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5 AMA Performances You Should YouTube Right Now

Nicki Minaj performing “Freedom” at last night’s American Music Awards. (Photo: washingtonpost.com

While the American Music Awards don’t have the same pomp and circumstance as the Grammy’s, the show is still a favorite to watch since it’s essentially one epic concert filled with the best songs and performers from the last year. Last night’s 40th Anniversary edition was no exception, with rocking sets by everyone from Carrie Underwood and Usher to Nicki Minaj and K-pop star Psy (with a special guest). For your entertainment, the five performances from last night that we’re playing on repeat this morning:

5. P!nk’s Try: After her breathtaking acrobatic performance of Glitter in the Air at the 2010 Grammy’s, we probably should’ve expected another emotionally resonant number from the new mom. Instead, we were totally caught off guard, and captivated, by this gorgeously choreographed interpretive dance piece.  

4. Ke$ha’s Die Young: We don’t always love Ke$ha’s antics on and off the stage, but last night’s strangely tribal-inspired performance was entrancing from the first drum beats. We’re just still trying to figure out if the performance was maybe just a tiny bit offensive—what did you think?

3. Taylor Swift’s I Knew You Were Trouble: A sophisticated T-Swizzle kicked off her number in a pretty white princess gown, only to have the dress ripped off halfway through revealing a vixen red getup. We can’t ever get enough of Tay Tay, but last night she definitely had us at hello.

2. Kelly Clarkson’s Greatest Hits Medley: First off, we didn’t realize that Kelly Clarkson has been around for 10 years—amazing. But more than that, she put on an awesome girl-powered performance of her biggest hits, including Miss Independent, Since You’ve Been Gone, Stronger and more. Bow to the queen of idol. 

1. Psy and MC Hammer’s Gangnam Style x Hammer Time: What started as an already awesome performance by the K-pop star, became a jaw-dropping set when MC Hammer came on-stage halfway through for a mashup of Hammertime x Gangnam Style. If you’ve got the Monday blues, this will have you perked up in no time. 

Bonus—Justin Bieber’s acoustic, As Long As You Love Me: Amid all of the rumors swirling about his relationship with Selena Gomez, this heart-aching rendition of the song was both poignant and totally sweet. 

—Candice

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