The American Music Awards show is one of several annual major American music awards shows (among the others are the Billboard Music Awards, the Grammy Awards, and the Country Music Association Awards) which honours outstanding achievements in the record industry.
The awards were created in 1973 by Dick Clark as competition to the Grammys. They are broadcast annually in the USA on ABC.
The American Music Awards previously aired in South Africa on M-Net the day after the awards ceremony in the USA. As of 2011 they air live on Channel O, with a repeat that night on Vuzu.
The 39th Annual American Music Awards aired live on Channel O on Monday 21 November 2011, at 03h00. They repeated on Vuzu on Monday 21 November 2011, at 20h30. The special was three hours long.
The American Music Awards are fan-voted and have consistently been one of the United States' most-watched television awards event over the past few years.
Much of this has to do with the stunning line-up of current, chart-topping talent that performs each year – and 2011 was no different.
Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Mary J. Blige, Christina Aguilera, Pitbull and Maroon 5 all took to the stage at the Nokia Theatre in LA.
They were joined by LMFAO, Chris Brown and Marc Anthony in creating a brilliant night's entertainment – and the presence of Anthony's ex-wife Jennifer Lopez only adding to the star-wattage at this year's event.
The leading nominee at this year's awards was Adele, who was up for Favorite Rock/Pop Female Artist, Adult Contemporary Artist, Album with her "21" and Artist of the Year.
Katy Perry was one of several artists up for three American Music Awards – in the running for Artist of the Year, Pop or Rock music: Favorite female Artist and Adult Contemporary Music: Favorite Artist.
Other multi-nominees were Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and Rihanna.
In the rap/hip hop categories, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj and Kanye West earned nods for Favorite Artist while "Watch The Throne" by West and Jay-Z, "The Carter IV" by Lil Wayne, and "Pink Friday" from Nicki Minaj were nominated for Favorite album.
The awards ceremony was hosted by fellow nominees Nicki Minaj and rapper Pitbull.
David Guetta (featuring Usher)
Maroon 5 (featuring Christina Aguilera)
Mary J. Blige
Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist
Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist
Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group
Favorite Pop/Rock Album
Adele - 21
Rihanna - Loud
Lady Gaga - Born This Way
Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist
Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album
Lil Wayne - Tha Carter IV
The Throne - Watch the Throne
Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday
Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist
Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist
Favorite Soul/R&B Album
Chris Brown - F.A.M.E.
Rihanna - Loud
Beyoncé - 4
Favorite Alternative Artist
Mumford & Sons
Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist
Favorite Latin Artist
Favorite Country Female Artist
Favorite Country Male Artist
Favorite Country Band/Duo/Group
Zac Brown Band
The Band Perry
Favorite Country Album
Jason Aldean - My Kinda Party
Taylor Swift - Speak Now
The Band Perry - The Band Perry
Favorite Contemporary Inspirational Artist
Artist of the Year
Sprint New Artist of the Year
Foster The People
Hot Chelle Rae (Overall Winner - Sprint New Artist of the Year)
The Band Perry
About the Awards
Winners of the American Music Awards are selected by the public. A national sampling of approximately 20,000, taking into account geographic location, age, sex and ethnic origin, are sent ballots by the National Family Opinion, Inc. firm under the supervision of Broadcast Research and Consulting, Inc.
Names of the nominees on the ballot were compiled from data supplied by the music industry trade publication, Radio & Records and Nielsen Soundscan, which tracks retail music sales.
Results of the voting, tabulated by the Ernst & Young LLP accounting firm, are not announced until the envelopes are opened during the presentation ceremonies.