Women on stage, though not as winners, at American Music Awards | Music | DW | 20.11.2017
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Music

Women on stage, though not as winners, at American Music Awards

Female performers including Diana Ross, Pink and Kelly Clarkson took to the stage at the American Music Awards Sunday night, despite their noticeable absence from the award nominations.

2017 American Music Awards – Show – Diana Ross (Reuters/M. Anzuoni)

Singer Diana Ross at the American Music Awards

At the 2017 American Music Awards, women performers took to the stage repeatedly — though rarely to grab a trophy. With Tracee Ellis Ross as host and her mother, Diana Ross, taking home a lifetime achievement award, women were in abundance as the evening's entertainment, even as they were absent from the awards nominations.

In her opening monologue, the younger Ross said the night was one for women to shine, following on a year in which women have felt empowered to "own our experiences, our bodies and our lives."

"This is going to be an incredible night, filled with nostalgia, featuring earth shaking, groundbreaking women," Ross said. "And there's going to be some men singing too."

Despite the focus of the national spotlight on sexism in the entertainment industry, of the more than two dozen awards handed out on November 19, 2017, just six female artists or bands that include women took home the top prize. There were no female acts nominated in the categories of artist of the year and favorite pop/rock album.

Read more: Portraits of emancipation: Iconic women of the 60s and 70s

Artist of the year: Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars took home the top prize at the television gala in Los Angeles, which sees the awards determined by fan voting. The artist of the year was himself not in attendance, as he was traveling.

Instead, the audience was treated to several stunning performances, including one by Diana Ross, the Detroit-born singer who got her start with the Supremes during the Motown era. Draped in a purple coat and long black gloves, she belted out a medley of her biggest hits, including "I'm Coming Out," and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."

The awards ceremony also paid tribute to Whitney Houston to mark the 25th anniversary of her blockbuster film and soundtrack, "The Bodyguard," with Christina Aguilera singing from it. Also taking to the stage were Pink and Kelly Clarkson, who paid tribute to those lives lost in multiple disasters over the last year by performing a duet of R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts."

ct/eg (AP, dpa)

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