The best dressed stars at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards

On Sunday, March 11, 2018, the music industry's biggest stars gathered at The Forum in Inglewood, California for the fifth annual iHeartRadio Music Awards. Hosted by DJ Khaled and Hailey Baldwin, the live show — which was simulcast on TNT, TBS, and truTV — honored some of today's biggest stars along with performances of your favorite hits. 

Artists like Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift were notably absent from the award show, but both accepted their respective awards remotely with Sheeran providing a live performance from Australia and Swift introducing the world premiere of her new video for "Delicate" off her 2017 Reputation album. 

Despite the celebs who couldn't make it to the awards show in person, there were still many well-dressed celebs on hand in California to make the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards a truly fashionable event. In case you missed it, here are the best dressed stars from the night.

Opening the show with a bang

It wouldn't be a music awards show without epic musical performances, and Cardi B certainly did not disappoint with her medley of songs that kicked off the show. Clad head-to-toe in black, including a spike-studded leather jacket, tulle tutu with a long flowing train, fishnet tights, and a biker hat to tie it all together, Cardi made it clear from the moment she took the stage that she intended to take the night by storm. 

She kicked off the medley with her newest single "Bartier Cardi" transitioned into her verse from the collaboration with Nicki Minaj and Migos, "Motorsport," and was then joined onstage by G-Eazy for "No Limit." The rapper then flawlessly transitioned to her hit "Bodak Yellow" and rounded it out with her part from "Finesse," the Bruno Mars track on which she's featured. But that wasn't it for Cardi. 

After winning the award for Best New Artist, she let all her fans (and haters) know exactly how she felt. "I'm going to thank a lot of people because a lot of people helped me with my success," she began her acceptance speech. The rapper thanked her team, her family, her man, and her fans before adding one unexpected message. "I want to thank my haters, too," she started, punctuating her speech with exaggerated laughter. "They be downloading my stuff so they can hear it and talk crap about it, but it benefits me!"

Host with the most

Although she co-hosted the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards alongside DJ Khaled, it was model Hailey Baldwin who stole the hosting spotlight, at least in the fashion department. Before the show, she sat down for an interview with Us Weekly and revealed, "There will be quite a few outfit changes throughout the night. It's a music event, so it can be more fun, more sparkle." 

Baldwin was true to her word. She rocked several fabulous and sparkly looks throughout the night, but arguably none was more conversation-provoking than what she wore when she stepped out on stage the first time. In addition to sparkly pants and a statement belt, Baldwin wore a simple black t-shirt with the words "Stoneman Douglas High" across the front, referring to the high school where the Parkland, Florida school shooting occurred in February 2018. 

While Baldwin's other looks were what you might expect from a model co-host, it was this shirt that that set the tone for the evening, showing her silent support for the victims and survivors of the shooting. Later, Big Sean introduced a young man named Alex Moscou, one of the Parkland shooting survivors, who reminded viewers about the March for Our Lives, which has been organized by several of the Parkland survivors.

Making a statement about women's rights

It wasn't just host Hailey Baldwin who chose to make a silent political statement of support with her fashion choices at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards. When Pharrell Williams took the stage to introduce Chance the Rapper as the recipient of the Innovator Award, he did so wearing jeans and a multicolored jacket that simply had the words "Women's Rights" across the front. 

Although Williams did not acknowledge his choice of attire on the air, it echoed his sentiments from a 2017 commencement speech he gave at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in which he proclaimed (via Refinery29), "We need to lift up our women." The star then advised the graduates, "Imagine the possibilities when women are not held back. Your generation is unraveling deeply entrenched laws, principles, and misguided values that have held women back for far too long, and therefore, have held us all back, the human race."

A true Innovator

While Pharrell Williams may have made a silent statement with his jacket, he spoke out loud and clear about the fashion tendencies of Innovator Award recipient Chance the Rapper. Not only did Williams emphasize how wildly successful Chance the Rapper is for his age, he also noted the rapper's tendency to dress like he's from one of Williams' favorite video games — Mario Kart — alluding to the Chance's predilection for overalls. But there were no overalls for Chance the Rapper that night. 

After arriving to the show in an Obama hoodie, the rapper accepted his award in light wash jeans, a striped sweater, a color-block windbreaker, and his signature "3" hat, proving yet again that he's the most real and down-to-earth rapper out there. 

In his acceptance speech, he thanked not only Pharrell and the other innovative artists who inspire him, such as James Brown, Ray Charles, and Prince, but took the time to give a special shout out to the "contemporary women" who have made strides for streaming rights, specifically Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift, and Beyoncé. 

"I'm following behind a lot of other people and it takes a lot more of us coming together as artists to regain our control and power as we should have it," he said. "Thank you to all the artists before me and after me. This is for you guys."

