The 2018 American Music Awards opened with the first awards show performance in three years from Taylor Swift. The pop star opened Tuesday night's show at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, which aired live on ABC.
The night's lineup included Cardi B with Bad Bunny and J Balvin, Mariah Carey, Carrie Underwood, twenty one pilots, Jennifer Lopez and many more artists.
Read updates from the American Music Awards as they happened below:
Gospel singers remember Aretha Franklin
11 p.m.: The American Music Awards paid tribute to Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin with a retrospective video about the late singer's career and legacy. Franklin's contemporary, Gladys Knight, sang "Amazing Grace" in front of portraits of the late diva. Gospel singer Donnie McClurkin performed Franklin's "Climbing Higher Mountains" before introducing CeCe Winans, who sang "Oh Mary Don't You Weep" with a gospel choir. Franklin got her start singing at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father was a preacher. She stayed true to her gospel roots throughout her career. Ledisi joined to sing "How I Got Over" before Mary Mary took the stage to close out the tribute.
Taylor Swift wins artist of the year, urges fans to vote
10:47 p.m.: Rami Malek, Joseph Mazzello and Gwilym Lee of upcoming Queen biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody" introduced a cover of the eponymous song by Panic! At the Disco. Brendon Urie played the piano and sang against a starry background with his bandmates.
Lenny Kravitz presented the award for artist of the year, and audience members could be heard shouting "Taylor! Taylor!" Swift did end up winning the night's biggest award, making her the most awarded musician in AMAs history. The singer saved politics for her last acceptance speech of the night.
She said, "I understand how lucky I am to have anyone that cares about me or my music. Every time that you have made me lucky enough to ever get to stand on a stage and have something really sparkly in my hands and say thank you, every single time this happens ... it means something different to me."
Swift continued, "This time it represents encouragement and motivation for me to be better, work harder and make you guys proud as much as I possibly can so thank you for this incredible symbol of encouragement ... this award and every single award given out tonight were voted on by the people."
The pop singer echoed her own political Instagram post and said, "And you know what else is voted on by the people is the midterm elections on Nov. 6. Get out and vote. I love you guys."
Camila Cabello wins new artist of the year
10:32 p.m.: Tyra Banks presented new artist of the year, which went to Camila Cabello. She thanked the other nominees for the award as well as her fans and family.
Carrie Underwood performed "Spinning Bottles" from a rotating stage covered in candles.
Kane Brown wins country male artist
10:22 p.m.: Leighton Meester and Taran Killam presented country male artist, which went to Kane Brown.He said he felt like passing out before he thanked God, his fans and family.
Ciara took the stage in a space-age white leather bodysuit and chaps to perform "Level Up." Dancers in matching black patent leather outfits and sunglasses surrounded Ciara and soon, Missy Elliott crashed the stage (with Missy's "funky white sister" cheering from the crowd) to rap. A marching band joined the performance.
Taylor Swift wins pop/rock album
10:10 p.m.: Camila Cabello sang "Consequences." The former Fifth Harmony singer wore a formal ball gown and long gloves as she performed with an orchestra.
Amandla Stenberg presented the award for pop/rock album, wearing a tuxedo jacket and bow-tie with jeans. The award went to Taylor Swift for "Reputation," her 21st AMA ever and her second of the night.
The singer said, "The whole time I was writing an album based on all the facets of a reputation and what it actually means to you, I was surrounded by friends, family and loved ones who never loved me less based on the fluctuations of public opinions and they all know who they are." She gave a shout-out to her pregnant friend Claire, who was her date for the night.
Swift said cryptically to her fans, "I'm so happy that you like this [album]. But I have to be really honest with you about something: I'm even more excited about the next chapter."
XXXTentacion wins soul/R&B album
10 p.m.: Lauren Daigle and Kane Brown presented the next award for soul/R&B album. They paid tribute to late artist XXXTentacion, with Daigle saying, "Tragically, the bright promise of one is gone too soon." XXXTentacion won the award for his album "?" and his mother, Cleopatra Bernard, accepted the award on his behalf.
Her voice cracked as she said, "I would like to thank the AMAs, his fans and to everyone who made this possible. Thank you guys so much. I appreciate it." XXXTentacion was shot and killed in Florida in July. He was 20.
