The night might have been about big performances from music's biggest artists, but many of the most memorable happened between the musical numbers.
There was Machine Gun Kelly clearly upset at his haters saying he's a "tourist" in the rock arena, and Kelly Rowland vehemently defending Chris Brown on the stage. There were emotional statements about the tragic shooting in Colorado Springs targeting the LGBTQ community from the show, Dove Cameron and Kim Petras.
It was an evening of great music, but perhaps even greater moments outside of those performances. Here's what had social media all atwitter throughout the night.
Wayne Brady may just be the busiest man in Hollywood right now, with two of his latest gigs converging on the AMAs stage when he brought out his "Dancing with the Stars" partner Witney Carson.
The two are competing tomorrow night on the "DWTS" finale, but as it's all House of Mouse the corporate synergy was on full display. She dropped in to hype the show and help him pitch for votes in the middle of his "Motherf---ing AMAs" song.
With a clear nod to his Broadway resume, and perhaps "Hamilton" in particular, Wayne dropped some lines for all the nerdy kids out there and sang his heart out about living out his own dream on stage.
He also made a quick nod to the Oscars with the line, "Ain't nobody getting slapped tonight" and quipped, "As a kid I dreamed of this and getting laid / One of those things is happening tonight!"
Fans were also of two minds about his multi-colored suit. With comparisons to '90s Taco Bell they were either loving his bold style or loving to hate on it!
Yes! Wayne Brady is already being a good host tonight at #AMAs that intro he did also rapping some plus he brought out Witney telling people he will be at the finale of #DWTS to vote for them. Good dancing they did tog so hot! Keep rocking the show @WayneBrady u can do it all!
Dove Cameron Honors Colorado Springs Shooting Victims
In the aftermath of another senseless shooting targeting the LGBTQ community in Colorado, Dove Cameron hit the stage with a powerful message while accepting her award for New Artist of the Year.
"I want to start by saying that every award that I ever win will always be first and foremost dedicated to the queer community at large," she said upon hitting the stage.
She gave a shout-out to the community for supporting her and her music, and emphasized how important queer visibility is in the wake of the tragic Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs.
"I want to direct your attention to organizations like GLAAD and The Trevor Project for what you can do right now," she said. "I want to remind you that you are made absolutely right, and you are so loved and so held, and I want to thank you for supporting me. Thank you for holding the space -- I’m holding it for you too."
Wayne Brady also provided a statement of solidarity, while Kim Petras addressed the tragic shooting while presenting for Favorite Pop Song. "I can't stop thinking about Colorado today," she said, saying that gay clubs basically raised her.
Dove Cameron out here giving the best thank you speech I’ve heard. Bringing awareness to issues that the lgbtq community faced not only today but also overall. And not once was she boastful. Truly a sincere soul
Hats off to @DoveCameron, first of all Queen— congratulations on your win! And thank you for starting off the award show right with that heartfelt speech and continued awareness for the tragedy that happened at Club Q last night. Queer fam loves you! 💗💜💙 #AMAs#BestNewArtist
Machine Gun Kelly Gets Aggressive with Haters -- About the Moon?
Machine Gun Kelly has gotten a lot of flak from some fans and aspects of the music industry, and clearly it's gotten to him. After picking up the trophy for Favorite Rock Artist, MGK took aim at his haters.
The former rapper was sporting a suit he clearly stole from Pinhead's closet with what looked like hundreds of spikes protruding out from it everywhere. Presenter Meghan Trainor smartly went with an air hug.
He seemed to be in brighter spirits at the top when he first got up there, even though he still wasn't smiling (as Brady had joked about in his monologue). He cracked a joke about the mic stands being too short and added, "This suit is really uncomfortable to pee in."
"There have been some people in the rock community who called me a tourist, but they’re wrong, I’m a rocket man," MGK argued, before expressing doubt about the actual moon landing.
"We weren’t born on the moon but we were curious, so we went there, supposedly," he continued. "And these last two rock albums to me were me going to the moon."
He then said he wasn't done exploring, describing himself as "all genres" before signing off with an expletive filled exclamation that was completely censored. Fans online were mixed about both the look and his diatribe.
Did Machine Gun Kelly say we “supposedly” went to the moon? Is he doubting that we went to the moon in 1969? And did he just throw and break the mic on stage? What just happened? lol #AMAs
Just when you think Machine Gun Kelly is making some sense, you wanna slightly root for his toxic ass, he goes and says we supposedly went to the moon and now I know why he is called a tourist by his...peers:#AMAspic.twitter.com/coKOg9Nt0e
Kelly Rowland Will Take No Disrespect on Chris Brown's Name
In one of the night's most unexpected moments, Kelly Rowland was not playing while presenting the award for Favorite Male R&B Artist. She particularly was not impressed with the response in the room when she announced Chris Brown won.
Brown wasn't present after claiming on his Instagram that the AMAs had canceled his planned Michael Jackson tribute performance, as reported by TMZ.
In his absence, Rowland was more than happy to accept the award with words of praise for the controversial artist, but she was not happy about the audibly mixed reaction to his name being called.
"I will be accepting this award on his behalf," she said into the audible boos before raising her hand and saying with more emphasis, "Excuse me, chill out!"
She then went on to thank him personally for the music he's created and being a great performer. Her support of Brown, who still has the cloud of Rihanna's beaten face hanging over him, left some on Twitter a little perplexed, while others praised her for it.
It seemed a little startling that Artist of the Year was being awarded with a full half hour left in the broadcast, but that's because we didn't realize how much they were going to go all in on celebrating this year's Icon Award recipient.
First, Smokey Robinson came out to pay tribute to the career and influence of his friend Lionel Richie, before RIchie himself came up to accept the award with a sweet speech.
But it was the lengthy dueling pianos tribute by Stevie Wonder and Charlie Puth as they riffed through some of Richie's biggest hits that both highlighted his incredible career and left Twitter scratching their head and asking ... what was that? Was this the last-minute replacement for Chris Brown's Michael Jackson tribute?
Inevitably, it culminated in a recreation of Richie's iconic "We Are the World" with an assist from some of the night's stars, but what a missed opportunity to go all out. The room was filled with more stars than the original recording so imagine if they'd convinced all of them to join in as a surprise to Richie.
As it was, the tribute was long and awkwardly paced and Twitter was really not feeling it by the time it was all said and done.