An inspiration to us all

When Laverne Cox stepped on stage to present the first ever iHeartRadio Fangirls Award, she did so with the poise and flair we all love and expect from her. The Orange is the New Black star looked gorgeously fierce in a one-shoulder black Rachel Zoe jumpsuit that had a gorgeous crystal stripe down the outer seam and an embellished neckline, along with a matching silver belt. 

She described the award recipient as someone who "takes risks and defies all the odd," raising her voice over the cheers of the crowd. And with one last hair flip, she presented the award to Camila Cabello — a relative newcomer in the music industry who "uses her voice to fight" for those less fortunate. There couldn't have been a better choice for the presenter for such an award because, as Cabello noted herself in her acceptance speech, "It's people like Laverne who inspire me to be brave and inspires all of us to be brave."

Who needs a girl group?

She may have gotten her start as a member of pop group Fifth Harmony, but Camila Cabello proved yet again that she has the makings of a wildly successful solo artist. She accepted the first ever iHeartRadio Fangirls Award "for her ability to push beyond her naysayers and break boundaries" wearing a long colorful skirt and mostly sheer black top that was both gorgeous and understated. 

Cabello told the audience, "I want to thank L'Oreal and I want to thank iHeart for giving me this award. I fully believe in what it stands for and taking risks and pushing boundaries." She also reminded her fans that they have it within themselves to do the same. "I really want all of you to remember that you can do anything that you set your mind to." 

Cabello also proved that earlier in the night when she successfully channeled Madonna while dressing up as Marilyn Monroe — à la Gentlemen Prefer Blondes — for her performance of "Havana." She rocked the hot pink dress complete with thigh high pink boots, long pink gloves, and matching pink cat eye glasses.

Most gorgeous dog mom of the night

Paris Hilton is a divisive person, to say the least. From her beginnings as a reality television personality (not to mention that leaked tape) to her brief movie career and assertions that she "invented the selfie," people love to hate Hilton. Love her or hate her, you can't deny that the woman has some serious style (and more than a little tongue-in-cheek self-awareness). 

Presenting the award for Cutest Musician's Pet, Hilton graced the stage in a Charbel Zoe Couture red lace dress and was accompanied by none other than her own pet, Diamond Baby the Chihuahua, whose own look included a crown. In a nod to her supposed invention of the selfie, Hilton noted as she was presenting that she also "invented having a celebrity pet." There's that tongue-in-cheek Hilton we were talking about. 

It may have been Ariana Grande's dog Toulouse who took home the official award, but you can't deny that when it comes to stylish pet parents, Hilton's right up there with the best of them.

The early 2000s are back

If you turned on your television and questioned what year it was, that could be because of stars like Eve (who presented an award alongside Jenna Dewan Tatum), Eminem (whose performance with Kehlani included a gun violence theme in the intro), and Ne-Yo (who said he was "looking forward to … being a fan" during the pre-show). But the early 2000s-to-now star who stole the style spotlight was certainly Ashanti. 

The singer walked the red carpet in a wine-colored sequined pantsuit whose shimmer and shine were matched only by the deep v-cut neckline and what appeared to be a matching fur stole she carried draped over her shoulder. The singer recently made headlines when another sparkly number went a bit see-through at the 2018 Grammy Awards, so while her iHeartRadio Music Awards choice is the "safer" bet of the two, there's no denying that shine and the message it sends. Ashanti is back, y'all.

Little Randall is all of us

You probably recognize this pint-sized cutie as the young Randall on This Is Us, but it turns out that Lonnie Chavis is more than just the adorable face he portrays on television. While attending the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards, Chavis proved that he's not only stylish, but he also has confidence for days. 

Walking the red carpet in dark pants, a white button down, silver sneakers, and a super cool black leather jacket, clearly Chavis has better style as a pre-teen than most of us will have our entire lives. So how is the mini-star just like all of us? Just check out how he reacted to meeting Cardi B — with a starry-eyed selfie, of course. Chavis proves that even the famous get starstruck around some fellow celebs, and that you're never too young to be a fashionable risk-taker. Now where can we get a pair of those silver sneakers?

It's now or never

While many of the performers and award winners at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards were young or otherwise new to their craft, one band was honored for their contribution to music over more than three decades. Jon Bon Jovi's eponymous band was honored at the award show with Icon of the Year for 2018 and the frontman looked just as stylish and handsome as ever. Dressed in a black suit with a black button down and finished off with a black tie covered in stars, the legendary performer and silver fox proved he's still got it. 

Upon accepting the award for the band, he thanked many people who have contributed to the band's success over the years, including the fans, before addressing the other musicians in the crowd. "We've been at this game a long time," he said, "and the only advice I'll tell this incredible generation of incredible talent is just stay true to who you are and then they're going to make you guys icons too someday." 

Of course, no Bon Jovi appearance would be complete without a performance, and the band didn't disappoint, treating the audience to portions of both "It's My Life" and "You Give Love A Bad Name."