Trinidad native rapper Nicki Minaj took home two American Music Awards, while Taylor Swift went home the biggest winner with with three awards including the Artist of the Year trophy at Sunday night’s show held at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.
Taylor Swift presented Nicki Minaj with Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album for her debut Pink Friday. The Harajuku Barbie beat out her male counterparts Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne and Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV to nab the trophy.
“This one could actually make me cry. I can’t believe this is happening,” said a tearful Nicki. “Again, I have to thank God and I have to thank Lil Wayne because without him, I would not be here.”
Minaj again trumped Kanye West and her Young Money boss and mentor Lil Wayne to win Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist.
“There’s so much love in this room. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for this love. I didn’t think I would win it,” said Nicki. “There’s power in your peace—hold your peace.”
Rihanna took home Favorite Soul/R&B Album for last year’s LOUD, beating Chris Brown’s F.A.M.E. and Beyoncé’s 4. Though RiRi couldn’t be in attendance due to touring, the Bajan songstress checked in with a pre-recorded segment. “Thank you so much. This means a lot for me to win this award,” she said. “I love you guys. Thanks to all my fans who showed me all this support.”
Adele, who is recovering from her recent throat surgery, swept in the Pop/Rock Favorite Female Artist and Favorite Album categories as well as Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist, tying Swift for three awards.
Nicki Minaj and David Guetta kicked off the 39th annual American Music Awards last night. The show also featured performances from Drake, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Mary J. Blige, Pitbull, Ludacris, LMFAO, and more. 50 Cent, Jennifer Hudson, Bruno Mars, Sean Kingston, John Legend, and Lionel Richie were among the presenters.
See full list of winners below.
POP or ROCK MUSIC
Favorite Male Artist – Bruno Mars
Favorite Female Artist – Adele
Favorite Band, Duo or Group – Maroon 5
Favorite Album – Adele – 21
Favorite Male Artist – Blake Shelton
Favorite Female Artist – Taylor Swift
Favorite Band, Duo or Group – Lady Antebellum
Favorite Album – Taylor Swift – Speak Now
Favorite Artist – Nicki Minaj
Favorite Album – Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday
SOUL/RHYTHM & BLUES MUSIC
Favorite Male Artist – Usher
Favorite Female Artist – Beyoncé
Favorite Album – Rihanna – LOUD
ALTERNATIVE ROCK MUSIC
Favorite Artist – Foo Fighters
ADULT CONTEMPORARY MUSIC
Favorite Artist – Adele
Favorite Artist – Jennifer Lopez
Favorite Artist – Casting Crowns
SPRINT NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Hot Chelle Rae
ARTIST OF THE YEAR