Just days after Jay-Z scored his very first no. 1 single on The Billboard Hot 100 with his hit “Empire State of Mind,” the Brooklyn rap legend got a chance to celebrate by performing the New York anthem at last night’s (November 22) American Music Awards.
Paying homage to Frank Sinatra, Hov showed up onstage donning the late musical icon’s signature white sports coast, bowtie and laid-back demeanor, as Alicia Keys opened their collabo by singing Old Blue Eyes’ 1979 classic “New York, New York.”
Later on in the night Jay accepted the Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Male Artist trophy, beating out T.I. and Eminem.
Em, also graced the AMA stage last night, where he performed “Crack a Bottle” and his verse from the star-studded posse cut “Forever,” backed by a live band. The audience screamed as he brought out labelmate 50 Cent to spit his verse from Relapse’s first single.
The Detroit lyricist, who was up for awards in three categories—Favorite Rap Artist, Artist of the Year and Favorite Pop Male Artist—failed to take home any honors yesterday. Michael Jackson won in the pop category and Taylor Swift was named AMA Artist of the Year.
Other big winners included the Black Eyed Peas for Best Pop Rock Band, Whitney Houston, who took home the trophy for International Artist of the Year, and the deceased King of Pop, who also scored honors as the Favorite Soul/ R&B Artist.
Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez all also had standout performances, most notably J. Lo who took a spill during her set.
For a full list of winners and to watch footage from the show visit the AMA’s official site here. —Max G