Before, during and after the 16 performances that made up last night's American Music Awards, there was plenty of action – at least on the red carpet. Backstage was another matter, as only big winner Taylor Swift and TLC made their way to talk to the press. But Swift teased a new album — a follow-up to 2012's blockbuster Red.
First Swift spoke of her four honors, saying, "Winning Artist of the Year for the third time is kind of a little bit mind-numbingly unbelievable. It is a little bit hard to absorb all at once. It's amazing, and the fact that it's fan-voted makes it that much better. This year has been unreal for me with this album. I don't expect things to do well, just by default, so for this to happen is just wonderful."
Then Taylor hinted she may be shooting for a fourth title in a row in 2014, telling the room she is very happy with the new album she's working on. "I'm so obsessed with where it is right now because I think, for me, the goal is that we start coming upon a sound that's different from everything that we've done before, an identity to a new record. Having come upon that so early in the process is just really thrilling," she said. "I've got a lot of time to write more, but it's really looking promising so far . . . It's way ahead of schedule. So I'm really stoked for you to hear it."
On the red carpet,both 2 Chainz promised a tour in 2014. "Be looking out for more progression and prosperity," he said. "I believe in growth and development."
Tyga, who just dropped "Wait a Minute," featuring Justin Bieber, acknowledged that everybody has an opinion right now about his collaborator: "From my fans, people were like, 'Why would I work with Bieber?'" But he offered no apology. "We're the artists. We're supposed to be the creative ones and take it to the next level. That's what we're doing."
Another artist with collaborations on the brain was R. Kelly, who was about to perform with Lady Gaga. "Sweet, sexy, different, talented, she's a phenomenon, and I can't wait to get on that stage with her," he said before the show.
Kelly said he's excited the phone keeps ringing from today's biggest pop stars. "I always was at my best when I'm wanted," he said. "I've got the Justin Bieber song out, the Bruno Mars, of course the Lady Gaga. People are calling. It's a blessing for that to still be happening after 23 years in the business."
Joan Jett is another veteran enjoying the adulation of younger stars. Chart-topping songwriter Bonnie McKee, who writes many of Katy Perry's hits, geeked out upon meeting Jett on the carpet. While very gracious and moved by the attention, Jett was busy taking in her first trip to the AMAs.
"I would say it's fun to come and see something outside of what you normally do," she told us. "I sort of live in a rock & roll world – I don't see a lot of other kinds of music. It'll be fun to see some of these bands you read so much about and see so much about. It's always fun to see Miley [Cyrus]. I worked with her a couple of years ago. And I get to see old friends like Dave."
It was part of a wild carpet ride for Dave Grohl: the Foo Fighters singer-guitarist was carrying a pair of pink underwear and a little bottle of whiskey gifted to him by the Ellen show. Jett greeted him by grabbing his ass.
"Who did that?" he asked, turning around with a grin.