By Hayden Wright
The 2017 American Music Awards opened on a somber note: Jamie Foxx and his daughter introduced P!nk and Kelly Clarkson, who performed a tribute to first responders from hurricanes and other catastrophic events in 2017. The duo sang “Everybody Hurts” from R.E.M.’s 1992 album Automatic for the People. In his speech, Foxx hinted at political, environmental and social turmoil that swept the country in 2017.
“We needed the power of music to escape the news of the day,” Foxx said. “We need the power of music to help us heal: from hurricanes, wildfires, hate, hatred-fueled violence. 2017 was a year that tested our faith.”
P!nk and Clarkson took the stage and lent their singular voices to the alt-rock hit: Their harmonies revived a classic ode to melancholy at a challenging moment in America.
Bruno Mars leads this year’s crop of nominations with eight total, including Artist of the Year. Ed Sheeran, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, The Chainsmokers and The Weeknd trail him with five nominations each. Tracee Ellis Ross hosts the show from Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater. Ross’ mother Diana Ross is honored with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.