Migos wins pop/rock duo or group
9:54 p.m.: Rita Ora and Constance Wu presented pop/rock duo or group, which went to Migos -- their first American Music Award. Cardi B, who is married to Migos' Offset, stood and cheered as her husband took the stage. Offset and Quavo gave a shout-out to their bandmate, Takeoff, in their acceptance speech as they thanked their family and loved ones for supporting them.
Kelsea Ballerini and The Chainsmokers introduced Post Malone and Ty Dolla $ign, who performed "Psycho" from an intimate, simple stage. After "Psycho," Post Malone sang "Better Now" as flames surrounded his stage.
Dua Lipa, who was up for artist of the year, performed "One Kiss" in a warehouse-themed set. She and her backup dancers wore rave kid outfits, with Lipa in a neon bikini top and track pants. An illustration of Lipa's face graced a wall. Lipa transitioned into "Electricity."
Vanessa Hudgens introduced her "Second Act" co-star Jennifer Lopez to the stage, who debuted her new song "Limitless." Lopez wore a glittery silver ensemble as she performed against a storm cloud- and lightning-filled backdrop. The audience, including Lopez's boyfriend Alex Rodriguez, gave the singer a standing ovation.
In the audience, Ross asked Rodriguez, "What are your beauty secrets" before admitting she didn't actually have time to hear the answer.
Carrie Underwood wins country female artist
9:25 p.m.: Sara Gilbert and Thomas Rhett presented the AMA for country female artist, which went to Carrie Underwood, her 13th American Music Award since her first in 2006. She thanked her family and fans for the award.
Liza Koshy and Normani Kordei introduced a performance of "Eastside" by Benny Blanco, with Khalid and Halsey. Khalid opened the number standing in a set that looked like a bedroom, while Halsey and Khalid sat on the couch. Halsey took over as Khalid sat down, then the two went out to the main stage at the AMAs to finish the song.
Billy Eichner gets political
Kathryn Hahn and Billy Eichner presented adult contemporary artist, which they said was appropriate since Eichner just turned 40. The two joked that they were the oldest people ever allowed on the AMAs stage. Before announcing the winner, Eichner said, "Young people of America, the biggest election of our lifetime is happening. That's right. On Nov. 6th, tonight is the final night to register in 20 states in this country. Please grab your friends. Tell them to vote. If you believe in equality for women, for people of color, for the LGBTQ community. If you believe that climate change is real and that we need to do something about it, don't let anyone tell you your vote won't count."
"It does," Hahn and Eichner said in unison, before Eichner announced that the award went to Shawn Mendes, a man who he said he knows loves to vote. Mendes is Canadian.
Camila Cabello wins pop/rock song
9:11 p.m.: Cardi B opened "I Like It Like That" on a tropical stage, complete with neon palm trees. The rapper wore a brightly colored outfit with pom poms as her backup dancers wore matching outfits and flowers in their hair. J Balvin and Bad Bunny quickly joined her for the song, backed up by Latin band members. The backdrop showed a retro picture of Cardi B in a Carmen Miranda-style headwrap.
Ross' son, Evan Ross, and his wife, Ashlee Simpson, presented the award for pop/rock song, which went to Camila Cabello for "Havana" -- her first solo AMA. Cabello thanked her fans for believing in her, and her dad, who was her date to the show, among others.
Khalid wins soul/R&B male artist
8:58 p.m.: Shawn Mendes and Zedd performed "Lost in Japan" together on stage against a purple, foggy stage with hundreds of paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling. Ella Mai performed next, opening from the back of the theater as she walked through the audience down toward the stage. Mai sang "Boo'd Up" she stood in the middle of the AMAs crowd.
Busy Philipps and John Stamos took the stage, and Philipps admitted that she used to have a big crush on him when she was younger. He asked, "What happened?" and she said the poster in her room aged faster than he did and, "It freaked me out." The two presented soul/R&B male artist, which went to Khalid. He thanked his mom, family members and fans, and then gave a shout-out to Texas, making it political by adding, "Shoutout Beto [O'Rourke]." Rep. O'Rourke, a Democrat, is running against incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in the Texas Senate race.
