Taylor Swift has 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.
"I'm so nervous, you guys", Cleopatra Bernard said as she took the stage to accept the award on her son's behalf. "[I want to] mention the fact that this award, and every single award given out tonight, were voted on by the people". Don't let people tell you your vote doesn't count.
Before they handed out the award for the year's Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist, Billy Eichner and Kathryn Hahn made a plea to viewers: vote.
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Swift wrote in her Instagram announcement Monday that she is supporting Tennessee's Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen, who is running against Republican Marsha Blackburn for Sen. Cardi B and Drake are tied with the most nominations leading into the big show; both rappers are nominated in eight categories, though only Cardi will be taking the stage to perform.
Fighting back tears, she said: "I am honoured". I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent'.
Late rapper, XXXTentacion, who was shot and killed in June aged 20, won a posthumous award. Tracee Ellis Ross, who played host for the second time, wore a Gucci cape for her opening performance, which included choreography to some of the year's biggest hits, including "Bodak Yellow", Childish Gambino's "This Is America", Beyoncé and Jay-Z's "APESHIT", Aretha Franklin's "Respect", Bruno Mars' "Uptown Funk", and Beyoncé's "Run the World".