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Artist of the decade Taylor Swift dominates the American Music Awards

Taylor Swift reflected on a year of highs and lows as she dominated the American Music Awards (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Taylor Swift reflected on a year of highs and lows as she dominated the American Music Awards (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Taylor Swift reflected on a year of highs and lows as she dominated the American Music Awards.

The pop superstar was named artist of the decade, an honour announced before the ceremony, and scooped the biggest prize of the night – artist of the year.

Accepting the latter, an emotional Swift said the previous 12 months had given her “some of the most amazing times”, as well as “the hardest things I’ve gone through in my life”.

She has been embroiled in a high-profile feud with prominent talent manager Scooter Braun and her former record label over her back catalogue.

“This industry is really weird,” Swift said.

She thanked her fans, adding: “This year for me has been a lot. It’s been a lot of good, it’s been a lot of really complicated.”

Swift won artist of the year ahead of Drake, Ariana Grande, Halsey and Post Malone. It capped a night of celebration for the performer, who had already been named artist of the decade.

Before she accepted that prize, a video retrospective of 29-year-old Swift’s already glittering career played. She then treated fans inside Los Angeles’s Microsoft Theater to a medley of some of her biggest hits.

Swift decided against overt references to her dispute with Braun, but did open her performance with a brief portion of her song The Man, which debates how much more successful she would be if she were a male.

Fans also noted Swift wore a white button-down jacket featuring the titles of her old albums including Speak Now, Red and Fearless.

During her acceptance speech, Swift reduced many in the audience to tears – including her mother Andrea – and said the honour celebrated 10 years of “hard work and of art and of fun and memories”.

She added: “All that matters to me is the memories I have had with you guys, with you the fans, over the years.

2019 American Music Awards – Show
Taylor Swift accepts the award for artist of the year at the American Music Awards (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

“We’ve had fun, incredible, exhilarating, extraordinary times together and may it continue.”

“I am so lucky to get to do this,” Swift added.

Swift won a total of six awards on the night, including favourite female artist  in the pop/rock category and favourite pop/rock album for Lover.

It means she surpasses the late King Of Pop Michael Jackson as the most successful artist in AMAs history, with a total of 29 wins.

Elsewhere, teenager Billie Eilish continued her year to remember by scooping best new artist.

2019 American Music Awards – Press Room
Billie Eilish won two prizes at the American Music Awards (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

The 17-year-old appeared emotional as she thanked fans for the award, her second of the night after her win for alternative rock artist.

Rapper Post Malone, whose seven nominations were the most on the night, won favourite rap/hip-hop album for his effort Hollywood’s Bleeding.

Pop star Halsey won the prize for favourite pop/rock song for her hit Without Me.

Carrie Underwood won favourite country artist and country album of the year.

The AMAs, one of the major music awards shows of the year, boasted a star-studded line-up of performers

Singer Toni Braxton, 25 years after winning her first AMA, performed her hit Un-Break My Heart while new artist of the year nominee Lizzo treated fans to  her single Jerome.

Country music star Thomas Rhett and celebrity couple Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes were also among the performers.

Before the show officially kicked off, Dan + Shay were named favourite duo or group in the country category, while K-pop favourites BTS won in the pop/rock category.

Ozzy Osboune, who spent much of 2019 recovering from injuries he suffered in a fall at home, returned to the stage later to perform Take What You Want alongside Malone and Travis Scott.

Canadian singer-songwriter Shania Twain closed the night with a medley of songs – mashing up the biggest hits of recent years with some of her own best-known tracks, including That Don’t Impress Me Much.

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