The 2019 American Music Awards had been going for almost an hour when Kesha took the stage, but her scintillating two-song run made it feel like the night was just getting started.

The fun began with Kesha flanked by Big Freedia, her partner in crime on “Raising Hell,” the lead single off her forthcoming 2020 album High Road. Kesha set the tone at first, belting out the song’s carpe noctem mantra: “Mama raised me well / But I don’t wanna go to heaven without raisin’ hell.” 

Of course, Big Freedia got in on the fun, too, singing alongside Kesha throughout the track and leading some booty-shaking alongside their team of backing dancers. 

And next, Kesha hit the AMAs audience with a confetti-coated jolt of 10-year old club night memories: after “Raising Hell” was done, she sang the opening lines of her breakout smash “Tik Tok” — lyrics literally embedded into the subconscious of anyone who enjoyed a wild night out in 2009. (Or, hell, hopefully 2019 as well). The Microsoft Theater crowd lost it, as plenty more surely did watching at home. Like most of us, Kesha is older and wiser since she first sang the track, but the AMAs performance proved it hasn’t lost any of its luster — “Tik Tok” is legendary. 

For more on Kesha, read Billboard‘s recent cover story interview. For more on Big Freedia’s AMAs performances, check out our red carpet interview from before the show. 

dick clark productions, producer of the American Music Awards, is owned by Valence Media, which also owns Billboard.

American Music Awards 2019





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