Before the show even kicked off, the AMAs were catching heat for how few female artists were nominated for awards this year. Out of 28 categories, only nine contained any female artists, and three of them were categories that were female-specific, so they didn't have much of a choice there. Only a handful of female artists walked away with awards -- Lady Gaga (Favorite Female Artist - Pop/Rock), Carrie Underwood (Favorite Female Artist - Country), Beyonce (Favorite Female Artist - Soul/R&B), Lauren Daigle (Favorite Artist – Contemporary Inspirational), and Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town, whose band won Favorite Duo Or Group – Country.
All this is to say that female artists were underrepresented, so the show tried to compensate by having every speech and every presenter talk about the importance of girl power and reflect on how many women were performing at the show. But it was hard to take that seriously when nearly every award kept going to male artists -- including Bruno Mars for Artist of the Year, and he wasn't even there!