On Sunday (Nov. 20), the English singer and songwriter brought an upbeat groove to the award show’s “Song of the Soul” segment, which celebrates the power of music and the artists that use their voices to inspire change.
Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater was treated to a soulful disco-inspired number that left the crowd in awe as the 39-year-old artist comfortably belted out engaging harmonies reminiscent of a bygone era.
Her live band brought the funk as Yola rhythmically banged the tambourine on her thigh, keeping with her band’s tempo as she seamlessly hit high and low notes.
“Silently break the bough,” the songstress began her engaging performance. “Fall into the deepest sleep/ Dream of mangoes on the tree/ Sugar cane, and shoeless feet/ Silently break the bough/Forget every distant memory.”
Along with her crowd-approved performance, Yola was also crowned as the first-ever “Song of the Soul” winner ahead of the 2022 AMAs.
The artist, legally known as Yolanda Claire Quartey, first burst onto the scene as a solo artist in 2019 with her debut project, Walk Through Fire, which garnered four Grammy award nominations.
She also made her acting debut in 2022, portraying the iconic and timeless Sister Rosetta Tharpe, also known as the “godmother of rock n roll,” in Baz Luhrman’s biopic Elvis.
Watch Yola’s full AMAs performance here.