Machine Gun Kelly won Favourite Rock Artist at the 2021 American Music Awards and used his speech to respond to claims the “age of the rock star is dead.” 

The former rapper turned pop punk star triumphed in the Favourite Rock Artist category, although he was competing against multi-instrumentalist trio AJR and indie pop outfit Glass Animals who don’t really scream ‘rock’.

He left girlfriend Megan Fox at home, bringing his daughter Casie to the ceremony instead. During his acceptance speech at the AMAs ceremony in Los Angeles, he dedicated the award to “all the aspiring musicians – the one who wants to play an instrument, wants to rap, wants to sing.”

Kelly, recently nicknamed Squirt Gun Smelly, then took on the naysayers who proclaim that rock is dead, which feels like it’s been an ongoing subject for decades. “I read a headline that said the age of the rock star is dead but looks pretty alive to me,” he said while cockily looking himself up and down.

Dave Grohl would probably agree: the Foo Fighters icon recently claimed that the dial is starting to turn back to guitar-based music in an interview.

Hosted by Cardi B, the AMAs saw performances by stars such as BTS and Coldplay, Olivia Rodrigo, Bad Bunny, and Tyler, the Creator.

Megan Thee Stallion won big (which makes it even more of a shame that she was unable to attend), gaining three awards, including Favourite Female Hip Hop Artist and Favourite Hip Hop Album (Good News).

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TikTok favourite Doja Cat equalled that with three awards of her own, including Favourite Female R&B Artist and Favourite R&B Album (Planet Her).

Favourite Music Video was one by Lil Nas X‘s notorious ‘Montero (Call Me By Your Name)’ video. It was BTS who won the biggest award of the night, seeing off strong competition from Rodrigo, Taylor Swift, and Drake to win Artist of the Year.

Check out Machine Gun Kelly’s 2021 AMAs acceptance speech: