Taylor Swift smashed Michael Jackson’s award record at the AMAs, Billie Eilish and Selena Gomez rocked the stage – but why were BTS a no-show?

Taylor Swift has moonwalked past Michael Jackson’s record at the 2019 American Music Awards (AMAs), taking home six honours – including artist of the year and artist of the decade.


Taylor Swift poses for photographers as she arrives at the 2019 American Music Awards in Los Angeles. Photo: EPA-EFE

The 29-year-old pop star, who walked into Sunday (November 24) night’s show with 23 AMAs, surpassed the King of Pop’s 24 wins at the fan-voted show. She rambled onstage as she won the final award of the night – artist of the year – and repeatedly thanked her fans for always showing up, during both the good and bad times.

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Taylor Swift accepts the award for artist of the year at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles. Photo: AP

“This year has been a lot of good, a lot of really complicated, so on behalf of my family and me, thank you so much for being there and caring,” said Swift, who now has 29 AMAs.

It was a family affair at the AMAs: Swift’s father and teary-eyed mother sang along as the singer performed a medley of her hit songs – a performance Swift said in a November 15 social media post was put in jeopardy by Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun, the owners of her master recordings.

She didn’t mention the men, or the ongoing feud, during her acceptance speeches at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, but she did thank her new label for allowing her to freely express herself as an artist.

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“This album really felt like a new beginning, and I also really love my record label, Universal and Republic. Monte Lipman, Lucian Grainge – thank you for being so generous to me and allowing me to make whatever music I want to make,” Swift said after winning favourite pop/rock album for “Lover”, her first album not released on Borchetta’s Big Machine Label Group. “As a songwriter it’s so thrilling to me that I get to keep doing that.”

Swift’s other wins include favourite female pop/rock artist, favourite adult contemporary artist and favourite music video for You Need to Calm Down – Swift’s loud LGBTQ+ statement, which also marked a very public reconciliation with Katy Perry.

Other big winners at the AMAs included Khalid and BTS – neither act attended the show but both won three prizes.

Billie Eilish picked up two awards – new artist of the year and favourite alternative rock artist. She also took to the stage – surrounded by fire – to perform her song, All the Good Girls Go to Hell.


Billie Eilish poses backstage with her awards for new artist of the year and favourite artist – alternative rock. Photo: Reuters


Lizzo performs at the 2019 American Music Awards. Photo: Reuters

Lizzo, who was nominated for three honours but walked away empty handed, screamed at the top of her lungs while performing the ballad Jerome, one of several songs from her album “Cuz I Love You” that also earned her a leading eight Grammy nominations.

Christina Aguilera was a vocal powerhouse when she took the stage alongside A Great Big World. Rehabilitated rock icon Ozzy Osbourne – who has been recovering from a bad fall that took place earlier this year – was another highlight, when he performed Take What You Want with Post Malone and Travis Scott.


Christina Aguilera arrives for the 2019 American Music Awards in Los Angeles. Photo: EPA-EFE


Billy Porter arrives at the American Music Awards. Photo: Invision/AP

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Selena Gomez arrives for the 2019 American Music Awards in Los Angeles. Photo: AFP


Toni Braxton performs the nostalgic classic ‘Unbreak My Heart’ at the American Music Awards. Photo: Invision/AP

Shania Twain closed the night with a memorable performance. Other nostalgic performances included Toni Braxton and Green Day.


Taylor Swift, Shania Twain and Ciara onstage at the 2019 American Music Awards. Photo: Reuters

Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello heated up the stage as they stood close together while singing Senorita, staring in each other’s eyes as they sang from one microphone at times. They even rubbed noses at the end.


Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes perform Senorita at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles. Photo: Invision/AP

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Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello pose with their award for collaboration of the year. Photo: Reuters

The pair won collaboration of the year for their No 1 hit song. Other winners included Dan + Shay, Halsey and Lil Nas X. Top nominee Post Malone took home favourite rap/hip-hip album for “Hollywood’s Bleeding” and Carrie Underwood was appropriately teary-eyed as she won favourite country album for “Cry Pretty”.


Carrie Underwood poses in the press room with the awards for favourite country album, for ‘Cry Pretty’, and favourite female country artist at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles. Photo: Invision/AP


Halsey poses for photographers as she arrives at the 2019 American Music Awards in Los Angeles. Photo: EPA-EFE


German model Heidi Klum poses for photographers as she arrives at the 2019 American Music Awards in Los Angeles. Photo: EPA-EFE

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“It’s been a wonderful year,” Underwood said.

Selena Gomez kicked off the AMAs as Swift and Halsey got out of their seats to cheer their pal on. R&B singer Ciara hosted the show, which aired live on ABC.

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