Review: ‘Take Me to the River: New Orleans,’ starring the Neville Brothers, Irma Thomas, Big Freedia, Dr. John, the Rebirth Brass Band, Snoop Dogg and Ledisi

May 22, 2022

by Carla Hay

A scene from “Take Me to the River: New Orleans” with entertainers that include Aaron Neville, Cyril Neville and Charles Neville (far right); members of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band; and director Martin Shore (second from left). (Photo courtesy of 360 Distribution)

“Take Me to the River: New Orleans”

Directed by Martin Shore

Culture Representation: The documentary “Take Me to the River: New Orleans” features a racially diverse (African Americans and white people) group of music artists and some producers talking about New Orleans music as they record the movie’s soundtrack songs.

Culture Clash: New Orleans has been a melting pot of different types of music, with certain genres (such as jazz and blues) originating directly from African American experiences of being enslaved and oppressed.

Culture Audience: “Take Me to the River: New Orleans” will appeal mostly to people who are interested in seeing New Orleans music and culture celebrated by music artists of many different generations.

Irma Thomas in “Take Me to the River: New Orleans” (Photo courtesy of 360 Distribution)

“Take Me to the River: New Orleans” is partly a promotional vehicle showing the recording of the songs on the movie’s soundtrack and partly a history of New Orleans music culture. The documentary has got some editing issues, but the diverse performances in the studio are joyous to watch. Fans of jazz, blues, R&B, rap/hip-hop, Cajun and brass band music will find something to like in “Take Me to the River: New Orleans,” which has representation of all of these music genres.

Directed by Martin Shore and narrated by actor John Goodman, “Take Me to the River: New Orleans” is a sequel to Shore’s 2014 documentary “Take Me to the River,” which focused on the musical history and legacy of Memphis. “Take Me to the River: New Orleans” is not a fully comprehensive history of New Orleans music, because most of the history discussed is about the New Orleans music scene in the 20th century and the early 21st century. And the history is only covered in the context of which songs are on the soundtrack album to “Take Me to the River: New Orleans.” For example, before the recording of a Cajun song is performed, the movie does a brief history of Cajun music in New Orleans.

Filming of the documentary mostly took place at two New Orleans recording studios: Music Shed Studios and The Parlor Recording Studio. On the one hand, it gives viewers a very up-close and intimate view of the artists and their creative process when recording music in a studio. On the other hand, it makes the documentary look somewhat insular by putting so much focus on the recording studio sessions.

New Orleans has a vibrant live music scene that is barely covered in this documentary. There is some brief footage of outdoor performances by local street performers during parades, as well as very old archival clips of concerts by a few well-known New Orleans artists. That’s the extent to which live performances are covered in “Take Me to the River: New Orleans.”

The concept for the documentary and its soundtrack was to bring together artists of various generations to record classic songs that have New Orleans origins. Many of the artists in these recording sessions are New Orleans natives or people whose careers have been significantly influenced by New Orleans culture. And, not surprisingly, the documentary interviews have nothing but praise for New Orleans.

The artists who participated in these recording sessions included the Neville Brothers, Dr. John, Irma Thomas, Ledisi, G-Eazy, Snoop Dogg, William Bell, Galactic, Mannie Fresh, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, George Porter Jr., Christian Scott, Donald Harrison Jr., Big Freedia, Ani DiFranco, Maroon 5 keyboardist PJ Morton, Rebirth Brass Band, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Soul Rebels, Voice of the Wetlands, 79rs Gang, The Givers, Dumpstaphunk, Cheeky Blakk, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Big Sam, Terence Higgins, Shannon Powell, Whirlin’ Herlin Riley, Alvin Ford Jr., Stanton Moore, 5th Ward Weebie, Walter Wolfman Washington, Eric Heigle, Dee-1, Erica Falls, Ivan Neville, Ian Neville and Davell Crawford. In addition, “Take Me to the River: New Orleans” has interviews with some artists who weren’t part of these recording sessions, including Jon Batiste, Mia X, DJ Soul Sister, Jazz Fest founding producer Quint Davis and Deacon John Moore.

