At last night’s American Music Awards, Taylor Swift walked away as the evening’s top winner, as she collected half a dozen more prizes, bringing her career total up to an unprecedented 40.
While the “Anti-Hero” songwriter may have emerged as the most-recognized star, newcomer Dove Cameron stole the show with one of the most meaningful speeches of not just this year’s ceremony, but of any AMAs in recent memory.
As Cameron stepped up to the mic to accept the New Artist of the Year AMA, she took the trophy from recently-named Emmy winner Sheryl Lee Ralph and wasted no time saying something heartfelt and timely.
“I want to start by saying that every award that I ever win will always first and foremost be dedicated to the queer community at large,” started the singer and actor. “You guys have carved out such a space for me to be myself and to write music about it and I’ve never felt safer or more loved or more supported and I hope I can give you some semblance of that same feeling in my music.”
After a round of cheers from the audience, Cameron continued to speak, never venturing away from the topic at hand. “On the heels of the tragedy that happened at Club Q in Colorado Springs, I want to remind everyone how important queer visibility is and how important our community is,” the newly-minted winner commanded.
Cameron then used the highly visible opportunity to tell those watching (and those who will read about it afterward) to support organizations such as GLAAD and the Trevor Project. She quickly ended her short acceptance speech by saying, “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.”
To claim New Artist of the Year, Cameron beat out Gayle, Steve Lacy, Latto, and Måneskin. Two of those four are currently nominated for the Best New Artist Grammy, while Gayle is up for Song of the Year and Steve Lacy is in the running for Song and Record of the Year, among others. Oddly, only Cameron was shut out of the Grammys, but she managed to take home this coveted honor, which in the past has gone to Olivia Rodrigo, Doja Cat, Billie Eilish, and Camila Cabello, to name a few recent recipients.
In addition to winning and speaking, Cameron also performed her single “Boyfriend” shortly before the evening wrapped. The tune is easily her most popular release, as it peaked at No. 16 on the Hot 100. So far, the singer/actor has yet to release a collection on her own, though she reached the top of the Billboard 200 albums chart as a featured performer on Disney’s Descendants soundtrack.
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