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Adam Lambert, J Lo, Taylor Swift set off firestorm at AMAs 2009

lambertWhat do “American Idol” alum Adam Lambert, country starlet Taylor Swift and singer/actress J. Lo have in common? They all count as most memorable moments for the 2009 American Music Awards (Red carpet photosShow photos).

  • Let’s start with the final act. The eyeliner wearing, glamtastic Lambert brought the show to a screeching halt. Literally. (Read AJC blogger Rodney Ho’s run-down of “Idol” vets including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Paula Abdul and Ryan Seacrest). His dominatrix-like performance, capped by a dancer’s face getting extra cozy with him – below the belt – lit Twitter up. People were shocked and awed by the audaciously “sexy” moves and some parents were reportedly not thrilled with ABC.
  • Swift continues her country music ascension, claiming five awards including Entertainer of the Year. Even though she was in London, she accepted the awards via satellite and just as surprised each and every single time.
  • In a bit of comic relief, Jennifer Lopez fell flat on that famous derriere of hers (Watch VIDEO). Even sadder, she was singing “Louboutin” about the designer shoes but was wearing bedazzled high-top sneakers to round out her boxing motif. Ugh!
  • Janet Jackson opened the show with a high-energy dance routine, dressed in a space-age Pocahontas costume. Best Twitter comment compared her to “Lord of the Rings.”
  • Country cutie Keith Urban sang “Kiss a Girl” but we were too distracted by the striking chest tat to hear how good he was.
  • Gender bending an age-old double-standard, Twitterverse cracked all kinds of jokes about super producer Timbaland, who frankly looked like a tugboat in a tight leather jacket.  On the other hand, his stage partners Nelly Furtado and new artist SoShy were impeccably beautiful.

ladygaga

  • Country band Gloriana (who?!) won the TMobile Breakthrough Artist Award over Lady Gaga (right) – who delivered another mind-boggling performance complete with shattered glass, flaming piano and barely there body suit.
  • Maxwell lost to Michael Jackson for Soul/R&B male … and it gave brother Jermaine one of two times to accept awards. He even got the chance to make his son’s name, Jermajesty, a trending topic.

jayzama

  • One of the best performances goes to Jay-Z and Alicia Keys (left), who did “Empire State of Mind.” They threw in a little Sinatra-stylings with Keys on the piano and J in a tux. (Even celeb blogger Perez Hilton and country star Reba McIntire were feeling it.)
  • Eminem also had a great performance, punctuated by his verse on Drake’s “Forever.” Surprisingly, even though Drake had earlier presented an award, he was no where in sight for his own song.

Find out how Atlanta/Georgia musical connections did.

80 comments Add your comment

[...] to know what else everyone’s buzzing about? Find out about Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Adam Lambert, Michael Jackson and [...]

Donne

November 23rd, 2009
5:47 am

I think overall it was kind of a strange night, with all of the futuristic props and costumes- and the failing sound system ruined the show. Seemed low budget. When I watched Adam perform I was impressed with the opening and his beautiful voice, but when the track and the back up singers chimed in it got messy. I blame the sound coordinators-Adam had to fight to maintain control over that situation. And when he stumbled I felt so bad for him. I wish it had gone better for him. I am a die hard Adam fan and was not at all surprised by his androgynous sexual exploits. That’s how he’s always been-he just tamed it down for AI. He’s being true to himself and I love all the shades of Adam. True fans will stick by him. I just wish he had waited until after the album was released to shock America. Sales for album#1 predict if there is going to be album#2. I will buy anything he creates EVER. I feel he deserved to have a better performance than this, technically speaking. I love his gender bending antics, but I feel it would have been better to wait a little further into his career to try to shake things up so much. He’s got to establish a large base first. Still my favorite singer ever!!!

waterst

November 23rd, 2009
5:58 am

Why does hollywood keep pushing the sick agenda? This country has a whole lot more to worry
about than Global Warming. We have zero values. We keep letting our kids watch more and more
trash, then wonder what is wrong with them. We are stupid to accept this pure garbage and trash.
We are in serious trouble.