The documentary features the recordings of these songs:

  • “Wish Someone Would Care,” performed by Irma Thomas and Ledisi
  • “Li’l Liza Jane,” performed by drummers Terence Higgins, Shannon Powell, Whirlin’ Herlin Riley, Alvin Ford Jr. and Stanton Moore
  • “Firewater” performed by Donald Harrison Jr. and Christian Scott
  • “Wrong Part of Town,” performed by 79rs Gang
  • “Sand Castle Headhunter,” performed by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band
  • “Blue Moon Special,” performed by Roots of Music, Ani DiFranco and Lost Bayou Ramblers
  • “Stompin’ Ground,” performed by Aaron Neville
  • “Hey Mama (Wild Tchoupitoulas)” performed by the Neville Brothers
  • “504 (Enjoy Yourself),” performed by Soul Rebels and 5th Ward Weebie
  • “Street Parade,” performed by Cyril Neville
  • “New Orleans Girl,” performed by PJ Morton, Rebirth Brass Band and Cheeky Blakk
  • “Act Like You Know,” performed by Dee-1, Mannie Fresh, Erica Falls and Big Freedia
  • “Jack-A-Mo,” performed by Dr. John and Davell Crawford
  • “Yes We Can Can,” performed by William Bell, Snoop Dogg and G-Eazy

“Take Me to the River: New Orleans” includes discussions of Mardis Gras Indian culture in New Orleans; the origins of “bounce” hip-hop in New Orleans; the influential legacy of New Orleans musician/producer Allen Toussaint; and the impact of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina on the New Orleans music scene. The words “family” and “community” come up a lot when people talk about the New Orleans music scene.

DJ Soul Sister, Big Freedia and Mia X are among the artists who say that many musicians permanently moved out of New Orleans after the devastation of Hurrican Katrina. Mia X comments on the New Orleans music scene after Hurricane Katrina, “We have this sense of family, unlike no other city, but it’s different.” As difficult as it was for many people to recover from Hurrican Katrina, the recovery process is testament to New Orleans’ resilience. In the documentary, rapper 5th Ward Weebie says, “If you ever seen people go through tough times, rough times, and still come at the end of the day smile about it, that’s what makes New Orleans unique.”

New Orleans native Morton says that he wrote “New Orleans Girl” after Hurricane Katrina changed the city. Morton says about the song “New Orleans is the girl. I’ve been all over the world, and there’s no place like New Orleans.” Snoop Dogg comments, “New Orleans is a safe haven of love.” Aaron Neville states, “New Orleans music is a way of life.”

A recurring theme in the documentary is the importance of passing down musical and cultural traditions or “passing the torch” to younger generations. Many of the New Orleans native musicians have the experience of growing up in musical families and with older musical mentors, perhaps more than musicians who grow up in many other cities. Powell says of learning from his elders: “I hung out with the old cats. I was taught not only how to play the drums but how to be a man.”

Riley, who’s been a drummer for Wynton Marsalis and George Benson, says in the documentary: “My family were my biggest influences My uncle and my grandfather [band leader Frank Lastie], they showed me how to play the drums. My grandfather showed me how to play [the drums] with butter knives … on the breakfast table … There’s a unique and distinct way we play the bass drums here. It really identifies the New Orleans sound.”

There’s a considerable segment on how African-oriented music intertwined with Native American culture in New Orleans, and this blend gave rise to Mardi Gras Indians, who have elaborate costumes and ritual dancing. The male leaders of these Mardi Gras Indian groups are called Big Chiefs, while the female leaders are called Big Queens. Many of these leaders have their own music groups.

The documentary features interviews with Big Chief Bo Dollis Jr. of the Wild Magnolias; his mother Big Queen Laurita Dollis; and 79rs Gang members Big Chief Romeo Bougere of the 9th Ward Hunters and Big Chief Jermaine Bossier of the 7th Ward Creole Hunters. Bougere and Bossier say that even though the 7th Ward and the 9th Ward are considered rival wards with a lot of feuding, these two musical collaborators decided to form the 79rs Gang to show that these two communities can be united through music.

Bougere comments, “We need to get past hating someone because they’re from another ward.” Bossier adds of Mardi Gras Indian culture, “This is a warrior culture. Things happen. But for the most part, it’s about being pretty. It’s about showing off your suit.”

One of the highlights of “Take Me to the River” is the collaboration between Thomas and Ledisi, who is ecstatic over being able to perform and record a song with one of her musical idols. Ledisi (who grew up in the New Orleans music scene, where her mother Nyra Dynese was in a band) practically swoons when Thomas greets her at the studio by giving Ledisi a gift of shrimp and okra. “Yes! She hooked me up, man!” Ledisi exclaims. And later Ledisi literally jumps up and down with joy after she and Thomas record their duet of “Wish Someone Would Care,” one of Thomas’ classics.

