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American Music Awards

Taylor Swift is tops at American Music Awards

The young country-pop singer adds five AMAs to her trophy collection. Michael Jackson receives four awards posthumously.

November 23, 2009|By Randy Lewis

Not long after 19-year-old country-pop sensation Taylor Swift walked off with the Country Music Assn.'s biggest awards in Nashville, the American Music Awards handed her more trophies to add to her growing collection.

Swift, who came in with a field-leading six nominations, landed all but one of those, including the evening's top honor as artist of the year. She also was named favorite female pop-rock, country and adult contemporary artist. Her "Fearless" CD collected the favorite album trophy.

Michael Jackson was the evening's next big winner, taking four posthumous awards as favorite male pop-rock and soul-R&B artist, while his "Number Ones" hits collection won the favorite soul-R&B and pop-rock album awards.

The pop-rock album category was the only one in which Swift was nominated but did not win.

"There's no one that's ever been able to wow audiences quite like Michael," said Paula Abdul, former "American Idol" judge and onetime choreographer for Jackson, on Sunday, "and I don't think there will ever be someone as magical."

Swift had to skip the show at downtown L.A.'s Nokia Theatre because she was in London rehearsing, but she accepted her awards with enthusiasm by satellite from backstage at Wembley Arena.

"I will never be able to say how much I love you," she told her transatlantic audience.

The AMAs were born in 1973 after the then-new Grammy Awards broadcast shifted to CBS from ABC, and ABC executives wanted a ceremony of their own to fill the gap. Producer Dick Clark came up with the idea of an awards ceremony reflecting popular tastes in music, in contrast to the record industry voting that determines the Grammy winners.

The AMA results are determined by a combination of record sales, radio airplay and input from online fan voting.

Among the evening's other winners, Beyoncé won for favorite female soul-R&B artist and her rapper-husband, Jay-Z, won the favorite hip-hop album award for his hit "Blueprint 3," in addition to being recognized in the rap/hip-hop male artist category.

The Black Eyed Peas collected favorite group in pop-rock and soul-R&B categories, Green Day won for alternative music act and Rascal Flatts took home the country group award. Keith Urban got his first AMA as favorite male country performer, and fledgling country group Gloriana was named the year's breakthrough artist.

Aventura won the Latin music prize, the soundtrack to the hit movie "Twilight" won the trophy in the soundtrack race, and Mary Mary was named best contemporary inspirational act.

Whitney Houston, who delivered an emotional performance on the telecast, was named the international artist of the year.

randy.lewis@latimes.com

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