Stephen M. Silverman
November 15, 2004 08:10 AM

Usher led the pack Sunday night at the 32nd annual American Music Awards, as the R&B singer walked away a quadruple winner with trophies for top male performer in both the rock/pop and soul/R&B categories.

“Oh man, this is one of the greatest things of my career,” Usher (real name: Usher Raymond), 26, told reporters. “I can’t say it’s the greatest because there’s so much to look forward to, but I’m really happy with winning every category in which I was nominated.”

Other multiple victors included hip-hop duo OutKast, a triple-crown honoree (favorite soul/R&B group, rap/hip-hop group and album, Spearboxxx/The Love Below, which was also this year’s Grammy album of the year). Double winners included Sheryl Crow and Toby Keith, and Alicia Keys beat Beyonce and Janet Jackson as favorite female soul/R&B artist.

The three-hour show was broadcast on ABC and featured performances by Ray star Jamie Foxx, Josh Groban, Snoop Dogg and a barefoot Jessica Simpson, who sang “With You.”

One of the best performances reportedly came backstage. Rapper Kanye West, who was shut out of the winner’s circle, told reporters: “I was definitely robbed. I was the best new artist this year.”

Breakthrough new artist ended up being country star Gretchen Wilson.

A national poll of 20,000 people determines winners of the American Music Awards. Nominees are drawn from retail sales and radio airplay data. By comparison, music industry insiders determine the more prestigious Grammys.

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