Thomas says of Ledisi and the legacy of New Orleans music culture: “As far as I’m concerned, she’s one of the few who will be passing it on … She seems to have a natural knack for it. And that’s a good thing. I feel very good about passing the torch to her.” Ledisi adds, “We don’t want to lose the story. We’ve got to honor our legends while they’re here.”

DiFranco comments, “The deepness and the intactness of the New Orleans community is being threatened. As a result, people here have to be more intentional about staying in touch with those roots, so the continuum is not broken.”

Preservation Hall Jazz Band member Ben Jaffe, whose parents Allan and Sandra Jaffe co-founded the legendary Preservation Hall music venue, says of continuing this legacy: “The most important thing that Preservation Hall can do is make music available to people. When we’re collaborating with musicians, we’re not looking for someone who has an affinity for New Orleans jazz or understands New Orleans jazz. We’re looking for people who share our soul.”

Another documentary highlight is the Neville Brothers’ recording of “Hey Mama (Wild Tchoupitoulas).” Not only was it the first time in years that brothers Aaron Neville, Cyril Neville, Art Neville and Charles Neville were in the same recording studio together, it would also turn out to be the last recording that all four brothers would make together. Charles Neville died in 2018, and Art Neville died in 2019.

Unfortunately, parts of “Take Me to the River: New Orleans” look very dated because of the deaths of some of the documentary’s on-camera participants. By the time “Take Me to the River: New Orleans” was released in theaters in 2022, several people in the documentary had already passed away. They include Charles Neville, Art Neville, Dr. John (who died in 2019) and 5th Ward Weebie (who died in 2020). However, it doesn’t take away from the great music shown in the documentary.

“Take Me to the River: New Orleans” has some flawed editing that doesn’t always make the transition between the topics very smooth. And except for a brief mention by a Neville family member that the Neville Brothers were ripped off by bad business deals at the height of their careers, the documentary glosses over any mention of corruption in the music industry and how it affected New Orleans artists. Ultimately, the best parts of the movie are in seeing the artists and their talent come alive when collaborating in the studio with other artists they admire and respect.

360 Distribution released “Take Me to the River: New Orleans” in select U.S. cinemas, beginning in New Orleans on April 22, 2022, and in New York City and Los Angeles on April 29, 2022.

2018 American Music Awards: Aretha Franklin tribute, Ciara, Dua Lipa, Missy Elliott added to show

September 28, 2018

AMAs logo

The following is a press release from Dick Clark Productions and ABC:

Dick Clark Productions and ABC have announced an all-star lineup of soul and gospel legends who will come together to pay homage to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, at the “2018 American Music Awards.” Gladys Knight, Ledisi, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin and CeCe Winans, friends of the late, luminary singer/songwriter, will take the AMAs stage for a moving tribute honoring Franklin’s gospel roots and iconic gospel album, Amazing Grace. Consulting producer for the tribute is the Emmy Award® winning music director, composer and producer Rickey Minor.
Also announced:  a red-hot collaboration from multi-platinum selling artist Ciara and two-time American Music Award winner Missy Elliott, as well as a performance from singer/songwriter and first-time AMA nominee Dua Lipa.
Set to perform on the American Music Awards stage for the first time since in 2005, award-winning artist Ciara will be joined by Hip-Hop and R&B legend Missy Elliott for two heavy-hitting performances, including Ciara’s “Level Up,” which debuted on the Billboard Hot 100, ranked in the Top 10 on the Digital Song Sales chart, and became the No. 1-trending topic on YouTube after spawning the Level Up Challenge. Additionally, Ciara will perform “Dose,” the new single from her forthcoming studio album. American Music Awards newcomer and New Artist of the Year presented by Capital One® Savor® Card nominee, Dua Lipa, will take the AMAs performance stage for the first time with two of her hits from the complete edition of her self-titled, debut studio album, including “Electricity,” her latest Billboard Hot 100 collaboration.  Since its debut, the popular house track has landed spots amongst Billboard’s Dance Club Songs, Hot Dance/Electronic Songs and Pop Songs airplay charts.
They join previously announced performers Benny Blanco with Halsey and Khalid, Cardi B with Bad Bunny and J Balvin, Mariah Carey, Post Malone featuring Ty Dolla $ign and Carrie Underwood, with additional performers to be announced.

Hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross, the “2018 American Music Awards,” the world’s largest fan-voted awards show, will broadcast live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.

“We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the American Music Awards, dick clark productions and American Music Awards’ producer, Larry Klein, for honoring Aretha Franklin with a musical tribute for this year’s broadcast,” said Sabrina Owens, Franklin’s niece and executor of the Aretha Franklin Estate. “Throughout its 46-year history, the American Music Awards has continued to stand by the music and honor the best in talent and the greatest in popular music culture. 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.”  Owens adds, “We still remember when Aretha won her first American Music Award in 1976 for Favorite Female Artist – Soul/R&B, and throughout the years, she went on to win five more awards and we will never forget when she hosted the show; as well as her memorable performances. Dick Clark helped to revolutionize American music, and along the way, Aretha Franklin was part of that revolution.”

“It’s a blessing to be a part of this moving musical tribute to honor our late queen and sister, Aretha,” said Gladys Knight. “She was an icon and visionary, radiated light and love through all of her life’s work, and touched all of us through her incredible gift of music.”

“Aretha was the voice of a generation,” said music director, composer and producer, Rickey Minor. “She transcended racial barriers by reaching into the depths of her soul and taking us on a journey with every note she sang. Her spirit will live forever in her music.”

One of the most iconic voices in music history, Franklin accumulated six American Music Awards in her lifetime, including Favorite Female Artist – Soul/R&B (1976, 1977, 1984 and 1986), Favorite Female Video Artist – Soul/R&B (1986) and Favorite Album – Soul/R&B (1983). She served as host of, and performed on, the AMAs in 1976 and 1983, and last performed on the AMAs stage in 1986. Franklin left a resounding mark on the music world and beyond, also garnering an induction into the Rock and Roll and Rhythm and Blues Halls of Fame, a Kennedy Center Honor, a Presidential Medal of Freedom and by utilizing her voice for social issues including civil and women’s rights.

The great ones endure, and Gladys Knight has long been one of the greatest. Very few singers over the last fifty years have matched her unassailable artistry. This seven-time Grammy winner has enjoyed #1 hits in Pop, Gospel, R&B and Adult Contemporary, and has triumphed in film, television and live performance. Fall of 2015 marked the release of Knight’s first mainstream dance record, “Just A Little” in nearly twenty years. The song serves as lead single from her twelfth studio album that she is currently working on. Knight, who is a two-time Grammy winner in the gospel category, yet again embraced her gospel roots, releasing her inspirational album “Where My Heart Belongs,” in September 2014. The album was a major success and won an NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Gospel Album.” All told, Knight has recorded more than 38 albums over the years, including four solo albums during the past decade:  “Good Woman” (1991); “Just for You” (1994); the inspirational “Many Different Roads” (1999); and “At Last” (2001).  “At Last” showed the world that she still has what it takes to record a hit album, employing the talents of contemporary producers like Randy Jackson, Gary Brown and James D.C. Williams III, Jon John, Jamey Jaz, Keith Thomas, Tom Dowd and Tiger Roberts. Her involvement in other creative undertakings, business ventures and humanitarian activities has been extensive, and has brought her honors from industry and community alike.

Ledisi is a 12x Grammy-nominated vocal powerhouse who has wowed fans ever since she came onto the scene. She’s earned a place in the pantheon of the best soul singers of her generation. Ledisi is a favorite of The Obamas and has performed eight times at the White House. Her fans include icons, legends and current chart-toppers like the late- Prince, Patti LaBelle, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder and more. She has headlined two national sold-out tours, performed alongside Richie Sambora, Dave Matthews, Kelly Clarkson, Jill Scott, Maxwell and many more. She’s appeared on nationally recognized shows like Good Morning America, HARRY, The David Letterman Show, The Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and VH-1’s Diva’s Live to name a few. In 2015 she appeared in the Oscar-nominated movie Selma as Mahalia Jackson and is currently starring in Gabourey Sidibe’s Shatterbox Anthology film, The Tale Of Four. Ledisi released her ninth Grammy nominated studio album Let Love Rule, which features John Legend, Kirk Franklin, and B.J. The Chicago Kid among others. The album received three GRAMMY nominations in the “Best R&B Album,” “Best R&B Performance” (High), and “Best Traditional R&B Performance” (All The Way) categories.

