In its second incarnation, the iHeartRadio Music Awards was held in the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles as a celebration of the world's best-selling artists. The award show is still young but, since its inception, has attracted big name talent in the music industry.
The show was hosted by actor Jamie Foxx and award presenters included Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Jay Z, Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams and Ariana Grande. During the show, Foxx made offhand jokes about former Olympian Bruce Jenner’s decision to undergo a gender transition, which have recently garnered backlash since the event.
Opening the show was Iggy Azalea, who was nominated for four prizes, and Jennifer Hudson; the pair performed the song “Trouble” and their performance took on a jail theme.
The show was packed with performances from some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Jason Aldean, Sam Smith, the band Florida Georgia Line, Kelly Clarkson, Usher and Meghan Trainor. One of the most memorable performances came from Rihanna, who debuted her latest single “Bitch Better Have My Money” at the show. A collaboration that seemed to excite the crowd the most was that of Madonna and Taylor Swift, Swift opting to just play guitar during a performance of Madonna’s recent single “Ghost Town.” Nick Jonas, who has recently come on as a solo musician apart from boy band The Jonas Brothers, performed his song “Chains,” as proof of his stand alone stardom.
One of the oddest awards traditionally given at the iHeartRadio Music Awards is the best fan army prize, this year given to band 5 Seconds of Summer, whose cohort of fans are known as “5SOSFAM.” The group and their admirers beat out other popular fandoms, including “Swifties,” “Directioners” and “Beyhive,” who follow Taylor Swift, One Direction and Beyoncé, respectively. Another unique award is called renegade and it celebrates budding artists who go against the grain in order to stay true to their music, this year’s winner being country music singer Brantley Gilbert, a surprise in a field of much more brand name talent.
The award for hip hop or R&B song of the year went to Jeremih for his hit “Don’t Tell ‘Em,” beating out Chris Brown in Beyoncé, who each had two songs nominated in this category. Country song praise went to rising star Jason Aldean for his song “Burnin’ It Down,” while dance song of the year was won by Calvin Harris for his song “Summer” and alternative rock song was taken home by Irish musician Hozier for “Take Me to Church.”
Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj won the best collaboration award for their song “Bang Bang” in one of the more hotly contested categories of the evening. Best new artist went to soulful crooner Sam Smith whose only real challenger was Iggy Azalea.
The iHeartRadio Innovator Award was given to Justin Timberlake, who gave a tearful and heartwarming speech whilst thanking his wife Jessica Biel.
By far the biggest winner of the night was Taylor Swift, who took home three awards, all of which can be considered the top prizes of the show. Swift began the night with a win for best lyrics for her song “Blank Space,” while her catchy tune “Shake it Off” was given song of the year. The most important award won was artist of the year, which Swift unsurprisingly attained after the monumental success of her recent album “1989."