There was a little bit of something for everyone at the 40th annual American Music Awards held Sunday at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.
The event marked the first time it was held without its creator Dick Clark who died in February, but long time friend and legend Stevie Wonder celebrated Clark in song.
Wonder, who was voted Artist of the Decade of the 70s, performed favorite ‘My Cherie Amour’ as a candid reference to Clark’s widow Kari Wigton who was in attendance.
Among the other highlights was the Black AMA winners which included two for the colorful Nicki Minaj as Favorite Artist – Rap / Hip-hop? and Favorite Album – Rap – Hip-hop? “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded”; Usher, who is credited for the discovering Justin Bieber who dominated the AMAs, won Favorite Male Artist – Soul / R&B; Beyoncé captured? Favorite Female Artist – Soul / R&B and Rihanna won for Favorite Album – Soul / R&B? – “Talk That Talk”.
There was video tributes paid to the late Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson who both won a record 8 AMAs, Houston did it in 1994 and Jackson in 1984. Jackson has won a record 26 AMAs including Artist of the Decade of the 80s and Artist of the Century.
There was also an MC Hammer citing when he performed with “Gangnam Style,” the dance hit by endearingly strange and enthusiastic South Korean pop sensation PSY, and is the biggest song in the world right now.
Hammer closed the AMAs along with PSY, which was teased to feature a “secret international sensation,” and a hint was given when PSY, whose real name is Park Jae-Sang, took to the stage in a sparkling black top and “Hammer pants.”
Then, halfway through the energetic strobe-lit performance, the words “Stop, Hammertime!” were heard, and MC Hammer appeared next to PSY onstage for a mash up of “Gangnam Style” and Hammer’s single “Too Legit to Quit.”
Swizz Beatz, Chris Brown and Ludacris joined forces to celebrate the American Music Awards’ 40th birthday with their song “Everyday Birthday.” The onstage party featured choreographed dancers, flashing lights and plenty of high-energy. Despite dapper Luda and Swizz, Chris Brown stole the show with his shirtless antics and fancy footwork.