Mary Mary is the multi-Grammy® and multi-award winning Gospel recording, sister duo of Erica and Tina Campbell. The sisters broke through in 2000 as Mary Mary with the pioneering hit “Shackles (Praise You).” Mary Mary has earned numerous Stellar & Dove Awards, four Grammy® Awards, three NAACP Image Awards, two American Music Awards, a Soul Train Award, a BET Award, the BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Award, ASCAP Golden Note Award and more. After seven Mary Mary albums and a lifetime–18 plus years of professionally singing–the commercially successful and critically acclaimed Mary Mary has sold more than 5 million albums, toured internationally, graced the covers of multiple high-profile magazines and both have recently launched successful, award-winning solo careers. Erica Campbell’s solo debut album, Help, won a 2015 Grammy® Award for Best Gospel Album. Erica is the host of the nationally syndicated radio show, “Get Up! Mornings with Erica Campbell.” In 2015, Tina Campbell independently released her solo debut album, It’s Personal, winning the 2016 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Gospel Album. Her single, “Too Hard Not To,” from her follow-up album, It’s Still Personal, received a 2018 Grammy® nomination for “Best Gospel Performance/Song. Erica and Tina continue to perform as Mary Mary while embracing their solo careers. They are loving wives and mothers who are devoted to their faith and their families.

The three-time Grammy winner, Donnie McClurkin, debuted as a solo artist in 1996 with his self-titled album Donnie McClurkin, featuring mega-hits Stand and Speak To My Heart.Before launching his solo career, he started the New York Restoration Choir and recorded his first album, I See A World that contained the original version “Speak To My Heart.” The gospel anthems, We Fall Down and Great Is Your Mercy, both from the top-selling Live In London And More album was released in 2000.  The acclaimed gospel singer won his first Grammy in 2004 for Again for Best Soul Traditional Gospel Album. McClurkin’s double CD, Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs earned a Grammy in 2006 as Best Traditional Gospel Album.  In 2010, he accepted his third Grammy (Best Gospel Performance) for Wait on the Lord, featuring Karen Clark Sheard from his We Are One: Live in Detroit album.  His other top honors include over 12 Stellar Awards; two BET Awards, three NAACP Image Awards, two Soul Train Awards and three Dove Awards.   He appeared as a judge on BET’s Sunday Best for six seasons 2010-2015. McClurkin is currently in the recording studio, look for new music in 2019.

CeCeWinans has released a slew of duo and solo albums that crossed genres and boundaries and influenced a generation of gospel and secular vocalists. Her mantel today holds a staggering 12 GRAMMY Awards, 23 Dove Awards, and seven Stellar Awards. She’s been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, Hollywood Walk of Fame and Nashville Music City Walk of Fame, in addition to being named a Trailblazer of Soul by BMI and garnering multiple NAACP Image Awards, Soul Train Awards, Essence Awards, and more. She’s sold in excess of five million albums in the U.S. alone, topping the Gospel charts repeatedly while managing to cross over with smashes like “Count On Me,” her stunning duet with Whitney Houston from the multi-platinum ‘Waiting To Exhale’ soundtrack, which sold two million copies and cracked the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, and Adult Contemporary charts. She touched millions more with inspirational performances everywhere from Oprah to The White House, and even showed off her acting chops on television series like ‘7th Heaven’ and ‘Doc.’ In 2016, Winans became a member of the Artist Committee for the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors.  Winans’ upcoming project, Something’s Happening!  A Christmas Album is scheduled for release on October 19th.

Rickey Minor is a composer and Emmy Award winning Music Director who’s worked with such renowned recording artists as: Whitney Houston, Adele, Rihanna, Demi Lovato, Keith Urban, Diana Ross, Katy Perry, Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Lopez, Little Big Town, Stevie Wonder, Arianna Grande, Carrie Underwood, Sting, John Legend, Common, Elton John, Andra Day, Usher and Beyoncé. His numerous television credits include The Tonight Show starring Jay LenoThe Emmys, American IdolThe American Music Awards, and The Kennedy Center Honors. In addition, he has worked on several major live events and award shows, including some of the most memorable Super Bowl and Grammy Award performances. He has received seven Emmy Award nominations and one win for Outstanding Music Direction — Genius: A Night for Ray Charles, An Evening of Stars: A Tribute to Chaka Khan, The 50th Annual Grammy Awards, The 51st Annual Grammy Awards, The Smithsonian Salutes Ray Charles: In Performance at the White House, Stayin’ Alive: A Grammy Salute to the Music of the Bee Gees, Taking The Stage: African American Music and Stories That Changed America.  

