American Music Awards 2013: Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake Win Big

It was a big night for Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift at Sunday’s American Music Awards at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

Taylor Swift accepts the Artist of the Year award onstage during the 2013 American Music Awards on November 24, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Disney and ABC Television Group/Flickr

One of the biggest events of the year, the 2013 American Music Awards, didn’t disappoint with all stars like Christina Aguilera and Katy Perry, Rihanna and Luke Bryan, Miley Cyrus and One Direction, and many others appeared at the show. The awards show was hosted by Rapper Pitbull and was broadcasted live from the NOKIA Theater in Los Angeles.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis lead the pack of nominees with six nods, while Taylor Swift and Timberlake follow with five nods apiece.

However despite the plenty of stars shinning at the 2013 American Music Awards, the night truly belonged most of all to Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake.

Swift won the night’s biggest honor, artist of the year, and in her acceptance speech she referenced her award-winning year and defended a frequent criticism of her breakup-focused songs.

“My lucky number is 13, and so far, you guys have made 2013 the best year of my life,” she said.

Before taking home the night’s big award, Swift had already claimed the honor for favorite female country artist and for favorite country album, for “Red.” She also won favorite female pop/rock artist, an award that was not presented during the telecast.

Justin Timberlake and his “20/20 Experience” series also continued their dominance of 2013’s pop music landscape, as they captured three awards. Timberlake and his 2013 album took home the awards for Favorite Male Pop/Rock Artist, Favorite Soul/R&B Album, and Favorite Male Soul/R&B Artist, says the Billboard.

One Direction scored two honors – favorite pop/rock group and favorite pop/rock album for “Take Me Home,” the group’s second album. It was the first time the U.K. boy band was nominated for an AMA.

Single of the year – a new award – went to Florida Georgia Line and Nelly for their hit “Cruise,” topping Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.”

Rihanna swooped up her seventh American Music Award — favorite soul/R&B female artist. It marked the third time she’s won the AMA in that category. Later in the night, the first-ever AMA Icon Award also went to the R&B pop star, with an introduction by Bill Maher, who said that Rihanna “has become the voice of our time.”

In his acceptance speech for Favorite Artist, Alternative Rock, Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds said, “To share the stage with [presenters] Dave Grohl and Joan Jett, you guys are legends and that’s incredible. Seriously. We’ve been a band for five years. And to be here at the American Music Awards is very surreal to us.”

The new artist of the year award went to Ariana Grande, 20, who beat out Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Florida Georgia Line, Imagine Dragons and 2012 “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis won for favorite rap and hip-hop album for “The Heist.” The two accepted live via satellite from Miami, where Macklemore used their location to implore listeners to fight racism, noting that Florida was the state where Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman and the state’s Stand Your Ground statute was cited.

Other winner include Marc Anthony or favorite Latin music artist and Swedish newcomer Avicii won for favorite electronic dance music artist.

In addition to the awards, the show featured performances by Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Kendrick Lamar, One Direction and Luke Bryan. Rihanna performed the song “Diamonds,” off her latest album Unapologetic, and Lady Gaga in her JFK–Marilyn Monroe-like show and played out a presidential tryst before launching into duet with R. Kelly for the song “Do What U Want.”

Jennifer Lopez performed a tribute to Celia Cruz. Justin Timberlake wielded an acoustic guitar for his bluesy, rockish number “Drink You Away.” And Florida Georgia Line traded verses with Nelly on the country duo’s “Cruise” and the rapper’s “Ride Wit Me.” Other performers included Imagine Dragons, Ariana Grande, Maklemore and Ryan Lewis, Pitbull featuring Ke$ha, Christina Aguilera and Ian Axel, and TLC with Lil Mama filling in for Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes.

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