Taylor Swift wins tour of the year
8:44 p.m.: Heidi Klum presented the award for tour of the year, which went to Taylor Swift -- her first award of the night. Swift thanked her tour mates Camila Cabello and Charli XCX, as well as her tour crew and their families. Swift did not mention politics in her speech; on Monday, Swift made headlines for breaking her political silence to support Tennessee Democrats.
Chloe x Halle introduced a performance of new song "With You" by Mariah Carey, who wore a pink gown with a larger-than life skirt that covered the stage. Later, several male dancers sprung out from the layers of her skirt. Meanwhile, the backdrop showed a reflection of the singer and her dancers from behind.
Post Malone wins pop/rock male artist
8:30 p.m.: Ross returned, and pointed out that if Swift wins three more awards on Tuesday, she will be the most decorated artist in AMAs history. Ross wondered out loud how musicians come up with their names, mentioning that Halsey must have gotten her name from having lots of sore throats and eating Halls when she was a kid. Then Ross joked that she wondered how Lil Dicky got his name.
"Aquaman" star Amber Heard took the stage to introduce Twenty One Pilots, which she joked was the number of pilots she starred in that were not picked up. The duo opened their performance of "Jumpsuit" behind a sheer screen, as different patterns and beams flashed across. The screen came up and the two stood in front of a burning car onstage. The performance closed with a shower of confetti.
Macaulay Culkin presented the next award for pop/rock male artist, which went to Post Malone, who thanked his family and fans.
Cardi B wins rap/hip-hop artist
8:17 p.m.: Tracee Ellis Ross took the stage by rapping along to Cardi B's "Bodak Yellow," complete with a blinged out grill on her teeth that said "TER." Ross removed her jacket to reveal a sequined bodysuit before she danced onstage to the song "This is America."
Ross continued to dance along to an impressive number of songs, including "APES**T" by Beyonce and Jay-Z, "Respect" by Aretha Franklin and "Uptown Funk" by Bruno Mars. Ross moved onto "Run the World (Girls)" by Beyoncé, dancing against a backdrop of photos of influential women, including Mother Teresa, Oprah and Carol Burnett.
Ross was out of breath when she wrapped up and said, "I'm not a dancer. I'm just a lady with some moves. I don't even know if I can say that. I think I'm just a lady who moves."
She asked her "black-ish" children Marsai Martin and Miles Brown how she did, and they held up signs, giving her only "3" and "7" out of 10. Ross brushed off the low numbers and said she was having fun. She also announced that she was wearing clothes created by black fashion designers.
Florida Georgia Line and Bebe Rexha presented the first award of the night for rap/hip-hop artist, which went to Cardi B. Cardi B said in her acceptance speech, "I really want to thank my daughter. And not just because she's my daughter. When I was pregnant, I was so influenced to be like, 'Yo, I gotta do this. I gotta show people wrong. I gotta prove people wrong because they said I wasn't going to make it after I had a baby."
Taylor Swift opens the show
8:08 p.m.: Artist of the year nominee Taylor Swift opened the AMAs with her song "I Did Something Bad" from the album "Reputation." The pop star wore a glittery black bodysuit as she danced and sang against a dark, misty pink backdrop as flames emerged on the sides of the stage. Her backup dancers wore dark makeup and dark, scaled clothing as they flocked her.
Later, a giant cobra rose from the center of the stage -- a reference to Swift's haters calling her a snake. Camila Cabello was seen singing along as she watched the performance. The singer received a standing ovation when she finished her song.
Stars arrive on the red carpet
Taylor Swift, Camila Cabello and Dua Lipa are among the stars who have arrived on the red carpet.
A tribute to Aretha Franklin
Gladys Knight, Ledisi, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin and CeCe Winans will pay tribute to late Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin. They will remember her with performances from her album, "Amazing Grace."
Who's expected the American Music Awards
Tracee Ellis Ross will host the show. Fans vote for the winners at the AMAs. Presenters include Tyra Banks, Chloe x Halle, Macaulay Culkin, Sara Gilbert, Heidi Klum, Lenny Kravitz, John Stamos, Amandla Stenberg, The Chainsmokers and Rami Malek.