Swift cheers on Selena Gomez at AMAs; Billie Eilish wins


Taylor Swift and Halsey got out of their seats to cheer on pal Selena Gomez as the singer kicked off the 2019 American Music Awards.

Gomez kicked off the Sunday’s show singing her recent No. 1 hit, “Lose You to Love Me,” sounding pitchy at times. But she stripped down from her dress to a shiny bodysuit to finish the performance with the upbeat song “Look at Her Now,” as audience members, including country singer Kelsea Ballerini, sang along at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

R&B singer Ciara, who is hosting the show airing live on ABC, performed after Gomez.

Billie Eilish won the first televised award of the night – favorite alternative artist.

“You made it all happen, man,” Eilish said as she thanked her fans. “I’m like shaking.”

Eilish is up for five more honors, but all eyes are on Taylor Swift at the AMAs: The 29-year-old pop star, who has continued to publicly battle with the men who own her master recordings, is set to take the stage – a performance she recently said was put in jeopardy by Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun. Swift could also make history at the AMAs if she surpasses Michael Jackson’s record for most wins.

Swift, who has won 23 AMAs, is nominated for five awards and could best the King of Pop’s 24 wins. Swift will also receive the artist of the decade award, to be presented by Carole King, at the show, which airs live on ABC at 8 p.m. EDT.

Swift is nominated for the top prize – artist of the year – along with Ariana Grande, Drake, Halsey and Post Malone, who is the leader with seven nominations.

The second most-nominated acts are Grande and newcomer Billie Eilish, who both scored six nominations each.

Eilish and Lizzo – who earned six and eight Grammy nominations, respectively – will perform at Sunday’s AMAs. Other performers include Selena Gomez, Shania Twain, Green Day, Camila Cabello, Toni Braxton, Jonas Brothers, Dua Lipa, Thomas Rhett, Kesha with Big Freedia, Christina Aguilera and A Great Big World.

Malone, who will perform with Travis Scott and Ozzy Osbourne, is nominated for favorite male pop/rock artist, favorite rap/hip-hop artist, favorite rap/hip-hop album for “Hollywood’s Bleeding” and favorite rap/hip-hop song for “Wow.” His massive hit with Swae Lee, “Sunflower” from the Oscar-winning animated film “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” is up for favorite pop/rock song and collaboration of the year.

Swift will compete for favorite female pop/rock artist, favorite adult contemporary artist, favorite pop/rock album for “Lover” and favorite music video for her equal rights anthem, “You Need to Calm Down.”

Lizzo, Eilish and Lil Nas X – who also scored six Grammy nominations – are up for new artist of the year along with Ella Mai and Luke Combs.

R&B singer Ciara will host the fan-voted AMAs, to take place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Presenters include Regina King, Chadwick Boseman, Jharrel Jerome, Heidi Klum, Megan Thee Stallion, Ben Platt, Billy Porter, Kane Brown, Dan + Shay and Constance Wu.

Selena Gomez arrives at the American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)