Soulful Singer Yola Brought Powerhouse Vocals—And Style—To the American Music Awards

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You could say the British soul singer Yola had an eventful American Music Awards last night. The star not only performed her song “Break the Bough” live at the Microsoft Theater in LA but she also received the special song-of-soul honor for the song. “It was a truly mind-blowing experience from the start to finish,” Yola tells Vogue of her night. “The American Music Awards are incredible and music focused, and as an artist I felt their mission to elevate music throughout the whole show.” The best part, though, was that the star let Vogue follow along as she took to both the glitzy red carpet and the stage—where she brought powerhouse vocals and style.

To begin the busy night, Yola’s glam team—including hairstylist Hachoo, makeup artist Julie Jules, and nail artist Sabella Synder—got the singer red-carpet-ready, crafting a subtle beauty look that paired well with her silver sequined Christian Siriano gown, complete with feathered sleeves. The look was styled by Stephanie Amelie Cameau and finished off with dazzling jewels by Loree Rodkin. Then for her performance of “Break the Bough,” the singer changed into a patchwork lilac minidress designed by Perry White. “Both gave off different vintage aesthetics, which I was channeling—from disco glamour to ’60s chic,” says Yola of her two ensembles. “I felt fabulous.”  

Her favorite part of the night, however, wasn’t playing dress-up (though who doesn’t love that?). It was her performance itself and joining Stevie Wonder and Charlie Puth onstage for a tribute to Lionel Richie. The star said she felt the energy from the crowd for her standalone set. “It appears that the crowd enjoyed it, as everyone was on their feet by the end, and I got a standing ovation, which was really emotional for me,” says Yola. “I think we added to the live element of the evening, as we play live live, with no backing tracks.” As for what’s next for the star? She’ll be taking some much-deserved R&R after the whirlwind weekend: “Sleep, rest—baby’s taking a break,” says Yola. “But see you soon Vogue…I’ll be back!”

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