UPDATE 1-Bieber sweeps American Music Awards with big wins

Piya Sinha-Roy
Reuters Middle East

* Bieber wins top prize as artist of the year

* Performances by Taylor Swift, Psy, Pink, No Doubt

* Tributes to Dick Clark, Whitney Houston

(Recasts at end of show, adds details throughout)

LOS ANGELES, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Canadian pop star Justin

Bieber swept the American Music Awards on Sunday, topping strong

competition from Rihanna and Nicki Minaj, and sending newcomers

British boybands One Direction and The Wanted home empty-handed.

Bieber, 18, won all three categories in which he was

nominated, including the night's biggest award, artist of the

year, over Rihanna, Katy Perry, Maroon 5 and Drake.

"This is for all the haters who thought that maybe I was

just here for one or two years, but I feel like I am going to be

here for a very long time," Bieber said on stage, dedicating his

first win of the night to his mother, Pattie Mallette, who

accompanied him after his widely reported split from girlfriend

Selena Gomez.

"It's hard growing up with everything going on, with

everyone watching me. I wanted to say that as long as you guys

keep believing in me, I want to always make you proud," Bieber

said at the end of the night.

Bieber, who also won favorite pop/rock male artist and

favorite pop/rock album for "Believe," took to a bare stage to

sing an acoustic stripped-down version of his latest single "As

Long As You Love Me" before livening up the show with Nicki

Minaj for "Beauty and a Beat."

The American Music Award nominees and winners are voted

online by fans, and the awards are handed out during a live

three-hour broadcast featuring performances by artists.

R&B singer Rihanna, 24, and rapper Minaj, 29, led the

nominees going into Sunday's awards with four apiece.

Minaj won favorite rap/hip hop artist and rap/hip hop album

of the year for "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded." The singer, known

for her extravagant on-stage performances, sang her latest hit

"Freedom" in a winter wonderland-themed set.

Rihanna came away with one win. She couldn't make the show

because she is in Berlin, midway through a seven-day tour across

seven cities around the world promoting her upcoming

"Unapologetic" album.

Canadian pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen, 26, picked up the

coveted new artist-of-the-year award over One Direction,

Australian artist Gotye, indie-pop band fun. and rapper J. Cole.

She performed her hit "Call Me Maybe."

"I am floored," the singer said, thanking Bieber along with

her fans in her acceptance speech.


Newcomer British-Irish boy bands One Direction, which had

three nominations, and The Wanted, which had one nomination,

went home empty-handed, losing out in the favorite pop/rock

group category to well-established Los Angeles group Maroon 5.

French DJ David Guetta won the first-ever American Music

Award for electronic dance music over DJs Calvin Harris and


"It's wonderful also to see electronic music recognized at

this level in the U.S.," Guetta said in a taped acceptance


Only 13 of the 20 awards were handed out during the live

broadcast. Katy Perry was named favorite female pop/rock artist,

Shakira was named favorite Latin artist, while Beyonce was voted

favorite soul artist. None of the three attended the show.

Country-pop darling Taylor Swift, 22, scored the favorite

female country artist award before performing her latest single

"I Knew You Were Trouble" from her chart-topping album "Red," on

a masquerade ballroom-style stage with dancers in tuxedos, gowns

and Venetian masks.

R&B star Usher kicked off the night with a medley of his

hits on a laser-filled stage, while pop-rocker Pink teamed her

performance of her latest single "Try" with a dramatic

interpretive dance covered in paint with a male dancer on a

stage filled with burning debris.

1990s ska-punk band No Doubt performed "Looking Hot" from

their first album in a decade, "Push & Shove," while rockers

Linkin Park performed their latest "Burn It Down" after winning

favorite alternative rock band over The Black Keys and Gotye.

Korean rapper Psy didn't score any nominations, but he was

named the AMA new media honoree for his viral hit music video

"Gangnam Style," accompanied by his trademark horse-riding


The star closed out the show with his hit song, joined by

surprise guest MC Hammer, one of the pioneering rappers from the

1980s, who was known for his catch phrase 'Hammer Time.'

Singer Brandy paid tribute to the late Whitney Houston, who

died suddenly at age 48 on the night before the Grammy Awards in

February this year from accidental drowning.

AMA founder Dick Clark, who also passed away earlier this

year, was given a touching tribute by veteran soul singer Stevie

Wonder, who sang a medley of hits including "Hotter Than July"

and "My Cherie Amour," against a backdrop of pictures of Clark.

Wonder was introduced by "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest, who

also paid homage to Clark's influence.

"Dick loved the power of music and the ability to create

pure joy," Seacrest said.

The awards show, which marked its 40th anniversary this

year, treated the audience to some of its greatest moments,

including R&B star Beyonce performing "Single Ladies" at the

2008 show, Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff at the 1989 awards show,

and various clips of AMA regular, the late singer Michael


(Additional reporting by Jill Serjeant, editing by Christine

Kearney and Philip Barbara)

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