Justin Bieber Gets Serious With 'Pray' At AMAs

Teen star performed his new ballad at Sunday's American Music Awards.

Sitting at a piano, [artist id="3187077"]Justin Bieber[/artist] showed his haters he's more than a pretty face and floppy hair for his American Music Awards performance. Bieber played his new single, the uplifting ballad "Pray," which is a departure from his usual upbeat pop fare.

There were no pyrotechnics and no backup dancers. The beginning of the performance was all about Bieber singing the new track off his My Worlds Acoustic album (out on Friday). Midway through the song, however, Bieber threw in that showmanship that's made him famous.

Just one performance after Katy Perry used a children's choir for her performance of her equally inspirational song, "Firework," Bieber was joined by a choir of his own. He ended the song on his knees while the crowd rose to their feet to give him a standing ovation.

The track — which features a mid-tempo, world-music beat, synths and Bieber's vocals in a lower key than we've heard before — repeats one simple refrain in the chorus. "I close my eyes and I can see a better day/ I close my eyes and pray," he sings.

"It's a very uplifting song, very motivational," Bieber told Ryan Seacrest earlier this week about the song. "It definitely comes from the heart. It's very beautiful. I definitely thought of Michael [Jackson's] 'Man in the Mirror' when I was writing it.

The track can be found on the singer's third release in a year, which features acoustic versions of some of his biggest hits like "Baby."

What did you think of Justin Bieber's AMA performance? Share your thoughts in the comments.