Drake wins two American Music Awards, Zayn is best new artist

PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES - Canadian rapper Drake won his first ever American Music Awards on Sunday (Nov 20) and former One Direction boy band member Zayn was voted best new artist.

Drake, 30, who got a leading 13 nominations, took home the awards for best rap/hip-hop artists and album for his best-selling "Views", which earlier this year became the first album to earn one billion streams on Apple Music.

"For our genre, I like to keep things exciting and keep making music... more like this is coming soon," Drake said, accepting the award.

Pop singer Selena Gomez, 24, surprised fans by making her first major public appearance since cutting short her world tour in August to deal with anxiety, panic attacks and depression caused by an earlier diagnosis of lupus.

Gomez walked the red carpet in a red full-length gown and is a contender for the night's top prize - artist of the year - to be announced at the end of the evening.

Zayn Malik, who quit British boy band One Direction last year to launch a solo career, beat Canadian newcomer Shawn Mendes to take the best new artist trophy.

"It's been a crazy year... I didn't expect anyone to still vote for me," said Zayn, who uses his first name as his stage name.

American Music Awards 2016 highlights

  • All eyes were on the TV personality when she showed up in a jaw-dropping black dress that had a slit that went all the way up - and we mean way up there. For those who need greater detail, it went beyond her hips.
  • Singer Selena Gomez wore a glamorous red Prada gown for the awards show.
  • Heidi Klum's gold jumpsuit did nothing for us and was a rather odd outfit choice for an event like the AMAs.
  • Leave it to Olivia Munn to take things further. The actress wore a skimpy babydoll number that displayed not just her bosom but her legs too.
  • Co-host Gigi Hadid showed off her ample bosom in this sexy black number.
  • Singer Idina Menzel also went for a sexy look on Sunday night (Nov 21).
  • Considering her usual flamboyant self, Gaga's outfit supposedly has a hidden message. Her low-key look could be due to her way of "dealing with the aftershocks of the presidential election" that recently took place in the US.
  • Lady Gaga was among the dozens of other performers on the Los Angeles stage.
  • Featured performers included Sting, who released his first pop/rock album in a decade, 57th and 9th, and who sang a medley of his greatest hits.
  • Canadian rapper Drake won his first ever American Music Awards
  • and former One Direction boy band member Zayn was voted best new artist.
  • Pop singer Selena Gomez surprised fans by making her first major public appearance since cutting short her world tour to deal with anxiety, panic attacks and depression caused by an earlier diagnosis of lupus.
  • Girl group Fifth Harmony, formed during the X-Factor TV talent show, won best collaboration for Work From Home
  • Tim McGraw won favourite country song for Humble and Kind

Girl group Fifth Harmony, formed during the X-Factor TV talent show, won best collaboration for Work From Home, Twenty One Pilots were voted best pop/rock group, and Tim McGraw won favourite country song for Humble and Kind.

Despite an overwhelming lead in nominations, Drake was knocked out of the running for artist of the year before Sunday's show had started.

The American Music Awards are entirely fan-voted, and the 10 artist of the year nominees were pared down by fans last week to five. Beyonce, Adele, The Weeknd and Twenty One Pilots were also removed from contention, leaving Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Gomez, Ariana Grande and Carrie Underwood vying for the title.

Bieber, whose five nominations include favourite video, male artist, pop/rock album and song, performed "Never Give Up" via satellite from a concert in Italy.

Featured performers on Sunday will include Sting, who last week released his first pop/rock album in a decade, 57th and 9th, and who is to sing a medley of his greatest hits.

The British singer-songwriter is to be presented with an honorary award recognising his contribution to the music industry.

Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, Niall Horan, James Bay and John Legend were among the dozens of other performers on the Los Angeles stage.

The American Music Awards were created in 1973 as an alternative to the Grammys. This year, organisers added new categories for tour and video of the year while the crowded song of the year race was split into different categories for pop/rock, country, R&B/soul and rap/hip-hop.

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