The 2018 American Music Awards were already going to be a must-watch event, but then it was announced that Taylor Swift would be ending her three-year TV hiatus on the stage. Expected to perform her hit “I Did Something Bad,” fresh off her Reputation tour, Taylor’s big return will kick off the awards show that, in our opinion, is extremely underrated. Seriously guys, it’s hosted by the one and only Tracee Ellis Ross. What else do you need?!

Along with an amazing host, the nominees are also the best of the best. Just look at the star power competing for the coveted Artist of the Year award — Drake, Imagine Dragons, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, AND Post Malone. Cardi B will also be making her first major performance since the birth of her daughter Kulture, performing her hit “I Like It” with J Balvin and Bad Bunny. Plus, Jennifer Lopez will debut a brand new single from her upcoming feature film, Second Act, and Panic! At The Disco will pay tribute to Queen with a performance of “Bohemian Rhapsody.”  

And so much more. Following Madonna’s less-than-impressive tribute to Aretha Franklin at the MTV VMAs, the American Music Awards tapped “Empress of Soul” Gladys Knight to honor the late “Queen of Soul,” which we know will be trending on social media. So, what else do you need to know about the show before tuning in? Keep scrolling for all the details: 


When and where are the American Music Awards?

The 2018 American Music Awards are on Tuesday, October 9, at 8 p.m EST on ABC. Be sure to set your DVR if you can’t watch. The world’s largest fan-voted awards show will be held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles — with the red carpet arrivals starting a bit earlier, around 6 p.m. 

How to stream the AMAs: 

If you can’t make it to your TV at 8 p.m., don’t fret. In the digital age, you’re able to stream the whole award show. So, you definitely won’t miss out on any performances. You can stream the AMAs live on any smartphone or tablet using the ABC app

If you don’t want to watch these show-stopping performances on a small screen, you can always stream from your computer. Go to, sign in with your television provider, and select “LIVE.”


Who is hosting the American Music Awards?

Actress Tracee Ellis Ross will tackle her second year as the host for the AMAs. The Black-ish star is definitely excited to get back on stage to emcee a night of amazing musical talent. Luckily, the 45-year-old actress got some advice from her mom, Diana Ross, that is sure to help her on the big night. 

“My mom told me really young when I was singing in a talent show in high school and so terrified that nervousness and excitement are actually the same feeling in your body, but just have a different label,” she told People magazine. “My mom hosted the AMAs twice herself, so she always says to have fun, be yourself, be in the moment and enjoy that special thing that doesn’t happen anywhere else when you’re on stage and interacting with an audience — because there’s nothing like it.”

She continued, “I grew up watching her and experiencing that and I definitely take to it very easily.” 


Who else is performing at the AMAs?

Variety is the name of the game when it comes to the talent taking the stage. Shawn Mendes will take the stage with Zedd for a remix of his single “Lost in Japan,” while Post Malone and Ty Dolla $ign will team up for their first-ever AMA performance. Carrie Underwood is also returning to the AMAs for her first performance since 2015. 

Expect more new music courtesy of Mariah Carey, who will be singing “With You,” off her new album and Ciara, who will be performing alongside Missy Eliott. Plus, did we mention that Dua Lipa will also be making her AMA debut? It’s going to be a great show.  

And the Aretha Franklin tribute is not holding back. 


Gladys Knight will lead the Aretha tribute, which will pay respect to the late great singer after she lost her battle with pancreatic cancer this past August. Gladys will be joined by Ledisi, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin, and CeCe Winans for the performance, which is expected to be a tear-jerker. 

“It’s a blessing to be a part of this moving musical tribute to honor our late queen and sister, Aretha,” Gladys said. “She was an icon and visionary, radiated light and love through all of her life’s work, and touched all of us through her incredible gift of music.”

Rickey Minor, who will be directing the tribute, added, “Aretha was the voice of a generation. “She transcended racial barriers by reaching into the depths of her soul and taking us on a journey with every note she sang. Her spirit will live forever in her music.” 

Tune in to the AMAs tonight, Oct. 9, at 8 p.m. EST on ABC. 

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