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Host Tracee Ellis Ross speaks at the American Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
AP Photo/Matt Sayles/Invision
And she’s back.
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All you need to know about the American Music Awards 2018

By Aisha Hassan

The 46th American Music Awards, to be presented at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Oct. 9, will feature performances by Dua Lipa and Cardi B and tributes to both Queen and the Queen of Soul.

The AMAs will air at 8pm US eastern time on ABC. The lineup of performers ranges from young pop stars like Shawn Mendes to veteran divas such as Mariah Carey.

Here’s all you need to know about how to watch—and what to watch for:

How to watch the American Music Awards online and on TV

The AMAs will air on ABC-TV at 8pm ET on Oct. 9 and there are plenty of options to live stream the show. The awards will be accessible on ABC’s website , as well as on the ABC app for both iOS and Android. You can also watch the AMAs on ABC via Roku, AppleTV, and Amazon Fire TV.

Popular collaborations at the American Music Awards

In her first televised performance since she gave birth to a girl in July, Cardi B will be joined by Bad Bunny and J-Balvin for “I Like It.” The bilingual Spanish and English song made it to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and made Cardi B the first female rapper with two number ones.

Grammy-nominated artists Khalid and Halsey will also perform their song, “Eastside,” which has 300 million streams to date, joined by producer Benny Blanco. Missy Elliot and Ciara will also perform together (but not, we’re afraid, the classic “1, 2 Step”).

Tributes to Aretha Franklin and Queen at the AMAs

This is the real life: Panic! At the Disco will pay tribute to Queen with a performance of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The group will be presented by Rami Malek, Joe Mazzello, and Gwilym Lee, who star in the upcoming Queen/Freddie Mercury biopic, also called Bohemian Rhapsody. For a taste of how well Panic!’s Brendon Urie can belt out the tune, here’s a preview.

Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul—who won six AMAs in her lifetime—will also be honored. Soul and gospel artists Gladys Knight, Ledisi, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin, and CeCe Winans will perform a tribute to Franklin’s 1972 gospel album Amazing Grace. “When I heard some of the initial ideas for the tribute, I knew without a doubt that this tribute will go down as one of the best in American music,” Sabrina Owens, Franklin’s niece, told Rolling Stone.

Drake and Cardi B have the most AMA nominations

Rap dominates this year’s AMAs, and Drake and Cardi B leading the way with eight nominations each. Both are up for two of the awards’ most prestigious categories, Drake for artist of the year  and Cardi B for new artist of the year. Drake is competing with Imagine Dragons, Post Malone, Ed Sheeran, and Taylor Swift to claim the show’s biggest accolade. Cardi B will be going up against Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Dua Lip, Khalid, and XXTENTACION.

Tracee Ellis Ross returns to host the AMAs

Taylor Swift might be opening the awards with a performance of “Look What You Made Me Do,” but it’ll be Tracee Ellis Ross who takes the audience through the night. The Black-ish and Girlfriends star also hosted the awards last year (when, alongside her wit, her fashion choices made a mark).

How did the AMAs come to be?

The awards were created by Dick Clark for ABC in 1973 after the network’s rights to air the Grammys expired. Unlike the Grammys, the AMA winners are not decided by the Recording Academy but by fans, who can vote for their favorite artists online.

How are AMA winners chosen?

The winners are named based on “key fan interactions,” including physical and digital sales, radio airplay, streaming numbers, social activity, and touring. These measurements are tracked by Billboard and its data partners for the time period Sept. 15, 2017 to Aug. 9, 2018.