Sad Glambert

November 23rd, 2009
6:06 am

“True fans” are not enough to keep Adam Lambert up to par year after year like other artists. Tonight was Adam’s chance to shine and win new fans over and sustain his present fan base and he blew it. I am a fan and I was utterly disappointed and embrassed I had phoned in friends and family to watch the performance. WhatI thought would be a glorious moment ended in utter defeat. What in the world was he thinking? Is this the real Adam? What about the sassy guy I saw prancing across stage doing a sexylicious Bowie Medly dance on tour? Where was the sole Adam Lambert giving us those sexy grins and smiles and air humps? Instead, we had an Adam Lambert who was more into entertaining himself and more bent on proving a point, always using glamrock or other artisits as a shield to hide behind to try to justify himself. Tonight proved to me he is a poser. He has no integrity, no humility. His voice was lost. I couldn’t see the blue in his eyes. I just saw this overly confident good-looking singer make a fool of himself and embarrass many fans infront of millions. Sadly, I I can see his overconfidence and ego paving the way to an early grave. He won’t make it. The 2nd album? No way. I am going to listen to it and make sure I like it before I buy it. No more frenzy – the love is gone. He was so disappointing. I am so sad, utterly defeated.

kelley

November 23rd, 2009
6:14 am

I consider myself to be a fan of most types of music but I have truly never heard more CRAP in my life! What is American music coming too??? PLEASE!!!! All the rap and just plain weird costumes and in my opinion “over the edge” performances. Adam Lambertt is probably the best vocalist since Robert Plant, HOWEVER, his performance was completley inapproiate! His album has not even dropped yet and he basically rubbed his sexual orientation in the faces of America. Not a good idea Adam! I’m not taking away his talent because it speaks for itself, but I was offended and shocked myself. Too much too soon!! Whatever happened to good, wholesome, REAL music!! All this other stuff takes away from the talent of these singers. Rhianna is a wonderful singer with a beautiful voice. She did not need all the dramatics that went on last night. Lady Gaga….I never really liked her much, BUT watching her last night it is my opinion that she is truly a gifted singer and songwriter. I just can’t stand how over the top she is…it turns me off! Whitney was wonderful! Janet was soso, Jennifer Lopez was pretty good. All in all, the night for me was a 5 on a scale from 1-10

Musykluvah

November 23rd, 2009
6:22 am

AMA’s are a complete joke! Great performances by Janet, Jay Z, Alicia, Eminem, Lady Ga Ga and Whitney! Taylor beating Michael Jackson,
PUH-LEEZ! We all know the truth behind that….thanx Kanye!

tom

November 23rd, 2009
6:25 am

Swift is all the way country. Rock/Pop award for her is a joke. She is vocally challenged even in her country arena. Everyone is caught up in the little 19 year old darling. Award winning country album with supposedly a crossover hit in pop/rock. What a joke.

brenda

November 23rd, 2009
6:30 am

sooo taylor swift artist of the year?? thats how you know the award show was a joke!! im dissapointed and disgusted by you people. the worst show ive ever watched!! do you even think taylor should be in the same category as michael jackson? i’m not a big fan but even i know hes talent goes way beyond that. putting her in the same category should have been enough. where is kanye when you need him??

A

November 23rd, 2009
6:35 am

I don’t understand why people are upset about Taylor Swift winning Artist of the Year over MJ. Really, what did Mike do this year except die? Taylor’s been all over the place, her music as been at the top of the charts, see deserved it.

an

November 23rd, 2009
6:42 am

Adam Lambert says that “it’s about the music”. If he wants people to like the music he needs to stay focused on the music. I continue to be a fan but the edges are starting to fray. If his performance was for shock value, he succeeded. The sad part is, if he had simply focused on his incredible, over-the-top voice he would have received the same amount of attention. Come on Adam. We know you are paving a new path, good for you. But don’t forget what got you where you are….your incredible voice!

itsme

November 23rd, 2009
6:42 am

Gloriana over Lady GaGa! Excellent choice. I said back when Adam Lambert was on Idol that we would hear from him often in the future, but that we would not always be proud.

Dave The Wave

November 23rd, 2009
6:43 am

Michael is dead. He does not win awards anymore. It’s the industry way of saying “Move on.” However, he will still be making lots of money for maybe the next two hundred years or more…

rod

November 23rd, 2009
6:55 am

LAMBERT was EXCELLENT , ended a so so show with a great performance , to bad america just can’t beyond something like this , it’s cool for eninem to sing just plain trash songs , it’s cool that we should remember michaels legacy ( would that be all his years of attention to young boys ) , poor alicia , lowered herself to duet with jay-z lack luster performance ( remember not all america is pro rapper crap ) , yep LAMERT took some to the edge but wake up america – look at all the exploitation of women that occured during shakira’s performance ( why not sing , did it HAVE take 50 black semi nude women to grind n pump – this was crap crap crap ) — remember NOT ALL AMERICA just loves rap crap , tacky twang , or even dull duets — freedom of speech / freedom of song ===== freedom of performance

Karen

November 23rd, 2009
7:05 am

Adam Lambert’s performance lacked taste. His music is not in a genre I listen to so I won’t even comment on that. What has this world come to when this type of thing is given accolades. Horrible.

