BEST: Tracee Ellis Ross and Diana Ross make the night a family affair
Tracee Ellis Ross'
hosting gig wasn't entirely the result of the comedian and actress' mother, Motown
legend (and AMA fixture) Diana Ross, receiving this year's Lifetime Achievement
Award – the younger Ross stars on the excellent sitcom black-ish, a fixture of presenting network ABC's lineup. But her obvious
enthusiasm for the gig gave the night a different kind of energy than you'd get from other award-show hosts. She approached her MC duties as a fan of music
(and her mom) and as a woman, avoiding mean-spirited snipes and instead focusing
on her effervescent excitement, as well as the female energy that would power
the night's best performances (the awards were another story; more on that in a
bit). At the close of the show, Diana received the This Is Your Life treatment via a video montage that celebrated her
many past AMA appearances and groundbreaking live performances, which she
followed up with a triumphant medley of her biggest hits. While accepting the
award, she invited her entire family onstage for a generation-spanning
celebration that was punctuated by her overjoyed eight-year-old grandson, Raif-Henok
Emmanuel Kendrick (his mother is Diana's eldest child, Rhonda Ross), bidding the crowd adieu.