Acceptance speeches do not always have to be boring – sometimes they can be great moments shared between artists and fans. On Nov. 24 in Los Angeles, the American Music Awards honored this year’s top musical artists – giving each awardee an opportunity to speak their heart. Let us take a look at the most memorable ones of 2013.
Justin Timberlake won three awards that night, impressing with his “crossover” music appeal. The ex-boyband member not only bagged the favorite pop/rock male category, but won favorite soul/R& B male and soul/R& B album as well.
Comedian Sarah Silverman, before presenting him with one of the soul/R&B awards, joked about Timberlake, Robin Thicke, and Rihanna – implying that they were an unusual set of nominees for the soul/R&B category.
Timberlake joked back, “Growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, I can say this is the first time I have ever been racially profiled by a white woman.”
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, on the other hand, brought up racial profiling in seriousness as they accepted the award for favorite rap/hip-hop album.
“Due to the fact that we are in Florida tonight accepting this award I want to acknowledge Trayvon Martin and the hundreds and hundreds of kids each year that are dying due to racial profiling and the violence that follows it. This is really happening. These are our friends, our neighbors, our peers and our fans, and it’s time that we look out for the youth and fight against racism and the laws that protect it,” pleaded rapper Macklemore.
Marc Anthony won the award for favorite Latin artist. The last time he was honored at the American Music Awards was in 2004. He was quite eloquent in his acceptance speech after receiving the award from host and personal friend, Pitbull.
“Wow,” he exclaimed. “This is absolutely surreal. It’s been an amazing year, and to receive it from my boy, Pit…” He goes on to say, “Thanks to my family and crew. Ya’ll know who you are. I’m sure I don’t have time to thank everybody, but I’ll call you in a little bit,” sparking chuckles from the audience.
“There’s a saying, ‘Because you’re alive doesn’t mean you’re living.’ And I just want to say – don’t forget to live,” alluding to his award-winning record “Vivir Mi Vida.”
Rihanna won the American Music Awards’ first-ever Icon Award. Bill Maher introduced her as having “become the voice of our time.” Rihanna’s mother, Monica Fenty, was asked to present the award to her daughter. Mother gracefully came onto the stage and began with praise for God and Jesus.
“Rihanna, I’m so proud of you tonight,” Fenty gushed. “I know the journey in your career has not always been an easy one, but tonight I applaud and admire you.”
Fenty did a fantastic job presenting the award. Perhaps her accidental reference to the Icon Award as “Iconic Award” was the best part because it’s such a “mom” thing to do. Arguably, this may have been the best part of the whole show.
Finally, the American Music Awards gave Ariana Grande the “New Artist of the Year” title. She was absolutely adorable in how she scurried to the podium in her lovely gown and heels. If that wasn’t enough, she seamlessly pulled her speech notes from her dress while catching her breath. Adhering to the clock, she hurried through her speech – sounding like a tongue-twister as the time expired.
This year’s American Music Awards left us with some acceptance speech moments to remember. Hopefully, next year will be just as good.
By Fatema Biviji