AMAs 2011: 11 Things You Didn’t See On TV

Launch Slideshow

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Artists in this Article

Mary J. Blige

Maroon 5

Robin Thicke

Lady Antebellum

Nicki Minaj

Justin Bieber

Adam Lambert

Hot Chelle Rae

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AMAs 2011: Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj Win Big on Ladies’ Night

Taylor Swift made it a perfect 10 at the American Music Awards on Sunday night. The country star won three awards including Artist of the Year at the Nokia Theatre ceremony in Los Angeles, giving her ten AMAs in her career.

At three hours and over a dozen performances, there was plenty to see at the 2011 American Music Awards. Here’s what went down at the Nokia Theatre that didn’t make it to TV.

Rain on the Red Carpet
Stars in doll-sized dresses, including Cheryl Hines and Heidi Klum, shivering their way down the open-air red carpet on a rare rainy day in Los Angeles. As usual, Heidi made it work.

AMAs 2011: Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj Win Big on Ladies’ Night

360 Deals Don’t Have a ‘Voice’
Some may consider them the future of the music industry, but not Maroon 5‘s Adam Levine. Asked about advice for up-and-coming musicians after the group won its first AMA for Favorite Pop/Rock Band, the “Voice” mentor said, “Don’t sign a record deal, unless it’s fair. Don’t let them take your touring money and your merchandise money, it’s called a 360 deal, those are bullsh*t, don’t ever sign those.”

Karmin Steps Up Its Rap Game
The YouTube stars, who won a New Media AMA before the show, promised a “hip-hop” inspired album with work from Dr. Luke and Stargate in February. There’s just one hold-up: before the show, Amy Heidemann told Billboard that fiancé and bandmate Nick Noonan needed to learn to rap. We’re sure he’ll pick it up.


Slideshow: Live at the AMAs!


See Dozens of Pics!


Switched at Award Shows?
Judging by their brief appearance backstage, ABC Family’s “Switched at Birth” stars Katy LeClerc and Vanessa Marano may have been switched with the next band. They took one question (“We’re rooting forKelly Clarkson,” Marano chirped) before skipping out of the press room.

Lady Antebellum Loves Drake
The country act, which won Favorite Country Band/Duo/Group, has tastes beyond Nashville. “We’re from Georgia so we like Atlanta rappers,” Charles Kelley said backstage, though he singled out a Canadian MC, Drake — a fellow AMAs performer — as his current favorite. “We got to meet him at the Grammys and he was really nice,” Hillary Scott added. Would they ever collaborate? The band wasn’t against it. “It would be interesting to see what we could do,” Kelley said.

Adam Lambert Follows the Script
After his head-turning 2009 performance, which featured some, ahem, unrehearsed choreography, the former “American Idol” runner-up said the AMAs producers didn’t have to worry about him presenting OneRepublicduring the ceremony. “They trust me,” he told the Hollywood Reporter in the green room.

Backstage Minaj
The pink-wigged rapper, who opened the AMAs with an amplified butt, drew the photo pit’s biggest notice backstage, with cries of “Nicki!” overwhelmed only by the cheers signifying the end of an AMAs commercial break.

Hot Chelle Rae’s Hot Advice
Adam Levine wasn’t the only one advising young bands backstage. Hot Chelle Rae, who took home the Favorite New Artist award, had a good line for rockers on their way up: “Definitely dedicate a good portion of your time, before you’re spending your money touring, to getting good at your craft,” frontman Ryan Follese said. “It costs a lot of money to be out on the road without good songs.”

Robin Thicke Grows Up
Thicke, who charmed the press corps with a lengthy backstage interview, says fatherhood has changed him. “I thought I was a man before I had a baby, now I’m a real man,” he said. “Because it takes a lot of compassion and patience to be a good father.” And a steamy sex life, when his and actress wife Paula Patton’s schedules allow: “There’s never enough. When it does happen, it goes on for hours, baby,” he said, smiling. “There’s a lot of making up to do.”

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Mary J. Remembers Heavy D
Mary J. Blige gave a powerful performance at the AMAs, paying tribute to late rapper Heavy D with new single “Mr. Wrong.” The homage continued backstage: “He just always gave us great advice, he always wanted us to do good. He was like a father figure to us and I’m going to miss him,” Blige said, before being asked about her hometown proximity to the late rapper. “Yeah, he’s from Alberta and I’m from Yonkers, which is like a No. 7 bus, 15 minutes,” she laughed.

Bieber’s Getaway
Justin Bieber left the AMAs in a vintage car seemingly driven straight out of a Christmas movie, with several of his screaming fans chasing the vehicle out of the Nokia parking lot, cameras and phones in hand.  Bieber wasn’t alone in the back seat — we didn’t catch a glimpse of his guest’s face, but we doubt he’s saving room under the mistletoe for anyone but girlfriend Selena Gomez.

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