Nicki Minaj accepts the rap/hip-hop favorite album award for “Pink Friday” at the 39th Annual American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nicki Minaj might need to change her hair color to gold.
The pink-loving hip-hop diva picked up two trophies Sunday at the American Music Awards. Minaj kicked off the fan-favorite ceremony by sporting a pair of speakers on her much-talked about posterior. She was later honored as favorite rap/hip-hop artist, besting a group that included mentor Lil Wayne, and won favorite rap/hip-hop album for “Pink Friday.”
“There’s so much love in this room,” beamed the pink-haired Minaj.
Adele had been the leading nominee with four awards, but didn’t have much of a presence at the show: She was absent from the ceremony because she is recovering from recent throat surgery. She won an award for favorite pop/rock female artist. The award, like several others, were announced backstage.
Other winners included Maroon 5 as favorite pop-rock band/duo/group, Taylor Swift as favorite country female artist, Lady Antebellum as favorite country band/duo/group, Beyonce as favorite soul/R&B female artist, Rihanna for favorite soul/R&B album for “Loud” and Hot Chelle Rae as new artist of the year.
The ceremony inside the Nokia Theatre in an unusually rainy Los Angeles was dripping with 17 musical performances.
Justin Bieber got in the holiday spirit among a forest of neon lights with “Under the Mistletoe,” and Kelly Clarkson, wearing a glittery red gown with her hair swept to the side, delivered a swinging rendition of her hit “Mr. Know It All” as back-up dancers dressed as 1930s-era photographers snapped the first-ever “American Idol” champion.
Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony shared custody of rapper Pitbull, who joined the former couple in a pair of separate performances. Lopez performed essentially a live version of a car commercial starring the “Idol” judge set to “Papi” — she even had the car on stage. She then launched into her hit “On the Floor.” Pitbull later returned to the stage and joined Anthony for “Rain Over Me.”
Lopez expressed surprise when she won favorite Latin music artist, and touched on the highs and lows of her year.
“It’s been up and down and just exciting and overwhelming and so many things,” Lopez said.
There were several other collaborations, too. Christina Aguilera joined Maroon 5 for their duet “Moves Like Jagger,” and then Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine teamed with Gym Class Heroes for their hit “Stereo Hearts.”
Several artists delivered stripped-down performances: The Band Perry crooned an emotional “If I Die Young,” a pink-haired Katy Perry accompanied herself on guitar for “The One That Got Away” and a platinum-blonde Chris Brown simply sang “All Back” before being joined by a troop of helmet-clad back-up dancers for a flashy interpretation of “Say It With Me.”