Justin Bieber, Nelly, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez and a host of additional stars are expected to grace the physical and virtual stage for the American Music Awards, which air Nov. 22. For Bieber in particular, this anticipated performance also marks the 10th anniversary of his AMA debut. Back in 2010 he performed “Pray,” but this time, with considerably more experience, 15 Grammys and a catalogue under his belt, the singer will perform a medley of hits including “Holy” and “Lonely” with Benny Blanco.
Bieber et all could be a welcome multicultural draw to the AMA broadcast, which has to adjust operations given the concerns of COVID-19. Several crew members tested positive for the virus in the last few days, and they won’t be working on Sunday. Meanwhile the evening is packed with popularity. Billie Eilish, Shawn Mendes, Megan Thee Stallion, Bad Bunny, BTS and Maluma (performing with Jennifer Lopez) are on tap. Katy Perry is anticipated to deliver a debut performance of “Only Love” and Taraji P. Henson is set to host. Nelly (who is hanging in there on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars and just made the semi finals) and Bell, Biv, Devoe are also anticipated to perform medleys of their ‘90s albums.
Nelly is on tap to perform “Country Grammar” and “Ride Wit Me” while BBD is set to perform hits including “Poison” and “Do Me.” Both Nelly and BBD are fan favorites, so those segments are expected to offer high value for live Twitter.
That is, of course provided everyone shows up healthy and able to do the work.
Fans and critics alike are cautiously optimistic on how Dick Clark Productions deals with the threat of COVID-19, which has already sidelined some staff. They point to the recent Country Music Association Awards as an example of what could happen when you try to plan a live even in the midst of growing infection rates around the nation. At the CMAs, according to Deadline, at least four performers were unable to participate due to positive tests. (They included Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard and Musician of the Year winner Jenee Fleenor.)
Dick Clark Productions, for its part, told Vulture that it conducted 1200 Covid tests and promptly separated the infected while also disinfecting all surfaces and locations. The company also issued a statement saying “The safety of all our productions and everyone involved is our number one priority. The American Music Awards has rigorous COVID-19 safety guidelines and protocols, approved by the unions and with guidance from LA County Department of Public Health, that are beyond what is required. Production is continuing safely and we look forward to an amazing show next Sunday.”