JoJo Siwa, left, takes a selfie with BTS on stage as they accept the
award for favorite pop duo or group at the American Music Awards on
November 21, 2021 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (AP
Hitmakers BTS stamp their authority on American
By Mark Kennedy
The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — South Korean superstars BTS were crowned artist of
the year at the American Music Awards (AMA) on Sunday, brushing aside
challenges from Taylor Swift, Drake, and The Weeknd as they took home a
total of three awards and teamed up with Coldplay for a raucous "My
Universe" and closed the show with "Butter."
"Seven boys from Korea, united by love for music, met the love and
support from all the armies all over the world," said BTS’ RM after the
group won their artist of the year for the first time. "This whole thing
is a miracle. Seriously, we would never take this for granted."
The band was also named favorite pop duo or group and got the
favorite pop song award for "Butter."
The show celebrated the best popular music for a second pandemic year
with a mix of live and pre-taped performances. Silk Sonic’s Bruno Mars
and Anderson .Paak kicked off the awards on a funky, R&B and pre-taped
note with their "Smokin Out the Window" and Jennifer Lopez pre-taped her
"On My Way" from her upcoming romantic comedy Marry Me.
An earlier scheduled performance of "Butter" by BTS and Megan Thee
Stallion was scrapped after the rapper cited personal reasons for
dropping out Saturday. She turned out to be a big winner: named favorite
female hip-hop artist, her "Good News" winning for favorite hip-hop
album and her "Body" was crowned favorite trending song, a new award
Olivia Rodrigo came into the night with a leading seven nominations
but only took home the crown for favorite new artist of the year.
"Writing songs is my favorite thing in the whole world and I am so
grateful for everyone who has embraced my music," she said.
Rodrigo lost favorite pop album to Taylor Swift’s "evermore." In a
taped speech, Swift told her fans: "I’m so lucky to be in your life."
Swift also won for favorite female pop artist, giving her a career total
of 34, the record for the most awarded artist in AMA history.
Rodrigo performed her hit "traitor" live on a stage covered with
flowers and Carrie Underwood and Jason Aldean brought a little country
to the stage when they sang their pre-taped duet "If I Didn’t Love You."
With a little help from Julieta Venegas and Tainy, Bad Bunny performed
their hit "Lo Siento BB :/."
Among live performances, Italian band Måneskin made their U.S. awards
show debut with their viral hit "Beggin." Chlöe of Chloe x Halle floated
down onto the stage to perform her hit debut single as a soloist "Have
Mercy," swinging her hair and twerking. Mickey Guyton got loud cheers
while singing her patriotic song "All American" in a silvery dress,
periodically screaming out "How y’all doing?"
The fan-voted awards show aired live from Los Angeles on ABC.
Nominees were based on streaming, album and digital sales, radio
airplay, and social activity, and reflect the time period of September
25, 2020 through September 23, 2021.
Becky G won for favorite female Latin artists and thanked the Latinx
community. "You are not alone," she said. "We are the American dream."
Machine Gun Kelly grabbed the favorite rock artist award. "I want to
accept this for all the aspiring musicians, the one who desires to play
an instrument, wants to rap, wants to sing — not just the rock artists,
but all the artists," he said.
Earlier Sunday, in awards announced before the show, Swift was named
favorite female pop artist, Ed Sheeran got the favorite male award, and
Doja Cat featuring SZA on "Kiss Me More" was named collaboration of the
year. Kanye West was named favorite gospel artist.
Underwood won for favorite inspirational artist and favorite female
country artist and Doja Cat also won two other awards: favorite female
R&B artist and her "Planet Her" was named favorite R&B album.
Luke Bryan was named favorite country artist and Bad Bunny was the
favorite male Latin artist. The Weeknd was crowned favorite male R&B
artist and Drake won the favorite male hip-hop artist. Gabby Barrett
took home the favorite country album for "Goldmine" and favorite country
song for "The Good Ones."
For the older viewers, New Edition and New Kids on the Block
performed together. The Boston-based groups took turns with the hits,
trading hits: "You Got It (The Right Stuff"), "Candy Girl," "Step By
Step," "Mr. Telephone Man," and uniting for "Can You Stand the Rain,"
"Is This the End," "Hangin’ Tough," and "If It Isn’t Love."
The favorite Latin album went to Bad Bunny’s "El Último Tour Del
Host Cardi B, wearing a constant stream of new outfits, revved up the
crowd. Later her song "Up" was named favorite hip-hop song. The
Associated Press was not able to transmit images of Cardi B while she
was onstage because her representatives required approval, a restriction
The AP would not accept.
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