Taylor Swift toppled pop icon, Michael Jackson Sunday night as the all-time record winner of the American Music Awards.
Swift won the top award, artist of the year, ahead of Drake, Ariana Grande, Halsey and Post Malone.She also won four other awards, including an honorary artist of the decade award, taking her all-time total to 29 American Music Awards, organisers said.
That easily outstripped the 24 awards picked up by Jackson.
“All that matters to me is the memories that I have had with you guys, with you the fans, over the years,” Swift, 29, told the audience at the ceremony in Los Angeles after performing a medley of her old hits.
Swift had been expected to speak out about a long feud with record industry executive Scooter Braun, who owns the master recordings to her first six albums after Swift signed with a new label in 2018.
Swift accused Braun last week of refusing permission for her to sing songs from her back catalog at the awards show. The public spat culminated last week with Braun saying that his family had received numerous death threats after the pop singer urged her 122 million Instagram fans to let Braun “know how you feel about this.”
But on Sunday, the “Fearless” singer made no mention of the dispute, although she opened her performance wearing a white shirt printed with the titles of her old albums.
“This year for me has been a lot. It’s been a lot of good, it’s been a lot of really complicated,” she said, without elaborating.
Khalid won three awards: Favourite male artist (pop/rock), Favourite album (soul/R&B) for Free Spirit, Favourite song (soul/R&B) for Talk.
Newcomer Billie Eilish, 17, took home two statuettes for best new artist and best alternative rock artist after a breakout year that saw her top the U.S. charts with her single “Bad Girl.”
Cardi B and Beyonce took home one award each. Beyonce was crowned Favourite female artist (soul/R&B), while Cardi B won for Favourite artist (rap/Hip-Hop).
“You made it all happen,” said Eilish, thanking her fans.
Eilish showed her support for environmental causes by wearing a T-shirt with the slogan “No Music on a Dead Planet” as she gave her first awards show performance with “All the Good Girls Go to Hell.”
Selena Gomez kicked off the ceremony in her first live TV performance in two years after undergoing a kidney transplant in 2017 and battling anxiety and depression.
Other performers included the Jonas Brothers, Kesha, Halsey, Christina Aguilera and Shania Twain.
The night’s big winners:
Artist of the year – Taylor Swift
Artist of the decade – Taylor Swift
New artist of the year – Billie Eilish
Collaboration of the year – Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello (Senorita)
Favourite alternative rock artist – Billie Eilish
Favourite pop/rock song – Halsey (Without Me)
Favourite rap/hip-hop song – Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus (Old Town Road)
Favourite pop/rock album – Taylor Swift (Lover)
Favourite rap/hip-hop album – Post Malone (Hollywood’s Bleeding)
Favourite country song – Dan + Shay (Speechless)
Favourite country album – Carrie Underwood (Cry Pretty)
Favourite female artist (country) – Carrie Underwood
Favourite duo or group (country) – Dan + Shay
Favourite duo or group (pop/rock) – BTS
Tour of the year – BTS
Favourite music video – Taylor Swift (You Need to Calm Down)
Favorited social artist – BTS
Favourite male artist (pop/rock) – Khalid
Favourite female artist (pop/rock) – Taylor Swift
Favourite male artist (country) – Kane Brown
Favourite artist (rap/Hip-Hop) – Cardi B
Favourite male artist (soul/R&B) – Bruno Mars
Favourite female artist (soul/R&B) – Beyonce
Favourite album (soul/R&B) – Khalid (Free Spirit)
Favourite song (soul/R&B) – Khalid (Talk)
Favourite artist (adult contemporary) – (Taylor Swift)
Favourite artist (Latin) – J Balvin
Favourite soundtrack – Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen)