cardi B returned the favor, screaming happily when Migos was named favorite pop/rock duo or group later in the show.

Camila Cabello – who won new artist of the year – gave a heartfelt 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. Rapper-singer XXXTentacion, who was fatally shot in June, won favorite soul/R&B album for his 2017 debut, “17.”