Get over it

November 23rd, 2009
7:12 am

Anyone shocked by Adam Lambert’s GREAT performance should not have been watching anyway-after all, he is Adam Lambert NOT Anita Bryant…give me a break and go back to planning your next tea party.

harriat shoebridge

November 23rd, 2009
7:32 am

Am I the only one who thinks that Taylor Swift is a Barbie knock-off? The generation who has pushed her to the top is that same generation raised on Barbie … here’s a thought … Taylor Swift popularity can be traced to the fact that she is really non-threatening … familiar … and like Barbie … attractive without a wit of sexuality. Unless of course you count those cowboy boots and the fantasies induced for some out there. Am I being unkind. No, I just want to leave ‘vanilla’ to the ice cream counter.

DirtyRed

November 23rd, 2009
7:51 am

The whole show was a disaster. Sucked big time!

DirtyRed

November 23rd, 2009
7:55 am

What a waste of airtime. It was terrible.

MAGS

November 23rd, 2009
8:08 am

I am a big fan of Adam Lambert, love his song & music video from the 2012 movie, however very disapointed in his performance at the AMA’s it was like Fred Astair meets the Rocky Horror Picture show. I have always considered myself to be broad minded however some of his moves were just to way over the top with the female dancer. He is a super entertainer who does not need cheap theatrics like those exhibited last night, and the screaming song put out as his new single was to say the least a scream fest of total crap.

StepbyStep

November 23rd, 2009
8:24 am

What you guys are failing to remember is that the AMA’s are voted on by the fans. There is a poll that lists each artist in each category. Then the fans vote on the top 3/4. From that list they tally the votes and you get your winner. If you did not vote on any website or send in your vote from any rag-mag, don’t complain about the outcome.

FenderJazz

November 23rd, 2009
8:28 am

Lambert was a joke. Seriously. Is that all that he has to offer? Anybody…. and I do mean anybody….. can go out there and put on a show where you and others are writhing around and grabbing your genitals, insinuating sex acts as well as acting them out on stage, and being mediocre in the process. Without all of the controversy he is nothing but mediocre.

blkshepherd

November 23rd, 2009
8:41 am

Omg..Awful was the only word I can discribe the AMA show. I have never seen so many over the top bad performances that Lacked Talent, taste, and was quite scary. Janet was just ok.(nothing new there but I love that shes getting respect again after nipplegate which damn near ended her career) Now for the worst performances by folks who shouldn’t even be allowed on any stage. Lady Ga Ga: Omg. I was so worried that one of those sparks of flame with fly off and either set this crazy woman on fire or burn down the whole damn house! Whats with all that Flame and smoke? My goodness. and the breaking of bottles on the piano? What an Awful message to send to the younger generation. The performance was horriable. she sounded like a wreck. Whatever Hole she crawled out of. Please send her back. She was one of the worst. The fire was scary and a turnoff. that was NOt art but just plain dangerous and stupid. grade F for scarying me to death!

Timberland in those leather pants, omg..dude you need to hit the treadmill or back off the porkchops. grade : D- just for the leather pants that were screaming from his weight.

Rhianna..What the hell was that? I have seen better performances at a night club with folks who can actually Sing. she looked and sounded a mess. grade..F- I dont get her at all.

Michael Jackson I love him. but giving awards to a person who has won so many while he was alive is very unfair to continue to give and he is not here to acknowledge it. besides it wouldnt have meant anything much. He had the world in his hands. Giving awards to dead folks is not fair to the living. sorry. MJ is gone. give someone living a chance.

Didnt even watch emenim or 50cent. cant stand either one of those clowns.

Didnt see Adam Lambert(was so turned off after Timberland I cut off the tv and went to bed) but heard it was over the top..Suprised? He was over the top on AI. why was folks suprised?

Black Eye Peas? OK..whatever.
JLo..LOL..not sure what that was.
Overall grade. C-

G

November 23rd, 2009
8:44 am

@ rod……With the Jay-Z/Alicia Keys duet, maybe you should fact check. Alicia Keys and Jay-Z are from New York. Alicia Keys is known to be a fan of hip-hop. Not all hip-hop is Lil Wayne and Soldier Boy. If you took the time to listen to the lyrics of the song, you would discover that the song is speaking about people who have made it big in New York, things that are associated with the city, and the irony of how people can become successful in NY, but at the same time that there is a lot of poverty and shadiness in the city as well. And to bash “rap” and praise “LAMERT”? After that performance your opinion about hip-hop, or any other genre for that matter, would be invalid. I mean a dude or woman for that matter, grabbing someone and rubbing there face in their crotch on a nationally televised show? And people are still mad about Janet’s “nipplegate”? Where are the standards period? Adam Lambert is talented and has a great voice, but to perform like he did was not necessary. Anyone who would say that was art and great and whatever other positive accolades given, really has no valid negative opinions about any other person’s performance. Just accept the fact that you like one thing and others don’t, and others like one thing and you don’t.

