Taylor Swift’s fans have done it again, voting her the American Music Awards artist of the year for a third time.
Swift won Sunday night’s top honor and tied Justin Timberlake for the show’s overall total with three wins. The 23-year-old pop star also won country album of the year for “Red” and favorite female country artist.
“ ‘Red’ is very different than any album I’ve made before, and the reason I was able to do that was because of the fans,” Swift said. “I cannot believe what you’ve done in the last year. This album came out almost exactly a year ago, and the fact that 6 million of you went out and bought it is crazy.”
One Direction won two awards, and Rihanna was given the AMA’s first Icon Award to go with her win as favorite soul/R&B female artist.
Rihanna’s mother, Monica Fenty, presented her pop-star daughter with the award midway through the show at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.
“Can we talk about how cute Rihanna’s mom is?” Timberlake asked while accepting one of his three awards.
One Direction was at times drowned out by screams during an understated performance of “Story of My Life.” The decibel level was that way from the moment the British boy band arrived on the carpet, all smiles and dapper suits. Harry Styles stopped to take a picture with three fans.
Nickelodeon star Ariana Grande was named favorite new artist, Florida Georgia Line won single of the year for “Cruise” with Nelly in something of a surprise, Luke Bryan won favorite male country artist, and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis used their acceptance speech for favorite rap/hip-hop album to send a message of tolerance.
Timberlake strapped on an acoustic guitar and played a soulfully raucous version of “Drink You Away.” Macklemore crowd-surfed on “Can’t Hold Us.” And Jennifer Lopez absolutely nailed the elaborate dance numbers during her tribute to salsa queen Celia Cruz, taking two dozen dancers through their paces while wearing a shimmering silver dress.