Ciara is an award-winning singer/songwriter, producer, model and actress. Over her 13-year career, she has sold over 23 million records and 16 million singles worldwide, including chart-topping hits “Goodies,” “Ride,” “Oh,” “1, 2 Step,” “Body Party” and “I Bet.” Most recently, Ciara has been scorching summer with her new song “Level Up,” which has transformed into a defining moment for the culture with the subsequent movement it has incited. Beyond clocking over 80 million views on YouTube, the song spent several weeks at No. 1 on the iTunes Top R&B/Soul Songs Chart and Top 10 on iTunes overall, and attracted Missy Elliott and Fatman Scoop for a high-profile remix which also shot up the iTunes charts. Its high-powered dance initially inspired fans to shoot their own videos with the hashtag #LevelUpChallenge—stirring up a viral buzz that has seen over 2 million posts across social media and launched the video to a No. 1-trending topic on YouTube. Ciara is a devoted wife and mother of two as well as a philanthropist who is dedicated to improving the lives of children and empowering women across the globe.

MissyElliott is a groundbreaking solo superstar, pioneering producer/songwriter/singer/rapper, and cultural icon. The five-time GRAMMY® Award winner – with nominations spanning three decades – has achieved unprecedented success, including U.S. sales in excess of 30 million. Missy’s six studio albums (including 2001’s landmark “MISS E… SO ADDICTIVE” and 2002’s blockbuster “UNDER CONSTRUCTION”) have each been RIAA platinum certified or better, marking her as the only female rapper to achieve that milestone accomplishment. Missy returned to the scene in November of 2015 with her explosive single, “WTF (Where They From)” Feat. Pharrell Williams. The track’s accompanying video has garnered over 40 million YouTube views and immediately became the #1 trending topic on both Twitter and Facebook upon its release. “WTF (Where They From) Feat Pharrell Williams was also featured as the official theme to ESPN’s kickoff coverage of the 2015/2016 NBA season. Shortly after, Elliott released fan-favorite single, “Pep Rally”, which was featured in Amazon’s Super Bowl commercial starring Alec Baldwin, Dan Marino, Jason Schwartzman, and Missy herself. In March, Missy teamed up with First Lady Michelle Obama to release the female empowerment anthem, “This is For My Girls,”. The track supports various ongoing campaigns that center around empowering young women, and also features the talents of Kelly Rowland, Janelle Monáe, Kelly Clarkson and Zendaya. Most recently, Missy unveiled her latest smash, “I’m Better (feat. Lamb)” which is accompanied by an incredible companion video that has garnered over 19 million views since its release. The following half decade plus has also seen Elliott featured on tracks from artists including Ginuwine, Ciara, K. Michelle, Demi Lovato, The Black Keys, J. Cole, G-Dragon, Fantasia, Monica, Busta Rhymes, Jazmine Sullivan, and of course, Katy Perry, with whom she famously teamed up for 2011’s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) (Remix).” Additionally, Missy lit up 2014 with a series of surprise event appearances, joining Pharrell Williams to open the BET Awards with a “Come Get It Bae/Pass That Dutch” mash-up, reuniting with Da Brat and Lil Kim at the Soul Train Music Awards for their 1997 breakthrough, “Not Tonight (Ladies Night Remix)” – the trio’s first live performance together in more than 16 years – and of course her unforgettable performance at 2015’s Super Bowl XLIX. Missy joined Katy Perry for the historic happening, wowing 118.5 million viewers – the largest ever audience in Super Bowl history – with a medley of “Get Ur Freak On,” “Work It,” and “Lose Control.” Digital sales skyrocketed in the following days, with both “Get Ur Freak On” and “Work It” returning to the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart more than 10 years after their initial successes. In addition, Elliott has been heard on such recent tracks as Faith Evans’ 2014 single, “I Deserve It (Feat, Missy Elliott & Sharaya J),” Jack Ü’s 2015 “Take Ü There (Feat. Kiesza) (Missy Elliott Remix),” and most recently, Janet Jackson’s “BURNITUP! (Feat. Missy Elliott).”

With the release of her self-titled debut album, London born, Kosovo raised  DuaLipa  has won over the hearts of fans and press alike. The songs on  Dua Lipa  announce the arrival of a new force in pop—irresistible on the dance floor, thoughtful under closer inspection, constantly discovering creative possibilities. Her critically acclaimed debut has made everyone’s “best of” list, from The FADER  to  Rolling Stone  to  Time Magazine. With her powerful anthem and viral video for “New Rules” making her the youngest female solo artist to reach 1 billion views on YouTube, Dua continues to find herself on the top of the charts. The track reached #1 on Billboard’s Pop Songs airplay chart, and broke the longstanding record for  the most weeks ever on the list.  She was consistently the most streamed female artist on Spotify and in the top 5 globally this past year.  She has  sold 3 million copies, with singles reaching 32 million sold. Most recently, Dua made BRIT Award history becoming the first woman artist to pick up five nominations, taking home the awards for British Breakthrough Act and British Female Solo Artist.

The American Music Awards winners are voted entirely by fans. Voting is now open in all categories. For New Artist of the Year presented by Capital One® Savor® Card, Favorite Social Artist presented by Xfinity and Collaboration of the Year, fans can vote for each award 100 times per day, per voting platform in one or both of the ways below. Fans can vote for all other awards once per day, per voting platform.

  • Via web at VoteAMAs.com
  • Posting a tweet on Twitter that includes the nominee’s name or Twitter handle, the category name and #AMAs within the tweet
Voting for New Artist of the Year presented by Capital One Savor Card and Collaboration of the Year will close on Tuesday, October 9 at 5:59:59pm PT, one hour into the live broadcast. Voting for all other categories will close on Thursday, October 4 at 11:59:59pm PT.
American Music Awards nominees are based on key fan interactions as reflected on Billboard.com, including streaming, album and digital song sales, radio airplay, social activity and touring. These measurements are tracked by Billboard and its data partners, including Nielsen Music and Next Big Sound, and reflect the time period of September 15, 2017 through August 9, 2018.
YouTube Music is the presenting sponsor of the “2018 American Music Awards.”
Capital One Savor Card and Subaru of America, Inc. are sponsors of the “2018 American Music Awards.” Media partner is Cumulus Media/Westwood One.

The “2018 American Music Awards” is produced by dick clark productions. Barry Adelman, Mark Bracco and Tracee Ellis Ross are Executive Producers. Larry Klein is Producer.

For the latest American Music Awards news, exclusive content and more, be sure to follow the AMAs on social and join the conversation by using the official hashtag for the show, #AMAs.

Facebook: Facebook.com/AMAs
Twitter: @AMAs
Instagram: @AMAs
Snapchat: TheAMAs
YouTube: YouTube.com/TheAMAs

Tickets are now on sale at www.axs.com.

About the American Music Awards
The American Music Awards, the world’s largest fan-voted award show, features performances from today’s hottest artists and presents fan-voted awards in the music genres of Pop/Rock, Alternative Rock, Country, Rap/Hip-Hop, Soul/R&B, Adult Contemporary, Contemporary Inspirational, Latin, EDM and Soundtrack, and the categories of Artist of the Year, New Artist of the Year presented by Capital One Savor Card, Collaboration of the Year, Tour of The Year, Favorite Social Artist presented by Xfinity and Favorite Music Video. The American Music Awards pays tribute to today’s most influential and iconic artists.  The show is produced by dick clark productions and is seen in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. For more information, visit www.theamas.comwww.dickclark.com or abc.go.com/shows/american-music-awards.

About dick clark productions
dick clark productions (dcp) is the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming with the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” “American Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “Golden Globe Awards,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” and the “Streamy Awards.” Weekly television programming includes “So You Think You Can Dance” from 19 Entertainment and dcp. dcp also owns one of the world’s most unique and extensive entertainment archive libraries with over 60 years of award-winning shows, historic programs, specials, performances and legendary programming. dcp is a division of Valence Media, a diversified media company with divisions and strategic investments in premium television, wide release film, specialty film, live events and digital media. For additional information, visit www.dickclark.com.

About YouTube Music 
YouTube Music is a completely reimagined streaming music service with music videos, official albums, singles, remixes, live performances, covers and hard-to-find music you can only get on YouTube. It’s ALL here! YouTube Music serves music based on your tastes and what’s moving the community around you. Discover something new or keep up with what’s trending. Basic functions such as playing music and watching videos are totally free, but you can upgrade to YouTube Music Premium to explore the world of music ad-free, offline, and with the screen locked. Available on mobile and desktop.  For additional information, visit  www.youtube.com/musicpremium.

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