AMAs 2015: get your popcorn ready

Who UB students want to win and why


Popularity or sheer talent, there’s no foolproof way to know who will win at this year’s American Music Awards ceremony, but the trophies will do all of the talking in the end when some lucky talent walks away with the title.

The 2015 AMAs will take place on Sunday Nov. 22. The award categories are plentiful, ranging from favorite Pop/Rock album to favorite movie soundtrack, and of course the titles of Artist of the Year & New Artist of the Year will give bragging rights to some talented musical soloist, duo or group.

But what is it that makes people want to watch these musical celebrities accept awards?

At the end of the day it’s a business,” said Sarah Elder, a media study professor.

Elder said award show spectators seem to forget that these award shows are doing more than just celebrating the musical success of celebrities because commercials play a large role in the viewership.

“A lot of money is made from these shows,” Elder said.

However, the inexhaustible format of these awards shows continues to reel in audiences who sit and clap from the comfort of their own home.

Katherine Sierra, senior social sciences major, said, “I’m excited for the award ceremony because it’s happening close to when I’ll finally have some downtime from school and it’ll mean spending time with my family.”

Fall recess begins Wednesday Nov. 25, so students will have time to relax before returning to class.

Andrew Funk, a junior business major, said, "I don't normally watch the award shows, but I think T. Swizzle is taking artist of the year again.”

Taylor Swift previously won Artist of the Year in 2009, 2011, and 2013, and recently won Best Music Video of the Year at the Video Music Awards a few months ago.

Swift leads in nominations for this year’s award show in six different categories including Artist of the Year.

Although Swift is a fan favorite, some people are hoping that someone else gets the title this year.

“I completely get why people are fans of Taylor Swift, she's talented, but I'm rooting for Nicki because she's an underdog and I think it's about time that she gets a win,” said Kayla Holland, junior African-American studies major. “Nicki may have lost to Taylor at the VMAs, but this year Nicki really made a lot of good music on her Pinkprint album," she said.

For the country categories, Tyler Hardenbrook, a senior aerospace engineering major and country music enthusiast, gave his take on the nominees.

“I think Florida Georgia Line deserves the album award and also group award,” Hardenbrook said. “In my opinion, Little Big Town and Sam Hunt have gotten so much praise because they both ranked on the charts for the majority of the year.”

Between the two groups, they had three songs make it to the top of the charts. The fact that country and pop radio programs were playing these song on replay could be why F.G.L and L.B.T are strong nominees.

Sam Hunt had two songs go number one, L.B.T had one, Hardenbrook said.

“I do know that F.G.L had singles released off that album in 2014, but as a whole, they've created hit after hit,” he said. “They are upbeat, filled with good vibes and even traditional country critics have come to like some of their music.”

It could be these upbeat vibes that win them the award at the end of the night. The competition in the Soul/R&B genre is really heating up as well.

When Holland heard the nominations for favorite Soul/R&B album and favorite Soul/R&B Male artist, she said Black Messiah by D'Angelo had her vote for Best Album but she knew that Chris Brown’s X album would get the popular vote.

D'Angelo's album, she said, was the most underrated of the three. Holland said that not many people would even know who D'Angelo is, which she believes is a shame because he “makes great music.”

Holland’s decision for favorite Soul/R&B male artist was even more difficult to guess.

"It's hard because The Weeknd has been killin' it,” she said.

But Trey Songz won Holland’s vote for the award because he's been flourishing in the genre since his debut album in 2005, and hasn’t gotten the recognition he deserves, she said.

Stay tuned to see which of your favorite artists win and to see if there will be another Nicki/Miley moment.

Tomas Olivier is an assistant arts editor and can be reached at