At the American Music Awards
LOS ANGELES — Pop diva Taylor Swift was named artist of the year at the American Music Awards (AMA) last Sunday, while other big winners included British boy band One Direction and crooner Justin Timberlake.
Swift, who took to the stage in a shiny golden minidress, also won favourite country artist and favourite country album for Red at the AMAs, which are voted on by the public.
Other highlights included typically idiosyncratic performances by Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus, who wrapped up the threehour show by singing her hit Wrecking Ball with a giant crying kitten.
Katy Perry opened the show on a Japanese theme, emerging demurely from behind a gei shagirl flanked screen in a kimono, before launching into her latest hit Unconditionally.
The show was aired live from the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles and was hosted by Latino rapper Pitbull. Timberlake was the first winner, winning the favourite pop/rock male prize, as well as best R ’n B/soul album and best male R ’n B/soul artist. One Direction, who sang a strippeddown version of their song Story of My Life, ended the evening as winners for favourite pop/rock group and pop/rock album for Take Me Home. Rihanna won best female R ’n B/soul artist, and was also presented with an AMA Icon award by her mother, who she joked used to say she had “an annoying, husky, littleman voice.”
The evening took a brief political turn when best rap/hiphop album went to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, who used a satellite link speech from Miami to refer to the notorious killing of black Florida teen Trayvon Martin.
“Due to the fact that we are in Florida ... I want to acknowledge Trayvon Martin and the hundreds and hundreds of children each year who are dying due to racial profiling and the violence that follows it,” said Macklemore.
But it was left to Cyrus — closely watched ever since her twerking turn at the MTV Video Music Awards — to end the show in suitably Twitterstorming style, in a catcovered bikini and with a giant kitten singing along.