LOS ANGELES: America proved its Bieber Fever was strong: The teen singer dominated the American Music Awards on Sunday night.
Bieber’s wins included the show’s top award, artist of the year. His mom joined him onstage as he collected the trophy, beating out Rihanna, Maroon 5, Katy Perry and Drake.
“I wanted to thank you for always believing in me,” Bieber said, looking to his mom.
The 18-year-old also won the honor in 2010. He said it’s “hard growing up with everyone watching me” and asked that people continue to believe in him.
Bieber and Nicki Minaj performed together — and separately — at the AMAs and were both multiple winners.
But another collaboration was the night’s most colorful performance: Korean rapper PSY and MC Hammer. Hammer joined the buzzed-about pop star for his viral hit Gangnam Style. PSY rocked traditional “Hammer” pants as they danced to his jam and to Hammer’s Too Legit to Quit.
Bieber won favorite pop/rock male artist in the first award handed out at Sunday’s show and gave a shout-out to those who didn’t think he would last on the music scene.
“I want to say this is for all the haters who thought I was just here for one or two years. I feel like I’m going to be here for a very long time,” he said.
Minaj, who wore three different wigs and four outfits throughout the night, repeated her AMA wins from last year, picking up trophies for favorite rap/hip-hop artists and album for Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. She was in an all-white get-up, including fur coat and pink hair when she performed her new song Freedom.
Bieber’s red and black outfit seemed to be the night’s theme, as Taylor Swift and Usher wore similar ensembles.
Usher kicked off the three-hour show with green laser lights beaming onstage as he performed a medley of songs, including Numb, Climax and Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop, which featured a smoky floor and a number of backup dancers, as Usher jammed in all black, with the exception of his red shoes. He won favorite soul/R&B male artist.
Swift won her fifth consecutive award for favorite country female artist.
“This is unreal. I want to thank the fans. You guys are the ones who voted on this,” she said.
Swift gave a masquerade-themed performance of the pop song I Knew You Were Trouble.
Dick Clark, who created the AMAs, was remembered by Ryan Seacrest and an upbeat performance by Stevie Wonder.
Carly Rae Jepsen, who performed early in the night, won favorite new artist.
“I am floored. Wow,” she said, thanking Bieber and his manager, Scooter Braun.
Party girl Ke$ha was glammed up on the red carpet, rocking long, flowy blonde hair and a light pink dress. She switched to her normal attire when she performed her hit single Die Young. It was tribal, with shirtless dancers in skin-tight pants, silver hair and skeleton-painted faces, who also played the drums.
Kelly Clarkson also hit the stage, making a nod to her American Idol roots with a number on her dress and three judges looking on as she sang Miss Independent. Then she went into Since U Been Gone, Stronger and Catch My Breath.