Faith Hill, Creed, Toni Braxton Lead AMA Winners

Country/pop singer receives three American Music Awards, followed by rockers

American Music Awards voters gotta have faith — Faith Hill, that is.

The singer walked away from Monday's ceremony with three awards, followed

closely by emotive rockers Creed and sultry soul songstress Toni Braxton,

with two apiece.

As is typical of the awards — which are based on a poll of around

20,000 music buyers who vote on nominees narrowed down by Soundscan and

Radio & Records chart data — no single performer dominated the

evening, à la Carlos Santana at last year's Grammy Awards.

But Hill managed to snag two awards in the country category — for

Favorite Female Artist and Favorite Album, for Breathe — as well

as Favorite Female Artist, Pop or Rock. A singer but not a writer, Hill went

out of her way to pay thanks to the folks who penned such hits as "Breathe" and "The Way You Love Me." "I don't write songs; I wish I

did," she said. "I don't know what I'd do without the songs."

Hill's husband, Tim McGraw, won the evening's Favorite Country Male Artist


Britney Spears and L.L. Cool J hosted the show, though Spears' on-screen

time was minimal — a few introductions and an elaborate version of

"Stronger," staged in a futuristic junkyard with a dozen or so scantily clad

female dancers writhing as Spears appeared to lip-sync the lyrics to her

latest single.

Spears and L.L. Cool J opened the show with an awkward discussion about the

teen diva's clothes. "I was promised you'd be wearing something nasty," L.L.

Cool J said, toying with a scarf on Spears' side-strap, sequined pink

evening gown. "Critics say if you want to be a serious musician, you have to

wear serious clothes," Spears retorted, before ripping off the gown to

reveal a purple, gold and lime-green two-piece halter and mini-miniskirt.

For the most part, though, presenters from 'NSYNC to Kelly Price to Nelly

dispensed with the forced jocularity usually found in awards outings, diving

into the nominees with little or no bantering. One of the evening's few

spontaneous moments came when actor-turned-dot-com shill William Shatner

joked with country duo Brooks & Dunn before announcing the winner of the new

Internet Fans' Artist of the Year category, with the former Captain Kirk

giving his rendition of Baha Men's "Who Let the Dogs Out" before giving the

award to 'NSYNC.

That award — based on Web page votes counted until 8:30 p.m. ET —

was the boy band's only win of the evening, despite the fact that the group

posted the top album sales of 2000. Their No Strings Attached lost

out to Creed's Human Clay for Favorite Pop or Rock Album, and

boy-band rivals the Backstreet Boys bested the group in taking home the

Favorite Pop or Rock Band, Duo or Group award.

Creed also won the Favorite Alternative Artist award. Braxton was the

evening's only other multiple award winner, taking home trophies for

Favorite Soul/Rhythm & Blues Female Artist and Favorite Soul/Rhythm & Blues

Album for The Heat.

Dr. Dre, whose late-1999 release, Dr Dre 2001, took a while to

pick up steam but spent most of 2000 in the top half of the Billboard

Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, won the Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop award, beating

Eminem and DMX.

This year's contest also featured a new category, the Favorite Techno Artist

award, which was voted on via the Internet. Though the winner was not

announced on Monday night's show, the official AMA Web site at midnight ET

showed the Chemical Brothers with a comfortable 57.17 percent count,

compared with Moby's 39.31 percent and Fatboy Slim's 3.5 percent.

Twice on Monday, performers received standing ovations. Thirteen-year-old

country wunderkind Billy Gilman brought the audience to its feet with a

spot-on rendition of his hit "One Voice" Gilman later won the Favorite New Country Artist award,

beating out Alecia Elliott and Keith Urban.

After a video montage of their musical history, Aerosmith again got the

audience standing with their latest single, "Jaded," from the band's

upcoming album. The Boston-based hard rockers won the AMA's International

Artist award, a noncompetitive honor that has previously gone to the Bee

Gees, Led Zeppelin and Michael Jackson.

The night's other noncompetitive award, the Award of Merit, went to Janet

Jackson, who accepted the trophy after another video history and an

introduction by Los Angeles Lakers star Shaquille O'Neal.

Performers in the show ranged from SHeDAISY, who offered up a rocking

version of "I Will ... But" (during which Kassidy Osborne wore a sleeveless

T-shirt with the classic image of a 1950s Johnny Cash flipping a bird) to

Marilyn Manson, who managed to get in audience member Ed McMahon's face

while prancing up the aisle during "Disposable Teens."

28th American Music Award winners:

Favorite Male Artist, Pop or Rock Music

Kid Rock

Favorite Female Artist, Pop or Rock Music

Faith Hill

Favorite Band, Duo or Group, Pop or Rock Music

Backstreet Boys

Favorite New Artist, Pop or Rock Music

3 Doors Down

Favorite Album, Pop or Rock Music

Creed, Human Clay

Favorite Male Artist, Soul/Rhythm & Blues

Brian McKnight

Favorite Female Artist, Soul/Rhythm & Blues

Toni Braxton

Favorite Band, Duo or Group, Soul/Rhythm & Blues

Destiny's Child

Favorite New Artist, Soul/Rhythm & Blues

Donell Jones

Favorite Album, Soul/Rhythm & Blues

Toni Braxton, The Heat

Favorite Male Artist, Country

Tim McGraw