Music Updates

Jesse Collins Named Showrunner & Exec Producer of 2021 American Music Awards

Collins is on a remarkable roll this year. On Feb. 7, he was among the producers of the Super Bowl LV halftime show (starring The Weeknd). On March 14, he was co-executive producer of the 63rd Grammy Awards. On April 25, he was among the producers of the 93rd Academy Awards.

Collins has been on the production team for the Grammys for 17 years.

“MRC…proudly welcomes Jesse Collins as showrunner of the iconic American Music Awards,” Modi Wiczyk, MRC co-CEO, said in a statement. “Jesse and his team bring tremendous creative firepower, expertise that spans multiple genres and formats, and an innovative mindset that makes them our ideal partners to shepherd this show into the future.”

Rob Mills, executive vice president, unscripted and alternative entertainment, Walt Disney Television, added in a statement: “Jesse is a world-class producer who has incredible foresight and experience in the live-event space, and we cannot wait to see how he evolves the AMAs.”

Collins has produced numerous awards shows and events including the BET Awards, Soul Train Awards and Black Girls Rock! He received an Emmy nomination for the 61st Grammy Awards, which was nominated for outstanding variety special (live). He was credited as a producer that year (2019), working on a team headed by executive producers Ken Ehrlich and Ben Winston. Collins is the founder and CEO of Jesse Collins Entertainment, a full-service television and film entertainment production company.

The 2021 American Music Awards will be held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, which has been the show’s home since 2007.

The American Music Awards have aired on ABC continuously since 1974. That’s even longer than two other top awards shows have been on the network. The Oscars have aired on ABC continuously since 1976, the Country Music Association Awards since 2006.

The show has been a fixture so long that is has been hosted by both Diana Ross (in 1986-87) and her daughter, actress Tracee Ellis Ross (2017-18).

This year’s host has not yet been named. Taraji P. Henson hosted last year’s show. Other hosts since the show moved from the Shrine Auditorium to Microsoft Theater in 2007 have been Jimmy Kimmel, Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez, Gigi Hadid and Jay Pharoah, and Ciara.

Nominees for the American Music Awards are based on key fan interactions, as reflected on the Billboard charts, including streaming, album sales, song sales and radio airplay. These measurements are tracked by Billboard and its data partner MRC Data, and reflect the time period of Sept. 25, 2020, through Sept. 23, 2021. AMA winners are determined entirely by fans.

Collins’ appointment comes at a time when dick clark productions is going through major changes, including the recent departure of Amy Thurlow after seven years, the last one as president.

The American Music Awards are co-produced by dick clark productions, which is owned by MRC. MRC and Penske Media are co-parent companies of Billboard.

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