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Sunday night's star-studded American Music Awards will be "amazing," "emotional" and "insane"

Dick Clark ProductionsGoing into Sunday night's American Music Awards, Bruno Mars is the leading nominee with eight nods.  But it's the musical performances that fans tune in to see...and according to this year's host and producers, there'll be no shortage of memorable, touching and even "insane" moments you won't want to miss.

Those unmissable moments will start right away, with Kelly Clarkson and Pink opening the show with a duet.  "I’m not gonna say what it is -- all I’m saying is you must not miss the opening," raves AMA producer Larry Klein.

"It is quite emotional, it’s an amazing thing," he adds. "It’s two people who have never worked together but have admired one another for many years, and that opening is something that everybody should watch."

"It’s [Kelly's] 15th anniversary of winning American Idol, so she’s gonna throw it back to her very first hit, as well as doing her newest single," AMA producer Mark Bracco tells ABC News. "And then doing something that has never been done before...and it’s insane in the best possible way."

Another highlight will be a tribute to Whitney Houston's The Bodyguard soundtrack, released 25 years ago this week.

"We worked really closely with the Houston estate and many of Whitney’s family members are gonna be in the audience," says Bracco. "Viola Davis is gonna introduce...Christina Aguilera...and she’s gonna perform a medley of the amazing songs from that soundtrack."

black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross hosts the show, and says the moment she's most excited for is the performance by her mom, the iconic Diana Ross, who'll receive this year's Lifetime Achievement Award.

"If you’re gonna hang out for any performance, hang out for my mom!" she tells ABC News. "There’s so much of an emphasis on youth, but to see a woman whose career has spanned so many decades, that is still performing, still on stage, still singing live, still looking shows you what’s possible...and people who’ve never seen her, it’s worth it!"

Overall, Bracco says, "We’re gonna take people on a really great ride with great music with lots of emotion...there’s a lot of memories and nostalgia and it’s gonna be a great night." 

The American Music Awards air live on ABC Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET.  Here are some of the nominees in the top categories:

Artist of the Year
Bruno Mars
The Chainsmokers
Kendrick Lamar
Ed Sheeran

Favorite Female Artist - Pop/Rock
Alessia Cara
Lady Gaga

Favorite Male Artist - Pop/Rock
Bruno Mars
Ed Sheeran

Favorite Duo or Group - Pop/Rock
The Chainsmokers
Imagine Dragons

Favorite Album - Pop/Rock
Bruno Mars -- “24K Magic
Drake -- “More Life”
The Weeknd -  “Starboy”

Favorite Song - Pop/Rock
The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey -- “Closer”
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber -- “Despacito”
Ed Sheeran -- “Shape of You”

Favorite Artist - Adult Contemporary
Bruno Mars
Shawn Mendes
Ed Sheeran

New Artist of the Year presented by T-Mobile
James Arthur
Niall Horan
Julia Michaels
Post Malone
Rae Sremmurd

Collaboration of the Year presented by Xfinity
The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey -- “Closer”
DJ Khaled featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper and Lil Wayne -- “I’m the One”
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber -- “Despacito”
Maroon 5 featuring Kendrick Lamar -- “Don’t Wanna Know”
The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk -- “Starboy”

Tour of the Year
Garth Brooks

Video of the Year
Bruno Mars -- “That’s What I Like”
Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee -- “Despacito”
Ed Sheeran -- “Shape of You”

Favorite Artist - Alternative Rock
Imagine Dragons
Linkin Park
twenty one pilots

Top Soundtrack
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2: Awesome Mix Vol. 2

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