Right On Time

November 23rd, 2009
8:54 am

I was only watching to see my brother-in-law (he was a presenter), I do not normally watch these shows. I love the music, not the shows. Good grief, my 10 year old daughter tried to watch to see her uncle. But…

Public television should NOT be airing the filth that we saw with Adam Lambert’s “production”. I don’t want to hear that it is free speach, people are too uptight, get over it, etc. That looked like soft core porn. Way worse than a “nipple slip” or a 4 letter word. Many of the performances “pushed the envelope” but the last one was way over the line. Offensive, vile and disgusting.

dave

November 23rd, 2009
8:55 am

I was pretty bored throughout the show . . . just thought it would be better.

over it

November 23rd, 2009
9:14 am

Kelley
You should be stoned to death for even mentioning Robert Plant in any conversation with these ass clowns.

stinky sullivan

November 23rd, 2009
9:16 am

I’ve dated quite a few of those Hollywood-type starlets. Let’s just say they leave MUCH to be desired if you know what I mean. I’m a gent who prefers REAL women

J

November 23rd, 2009
9:16 am

Yeah Gloriana. I was very happy they got it over the overhyped GaGa. I’m tired of watching her see how much of a freak she can be. What was with the body suit with the strategically placed extra straps and junk.
Adam Lambert. I like him, I like his music. That performance – not so much… I was really surprised he did that on nationally tv.

c johnson

November 23rd, 2009
9:18 am

Lambert was my fav to win american idol. SOOOOOOO glad he didn’t. that was horrible. ABC should be ashamed.

Al

November 23rd, 2009
9:21 am

What show were you people watching ….I thought everyone sounded really great …much better than some other recent awards shows I’ve watched. And ..if Adam Lambert’s performance upsets you so …change the channel…I thought his performance was very entertaining…and to the first blogger “Right on Time”…why would your 10 year old daughter be up at that hour anyway!!! Before you start spouting moral BS…try looking in the mirror!

Basher

November 23rd, 2009
9:21 am

When you have zero talent, you resort to becoming a freak to entertain the freaks. What a loser.

Reign

November 23rd, 2009
9:24 am

OMG, what a horrible show. Absolutely NO talent from anyone. JayZ and Alicia were good, Janet was horrible and what was she wearing, OMG! And J-Lo, she needs to stick to acting, she was way to heavy to move around that stage, awful! Eminem wasn’t bad, can’t stand 50. Adam Lambert was too much, Shakira-awful awful awful…Kelly Clarkston can sing, but she didn’t choose a good song and she might need to shed a few pounds to work the stage. That solo number Alicia Keys did, she could have kept. And Kanye West has put Taylor Swift on the map BIG time. She has talent, she’s cute and she’s sweet, but she’s not all that! Come on now…Overall, the entire show rates a D-

Dissapointed

November 23rd, 2009
9:25 am

I cannot describe how embarrassed and disappointed I am in the American music scene and the networks that give it airtime. Not only did most of the music suck, what the “artists” do to attract attention is embarrassing. As one who grew up as a kid outside the country I was always proud that America’s music and art scene was emulated by the rest of the world. Today, I shudder at the image we portray to our kids and the rest of the world.

Thom

November 23rd, 2009
9:29 am

Ah Yes, I now see why I have ALWAYS swayed toward the genre of music that is NEVER recognized or awarded in the public mainstream. The bands I listen to are FANTASTIC but no one has ever heard of them. At least no one that listens to the mainstream media crap that is top 40, Country or “Alternative” (Alternative, hmph, what a joke… its just as mainstream as top 40 is)

I’ll stick with my unique blend of music and enjoy it.

Oh… and I am SO glad Michael Jackson didn’t win artist of the year being that he hasn’t done ANYTHING recently. That would of been a complete Joke had he won.

Right On Time

November 23rd, 2009
9:35 am

Hey AI…

as I stated, her uncle was a presenter and she was looking for him.
Additionaly, my daughter is out of school this week for Thanksgiving break.

Now, as far as moral BS… if you thought that was entertaining, you have issues.

