American girls love British boys: One Direction won artist of the year at the American Music Awards, taking home three honors and was the night’s big winner next to Katy Perry, who didn’t attend the show.
One Direction also won favorite band, duo or group — pop/rock and favorite album — pop/rock for “Midnight Memories” at the fan-voted show on Sunday night. “This has been a real perfect day … America feels like a second home to us,” Liam Payne said onstage with his band mates when they won the night’s first award. The group released its new album, “Four,” last week.
Perry won three honors as well, including single of the year for No. 1 hit “Dark Horse,” favorite female artist — pop/rock and favorite artist — adult contemporary. Though she was absent — she’s on tour in Australia — the 2014 AMAs was still jam-packed with star power at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live. Breakthrough Australian newcomer Iggy Azalea, who was the top nominee with six, won favorite album — rap/hip-hop for “The New Classic” and favorite artist — rap/hip-hop, taking down rap heavyweights Eminem and Drake.
“This award is the first award I’ve ever won in my entire life, and it means so much to me that it is for best hip-hop because that’s what inspired me to move to America and pursue my dreams, and it’s what helped me when I was a teenager to escape and to get through my life and to better times,” the 24-year-old rapper said, as her mentor T.I. stood beside her.
“And it means so much that I can stand here against Eminem and Drake and come out with this,” she continued. Azalea performed her massive hit, “Fancy,” which was nominated for single of the year, as well as her new song, “Beg for It.”
Australian boy band 5 Seconds of Summer won new artist of the year, and they also performed a cover of The Romantics’ “What I Like About You.” Taylor Swift kicked off the AMAs as a mad woman and man eater by feeding a boy a poisonous apple, holding burning roses and giving crazy eyes during a performance of her song about her dating life.
She later received the first-ever Dick Clark Award for Excellence, presented by Diana Ross. “To the fans who went out and bought over a million copies of my last three albums, what you did by going out and investing in music and albums is you’re saying you believe in the same thing I believe in — that music is valuable and that music should be consumed in albums and albums should be consumed as art and appreciated,” said Swift, who recently removed her music from streaming service Spotify.
Beyonce, who didn’t attend, won favorite female artist — soul/R&B and favorite album — soul/R&B for her self-titled effort. Luke Bryan took home favorite male artist — country. “I wanna thank God above for letting me tour night in and night out on the road. I want to thank the fans for making it possible to stand up here and win the awards,” he said, also thanking “my band, my crew, bus driver, momma and them, you know.”
Carrie Underwood was named favorite female artist — country and the soundtrack for “Frozen,” the year’s top-selling album, won top soundtrack.