How hot is Taylor Swift right now? The country star dominated the American Music Awards on Sunday night – and she wasn’t even there.
After sweeping the Country Music Association Awards earlier this month, Swift won five American Music Awards, including Favorite Artist of the Year – all while she was in London.
A stunned and momentarily speechless Swift, 19, gave her acceptance speech via satellite, paying homage to the night’s other big winner, Michael Jackson.
“To even be mentioned in a category with Michael Jackson is an unimaginable honor,” said Swift, who also won Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist, Favorite Adult-Contemporary Artist, Favorite Country Album for Fearless and Favorite Country Female Artist. “I’m sending my love to the Jackson family.”
Jackson won four trophies: Favorite Soul/R&B Artist, Favorite Pop/Rock Male Vocalist and Favorite Pop/Rock Album and Favorite Soul/R&B Album, both for Number Ones, giving him a record 23 AMAs over his career.
“It’s not just about the winnings, the awards,” his brother Jermaine said in an acceptance speech. “It’s mainly the message. The message Michael had will live on forever. He saw good in everyone Start with love and let’s love each other.”
Sister Janet Jackson got a standing ovation when she opened the show with a dance-heavy medley of her hits.
But the applause for Jackson turned into shock and awe by the end of the show, when American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert took the stage in a silver suit and cane to close out the night. The pompadoured and glammed-out singer gyrated against his dancers and kissed a male band member. The spectacle instantly lit up Twitter as fans debated whether he was a fresh match for Lady Gaga or too unseasoned for such a prime gig. (Follow the night’s play-by-play on a replay of our live blog here.)
Other winners were:
• Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group – The Black Eyed Peas
• Favorite Country Band/Duo/Group – Rascal Flatts
• Favorite Alternative Artist – Green Day
• Favorite Country Male Artist – Keith Urban
• Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist – Beyoncé
• Breakthrough Artist Award – Gloriana International
• Artist of the Year – Whitney Houston
• Favorite Hip-Hop Male Artist – Jay-Z
Reporting by MARISA LAUDADIO