K-pop's BTS snag top prize at American Music Awards

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - K-pop band BTS were the big winners at the American Music Awards on Sunday (Nov 21) just four years after making their first appearance on the fan-voted show.

The seven-member band from South Korea beat veteran Taylor Swift, rapper Drake, pop singer Ariana Grande, teen phenomenon Olivia Rodrigo and Canadian singer The Weeknd for the night's biggest prize - Artiste of the Year.

Adored by an army of fervent fans, they also were named Favourite Pop Group and won Best Pop Song for their summer hit Butter.

The band, known for their positive uplifting music, called the Artiste of the Year win a miracle.

"We're truly honoured to be on this stage with such amazing, tremendous artistes," said leader Kim Nam-joon, known as RM.

"It's been a long and amazing ride ... nobody could have ever bet on the odds of us standing here and receiving this award, except you all," he added referring to the band's fans.

BTS closed the show with a performance of Butter and earlier joined British rock band Coldplay on stage for a rendition of their single My Universe, marking a post-pandemic return to live performances for the K-pop band.

Swift was among several top nominated artistes, including Grande, The Weeknd, and Drake, who did not attend Sunday's ceremony.

Swift, 31, took home the trophies for Favourite Female Artiste and Best Pop Album for her lockdown album Evermore.

"I'm so lucky to be in your life, and to get to have you in mine," she told fans in a video acceptance speech.

First-time host Cardi B pulled off a series of extravagant costume changes and confessed she was worried about messing up.

"I'm a little nervous. I'm shaking," the Bodak Yellow rapper said, sporting a head-to-toe black feather headdress, as she opened the show.

Rodrigo, 18, who burst onto the charts in January, had gone into Sunday's show with a leading seven nods, but ended up with just one - Best New Artiste.

American rapper Doja Cat picked up three awards, including for her Kiss Me More collaboration with singer SZA. Rapper Megan Thee Stallion also won three, including Favourite Female Hip-hop Artiste.

R&B group New Edition and boy band New Kids On The Block brought some 1980s nostalgia when they took the stage together to promote their comebacks, pop star Jennifer Lopez sang her new ballad On My Way, and Italian Eurovision song contest winners Maneskin delivered a rock version of 1960s Four Seasons hit Beggin'.

The nominees were based on Billboard music chart performance, streaming and album sales, radio play and social media engagement, and the winners were chosen entirely by fans.

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