AMAs: Lizzo Gives First Ever Live Musical Performance in Dolby Atmos at Awards Show

Lizzo performs_AMAs - Getty - H 2019
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for dcp

Lizzo's live performance of "Jerome" was played in Dolby Atmos at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday during Dick Clark Productions' American Music Awards.

The audience at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles also heard Dua Lipa's performance of “Don’t Start Now” and Post Malone's “Circles” in Dolby's immersive Atmos format. To do this, the venue's auditorium was set up to present the music in this format, specifically for this awards show. It involved the installation of roughly 250 speaker boxes and 17 JBL line arrays.
This is the first time a major awards show has outfitted a venue for live Atmos music performances. Planning took six weeks and installation took another week.

Dolby Atmos was launched in 2012 for cinema. It debuted with the world premiere of Disney/Pixar's Brave at the then-newly rebranded Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. Since then, it has gained momentum as a format for theatrical presentations. Dolby then moved toward home entertainment, offering the format for supported movies and streaming on select TVs and mobile devices.

The company is now reaching out to artists, record labels, streaming services and consumer electronics manufacturers in an effort to make Dolby Atmos music accessible. Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group have announced plans to release select tracks mixed in Atmos. Today, consumers could listen to these mixes at home via Amazon Music HD on Echo Studio or specially released albums on Blu-Ray, according to the company.

“Dolby’s heritage is rooted in music, and we’re continuing to build upon that legacy by reinventing how music is experienced — creating new shared moments for artists and fans alike,” said Todd Pendleton, senior vp and CMO at Dolby Laboratories, in a statement. “The American Music Awards was the perfect place to showcase the future of music through this first-of-its kind Dolby Atmos experience.”

“Listening to these songs in Dolby Atmos unleashed every musical detail as it was meant to be heard, completely immersing our live audience in a whole new way," said DCP CEO Mike Mahan in a statement.

During the AMAs, Dolby also kicked off a new Dolby Atmos Music consumer campaign featuring Lizzo, which aired as a broadcast commercial and is now available on YouTube.

Dick Clark Productions is owned by Valence Media, which is also the parent company of The Hollywood Reporter.