LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Boy bands bested pop’s leading women in the top award categories at the American Music Awards on Sunday, but the ladies delivered the most high-octane performances including a derriere-flaunting number by Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea.
British boy band One Direction won the top award of the night for artist of the year, and led the winners with three accolades in the fan-voted awards.
Boy band power proved strong as Australian newcomers 5 Seconds of Summer won the coveted new artist of the year award.
“As musicians, we receive so much critique and we really question what we’re doing, but I think this validates that I’m on the right path,” the 24-year-old Azalea said.
A sultry Taylor Swift performed “Blank Space” on stage and was awarded the first-ever Dick Clark Award for Excellence, in memory of the founder of the American Music Awards who died in 2012. She received the award from R&B diva Diana Ross.
“I’m so blown away to have just received an award from Diana Ross, who over the course of her career stood up for herself so many times in a period when it wasn’t popular for women to stand up for themselves,” Swift said.
Much of the three-hour awards show, aired on ABC, was dedicated to performances dominated by the ladies of pop music, including a raunchy rendition of “Booty” by Azalea and Lopez, with lots of rump-shaking.
Grande sang “One Less Problem” and “Break Free” with a jazz twist while an emotional Gomez sang “The Heart Want What It Wants,” rumored to be about her on-off relationship with Justin Bieber. Minaj and Skylar Grey performed their duet “Bed of Lies.”
Grande and Minaj later spiced up the stage with Jessie J with their upbeat “Bang Bang.”