Ariana Grande walked away with the evening’s top prize, Artist of the Year, at Sunday night’s American Music Awards. Despite it being her only bid, Grande reigned supreme over her competitors Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Rihanna and Carrie Underwood — all of whom had more nominations than her this year.
Our racetrack odds here at Gold Derby had Bieber favored to win going into the live ABC telecast. Bieber performed his hit song “Let Me Love You” via satellite at a live concert in front of adoring and hysterically crying fans. Grande also took the stage earlier in the night to sing her hit single “Side to Side” with Nicki Minaj and a troupe of scantily clad dancers.
Gomez wasn’t a performer at the ceremony; however she did give the best speech of the night after winning Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist. The “Queen of Instagram” became emotional when thanking her fans for their loyalty, and pleading with them to not seek validation by showing off their bodies, but instead what is in their hearts. Nominees Rihanna and Underwood did not appear to attend the festivities.
So what do you think of Grande’s big win? Did she deserve to be named Artist of the Year? Take a look at the top chart performances over the past year for the five nominees and vote in our poll below.
Album: “Purpose” / Peaked at #1 on Billboard 200
Top Single: “Sorry” / #1 on Billboard Hot 100 / Certified 7x Platinum
Album: “Revival” / Peaked at #1 on Billboard 200
Top Single: “Hands to Myself” / #7 on Billboard Hot 100 / Certified Platinum
Album: “Dangerous Woman” / Peaked at #2 on Billboard 200
Top Single: “Side to Side” (featuring Nicki Minaj) / #6 on Billboard Hot 100 / Certified 2x Platinum
Album: “Anti” / Peaked at #1 on Billboard 200
Top Single: “Work” (featuring Drake) / #1 on Billboard Hot 100 / Certified 4x Platinum
Album: “Storyteller” / Peaked at #2 on Billboard 200
Top Single: “Heartbeat” / #42 on Billboard Hot 100 / Certified Gold