HaveMySay

November 23rd, 2009
9:48 am

Adams performance was just a pathetic attempt to try to shock people. There was nothing new or shocking about his performance. People putting Taylor S. down need to check some facts. Kanye didn’t put her where she is-she put herself there. The girl outsold most artist this past year. So glad to see someone can make it big with their music and not have to act a fool to do it!

Julie

November 23rd, 2009
9:53 am

This show sucked. Glad my kids weren’t watching. ABC sucks.

Paul From Milton

November 23rd, 2009
10:04 am

I really am shocked at how little talent was on display last night. It’s no wonder aging, past-their-prime rock acts keep drawing big crowds. As old and creaky as they are, they still are more entertaining than most of the modern stars.

I miss the days when an act “made” it in music by having talent and working their way up through the club circuit. Today there is too much emphasis on looks and not enough on musical talent. Maybe when music sales slip so low they barely have a pulse the record companies will wake up and figure this out.

chrissy marie

November 23rd, 2009
10:09 am

For those of you who may have missed the AMA’s last night you will probably be hearing about what Adam Lambert did, how Lady Gaga looked and the Janet & Rihanna performances. So I found this great album of pictures for you to see! They are definitely shocking and I wanted to pass on, enjoy!!

http://tinyurl.com/amarecap2009

To The Haters

November 23rd, 2009
10:16 am

Whitney Houston is definitely back after her AMA performance. Overall the show was so-so…..what now passes for talented singers is questionable at best. That is why so many people are still listening to the oldies for good music.

soulfinger

November 23rd, 2009
10:21 am

Taylor Swift should send Kanye West a gift basket as he has indeed propelled her career. Seriously, that girl has talent but lets not get beside ourselves.

Musykluvah

November 23rd, 2009
10:31 am

Yes unfortunately, MJ is no longer with us but his body of work dead or alive is more than Taylor could ever hope to accomplish! She knew she didn’t deserve that award which is why she tried to compensate by give shout outs to the family.

Johnathan

November 23rd, 2009
10:44 am

Janet Jackson has the best performance of all last night. Dont hate on her. You are the one at your cubicle on Ajc when you should be working. She is back at her beach house chillin getting ready for her blockbuster number 1 movie that will come out next year. Give the woman her props. I hate to see people disrespect the ICONS. LEts be foreal.

Pete

November 23rd, 2009
10:49 am

A world of sick, empty, pathetic, mentally unbalanced things called entertainers.
We do indeed live in a broken world.
Beyond pathetic.

got2tellya

November 23rd, 2009
11:04 am

I don’t even care that Adam Lambert is gay. Whatever floats your boat but that performance last night was just awful….. Way too far over the top. Congratulations Man, you just lost many, many fans. Too bad because the voice is there but the performance was disturbing.

Greg

November 23rd, 2009
11:31 am

Look folks…the music industry is fake. 20 yrs ago you had to have talent, nowadays, you must be able to be packaged and with that package comes an expiration date. The Taylor Swifts and Jonas Brothers of the world fade after a few years and are replaced with the next interchangable part.

As for Adam Lambert, all this guy talks about his being gay. Before the show he was asked about how one of his “friends” was quoted by saying his shows are not GAY enough. I guess he decided to GAY it up for the masses. Look I do not understand these folks need to SHOW out. Its not going to change minds or make people feel better about you to act this way.

American Music Awards, Grammy’s and all award shows are frauds. Never about talent like it used to be…its all about sales and marketing.

Again…is Taylor better than MJ? I rest my case.

Matt

November 23rd, 2009
11:45 am

Absolutely Disgusting…No Class…ABC should be ashamed as well.

Al

November 23rd, 2009
11:54 am

Again – shocked at the majority of the negative comments posted. Last nights show was so much better than it has been in the past ….and if you weren’t enjoying the show ….CHANGE THE CHANNEL! …and to got2tellya…grow up! Adam Lambert didn’t lose any fans off of last nights performance …what did you expect? A church performance!?!?!?

Susan

November 23rd, 2009
12:21 pm

Considering Lambert gave much lip-service to wanting fame due to his vocal abilities. he decided to go with the typical unoriginal fall-back plan of “shock and sex.” Not sure Lambert, his mgmt or ABC have a brain cell to spare between them. They all dropped the ball big time and set Lamberts career back a year or two. Maybe derailed it permanently!! Not that I’m too surprised. Fame and arrogance has come early to Lambert.

Renee

November 23rd, 2009
12:33 pm

I realize this may be a minor point, but it’s Reba McEntire, not McIntire… I mean, really, basic fact check?