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Slain Rapper Wins American Music Award

Ceremony: Tupac Shakur is voted favorite rap-hip-hop artist. Alanis Morissette, Toni Braxton are double winners.

January 28, 1997| From Associated Press

Four months after he was gunned down in a still-unsolved Las Vegas attack, Tupac Shakur was named favorite rap-hip-hop artist at the 24th Annual American Music Awards Monday night.

Alanis Morissette and Toni Braxton were double winners on a night when the American Music Awards saluted "The Year of the Woman." But Mariah Carey, nominated for five awards, went home empty-handed.

Actress and singer Brandy accepted the award on behalf of Shakur, who also resurfaces in "Gridlock'd," a film that premiered this month at the Sundance Film Festival.

Braxton, who was tapped for the show's opening number, won favorite female soul R&B artist, and her "Secrets" was the top soul-R&B album.

Morissette, who did not attend the awards show, was favorite pop-rock female artist, and her "Jagged Little Pill" overcame The Beatles' "Anthology 1 & 2" to win pop-rock album.

In all, 20 trophies were awarded in a three-hour ceremony broadcast by ABC from the Shrine Auditorium, hosted by comedian Sinbad.

Garth Brooks was once again the favorite male country artist, his 11th AMA honor since 1991. Shania Twain, a new artist winner last year, was country's favorite female artist this time.

With frequent winner Alabama not in the running this year, Brooks & Dunn were honored as country's top band, duo or group. George Strait's "Blue Clear Sky" won the country album award.

Eric Clapton, who won his only other AMA in 1994, was selected over Bryan Adams and Seal as favorite male pop-rock artist.

Fresh from performing at President Clinton's inauguration, Hootie & The Blowfish won favorite pop-rock band, duo or group. "It was an honor to play for the inauguration, but it wasn't the best gig to have--they don't dance," said band member Soni.

In soul-R&B, Keith Sweat was saluted as male artist and New Edition returned to the winner's podium for the first time in 10 years to claim the favorite band, duo or group trophy. D'Angelo won favorite new artist.

Young newcomer Jewel beat Donna Lewis and No Doubt for favorite new pop-rock artist.

Teenager LeAnn Rimes was honored as country's favorite new artist.

Metallica picked up its second trophy for hard rock-heavy metal artist. Presenter Pat Boone stole the show, appearing in an open leather vest, tattoos and sunglasses to pitch his new album of hard rock classic covers.

Smashing Pumpkins was the winner for alternative music, a category with only one award offered. Bush and Stone Temple Pilots were also-rans.

The soundtrack award went to "Waiting to Exhale," topping "The Nutty Professor" and "The Crow: City of Angels."

The adult contemporary artist winner was Whitney Houston.

The Bee Gees received the International Artist honorary award, which recognizes those artists whose popularity and impact cross national boundaries.

Piano-pounding rocker Little Richard of "Good Golly Miss Molly" fame was presented the Award of Merit in a tribute featuring scheduled hosts David Bowie, Keith Richards and Smokey Robinson. Previous recipients of this award have been Bing Crosby, Irving Berlin, Paul McCartney and Elvis Presley.

Winners of the American Music Awards were selected by a national sampling of about 20,000 listeners, who chose from nominees compiled by music industry publications.

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