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AMAs 2015: 5 Best Performances from One Direction to Ariana Grande and Celine Dion [WATCH]

by Carolyn Menyes   Nov 23, 2015 11:40 AM EST

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The 2015 American Music Awards took place Sunday night (Nov. 22) in Las Vegas. Even though the AMAs are an award show by trade, the three-hour long ceremony really played out like a concert featuring the who's who of pop music today.

From the poppy goodness of One Direction's "Perfect" to one of the more emotional AMAs performances in a long time, we're counting down the five best live renditions from this year's show.

05. One Direction, "Perfect"

The 2015 AMAs were all about the Artist of the Year, One Direction. Not only were the boys on hand to take home some awards, but they also performed their new single and Made in the A.M. standout "Perfect." One Direction have had a renewed sense of energy since Zayn Malik left the band earlier this year, and that was clear during this AMAs performance, where all four boys bounced around the stage and sang as hard as they could. And, you cannot deny their harmonies in the chorus were totally on point, even if Harry Styles did sound a little tired.

04. Ariana Grande, “Focus”

Ariana Grande has always done well at the AMAs, having previously stunned in 2013 and 2014. So, her live television debut of “Focus” was one of the most anticipated moments of the night. Grande kicked off her performance with an old school Hollywood rendition of her new song, with her hair down in gorgeous pin curls and a lovely peachy gown. After she jazzed it up, she kicked in to the rhythm and totally nailed those live vocals all while dancing up a storm.

03. Nick Jonas, "Chains," "Levels," "Jealous"

A lot of performers at the AMAs had troubles with their live vocals (we're looking at you, Demi and Selena) but Nick Jonas was as reliable of a live performer as ever. Following his big 2014/2015, Jonas kicked off his medley with a stripped down performance of "Chains," giving new emotions to the songs. He soon transitioned to something a little more energetic, with a falsetto-filled, groovy rendition of "Levels." Can you listen to this without dancing? We didn't think so. Jonas then rounded out his set with a gospel choir and "Jealous," which was a familiar yet interesting twist to his breakout single. This medley was a total three-in-one, and Jonas proved that he's here to stay.

02. Justin Bieber, "Where Are U Now," "What Do You Mean," "Sorry"

Justin Bieber closed out the AMAs in one of the most anticipated moments of the night. 2015 has been a year of apologies and emotional performances from Bieber (remember the VMAs?), so this performance came with something to prove for the pop superstar. And, luckily, he delivered. Bieber kicked things off by showing off his raw vocal talents with "What Do You Mean" acoustic, he soon transitioned to a plugged in performance of "Where Are U Now," blending together dancing and live vocals. The biggest moment of the night, however, came when Bieber danced to "Sorry" in the rain. Were his vocals live for the final third of his performance? Absolutely not. But, there was something cleansing and gripping about the performance that made you have to forgive this kid, whether you wanted to or not.

01. Celine Dion, "Hymne a L'amour"

Ever since the AMAs announced that it would pay tribute to the victims of the Paris terror attacks with a special performance of Edith Piaf's "Hymne a L'amour" by Celine Dion, it was clear that this was going to be a standout performance. Dion took on the classic French song straight and with a sense of dignity and purpose. Her vocals all soared in just the right way, and with images of Paris and the sight of the attacks on the music industry, Le Bataclan, projected behind her, there was not a dry eye in the house. And we dare you to not feel something while watching this poignant performance.

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