The mega-stars burned brightly at last night’s presentation of the American Music Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, as Will Smith, Garth Brooks and Celine Dion dominated the ceremony, with each performer taking home multiple statuettes.
Will Smith was the evening’s most lauded performer by winning three awards, including Favorite Male Artist and Favorite Album for “Big Willie Style” in the Soul/Rhythm & Blues category. “Big Willie Style” was also named Favorite Album in the Pop/Category as well.
Dion and Brooks both made two trips to the podium each, with the French-Canadian diva taking home AMAs for Favorite Female Artist in the Pop/Rock Category and Adult Contemporary’s Favorite Artist award. As for Brooks, the 10-gallon, multi-platinum star was saddled with AMA’s Country awards in Favorite Male Artist and Favorite Album, for “Sevens.”
For the other winners in the Pop/Rock category, the Dick Clark-founded awards show played it rather safe by selecting guitar
legend Eric Clapton as Favorite Male Artist and Aerosmith as Favorite Band, Duo or Group. And ‘N Sync won the highly contested award for Favorite New Artist in the Pop/Rock category, besting Natalie Imbruglia and Third Eye Blind.
Other notable winners included rap entrepreneur Master P for Favorite Artist in the Rap/Hip-Hop category, Lauryn Hill for Favorite New Soul/Rhythm & Blues Artist and Pearl Jam, who received an AMA for Favorite Artist in Alternative Music.
Hosted by Melissa Joan Hart and Brandy, the 26th edition of the American Music Awards also featured several performance highlights, with the evening kicking off with a rousing pair of song from Whitney Houston, who was accompanied by Fugee Wyclef Jean on back-up vocals and producer Babyface on piano.
Later in the show, several rappers — including Coolio, Havoc and Prodigy of Mobb Deep, and U-God and Inspektah Deck from the Wu-Tang Clan — took to the stage to support the recently-revived ’70s group Blondie on
a new song, “No Exit.” Several artists also took part in an AMA tribute to the legandary pop piano man Billy Joel, with Brian McKnight, Shawn Mullins, 98 Degrees and ‘N Sync each taking turns as the ensemble belted out a medley of classic Joel tunes.
A complete list of winners at the 26th Annual American Music Awards:
Soul/Rhythm & Blues: