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iheartradio music awards 2014

Watch Kendrick Lamar Cover Tupac’s ‘California Love’

Last night's first ever iHeartRadio Music Awards had a very specific Los Angeles theme — with musicians' "L.A. stories" cut in between performances and acceptance speeches. Perhaps the most L.A. thing (aside from Rihanna literally getting caught in 405 traffic on her way to the award show) was Kendrick Lamar's cover of Tupac and Dr. Dre's "California Love," which he opened with a story about being 7 years old and hanging out on the set of the "California Love" music video:

Ariana Grande (in the Pretty Women thigh high boots she's been wearing to call attention to her newfound maturity) did "Problems" without Iggy Azalea but with some wonderful audience reactions. Check that Rihanna reaction giggle (3:07) and that Blake Shelton glare (3:23). It's true that no one really knows what to make of this. Even Ariana's peers, it seems.

Pharrell won the Innovator Award and performed a tribute to himself. Really:

And Rihanna won Artist of the Year, which is truly baffling considering this was the first year in a while that she didn't actually release an album. Maybe all that Instagramming does count as work:

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images