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The American Music Awards (AMAs) is an annual American music awards show, generally held in the Fall, created by Dick Clark in 1973 for ABC when the network's contract to air the Grammy Awards expired.[1] It is the first of the Big Three music award shows held annually (the others being the Grammy Awards and the Billboard Music Awards). Unlike the Grammys, which are awarded on the basis of votes by members of the Recording Academy, the AMAs are determined by a poll of the public and fans, who can vote through the AMAs website.[2] The award statuette is manufactured by New York firm Society Awards.

American Music Awards
American Music Awards of 2018
AMA Logo.png
Logo as of 2016
Awarded forfavorite artists chosen in an online voting
CountryUnited States
First awardedFebruary 19, 1974; 45 years ago (1974-02-19)
Most recent American Music Award winners
← 2017 October 9, 2018
  Taylor Swift 2 - 2019 by Glenn Francis.jpg Camila Cabello VMA 2018.jpg
Award Artist of the Year New Artist of the Year
Winner Taylor Swift Camila Cabello

Previous Artist of the Year

Bruno Mars

Artist of the Year

Taylor Swift


History and overviewEdit


The AMAs was created by Dick Clark in 1973 to compete with the Grammy Awards after the move of that year's show to Nashville, Tennessee led to CBS picking up the Grammy telecasts after its first two in 1971 and 1972 were broadcast on ABC. In 2014, American network Telemundo acquired the rights to produce a Spanish-language version of the American Music Awards and launched the Latin American Music Awards in 2015.[3][4]

While the Grammy Awards are awarded based on votes by members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the AMAs are determined by a poll of music buyers and the public. The American Music Awards have nominations based on sales, airplay, activity on social networks, and video viewing. Before 2010 had nominations based only on sales and airplay and nominated every work, even if old. The Grammys have nominations based on vote of the Academy and only nominate a work from their eligibility period that changes often.[5][6][7]


The first hosts for the first telecast of the AMAs were Helen Reddy, Roger Miller, and Smokey Robinson. Helen Reddy not only hosted the show but also became the first female artist to win an AMA for Favorite Pop/Rock Female artist. For the first decade or so, the AMAs had multiple hosts, each representing a genre of music. For instance, Glen Campbell would host the country portion (Campbell, in fact, has co-hosted the AMAs more times than any other host or co-host), while other artists would co-host to represent his/her genre. In recent years, however, there has been one single host.

In 1991, Keenen Ivory Wayans became the first Hollywood actor to host the AMAs.

From its inception in 1973 until 2003, the AMAs have been held in mid- to late-January, but were moved to November (usually the Sunday before Thanksgiving) beginning in 2003 so as not to further compete with other major awards shows (such as the Golden Globe Awards and the Academy Awards) and allows for ABC to have a well-rated awards show during November sweeps.

For the 2008 awards, Jimmy Kimmel hosted for the fourth consecutive year. In 2009–2012, there was no host for the first time in history. Instead, the AMAs followed the Grammys' lead in having various celebrities give introductions. However, rapper Pitbull hosted the 2013 ceremony and 2014 ceremony. Jennifer Lopez hosted the 2015 show.[8] Gigi Hadid and Jay Pharoah hosted the 2016 show. Tracee Ellis Ross hosted the show in 2017 and 2018.

Between 2012 and 2014, as part of a marketing strategy for Samsung, the American Music Awards used the lock screen wallpaper of Samsung Galaxy smartphones rather than envelopes to reveal winners. A magnetic screen cover on each phone kept the wallpaper image with the winner's name secret until opened.[9]

In August 2018, Dick Clark Productions announced a two-year sponsorship and content partnership with YouTube Music.[10]


# Date Host Venue
1 February 19, 1974 Roger Miller, Helen Reddy, Smokey Robinson Earl Carroll Theatre
2 February 18, 1975 Sly Stone, Helen Reddy, Roy Clark Santa Monica Civic Auditorium
3 January 31, 1976
4 January 31, 1977 Glen Campbell, Helen Reddy, Lou Rawls and Electric Light Orchestra
5 January 16, 1978 David Soul, Glen Campbell and Natalie Cole
6 January 12, 1979 Donna Summer, Glen Campbell and Helen Reddy
7 January 18, 1980 ABC Studios
8 January 30, 1981 Crystal Gayle, Mac Davis and Teddy Pendergrass
9 January 25, 1982 Donna Summer, Glen Campbell and Lionel Richie Shrine Auditorium
10 January 17, 1983 Aretha Franklin
11 January 16, 1984 Lionel Richie
12 January 28, 1985
13 January 27, 1986 Diana Ross
14 January 26, 1987
15 January 25, 1988 Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Mick Fleetwood, Robin Gibb and Whitney Houston
16 January 30, 1989 Anita Baker, Debbie Gibson, Kenny Rogers and Rod Stewart
17 January 22, 1990 Alice Cooper, Anita Baker, Gloria Estefan, Naomi Judd and Wynonna Judd
18 January 28, 1991 Keenen Ivory Wayans
19 January 27, 1992 MC Hammer
20 January 25, 1993 Bobby Brown, Gloria Estefan and Wynonna Judd
21 February 7, 1994 Meat Loaf, Reba McEntire and Will Smith
22 January 30, 1995 Queen Latifah, Tom Jones, Lorrie Morgan
23 January 29, 1996 Sinbad
24 January 27, 1997
25 January 26, 1998 Drew Carey
26 January 11, 1999 Brandy & Melissa Joan Hart
27 January 17, 2000 Norm Macdonald
28 January 8, 2001 Britney Spears and LL Cool J
29 January 9, 2002 Jenny McCarthy and Sean Combs
30 January 13, 2003 Jack Osbourne, Kelly Osbourne, Ozzy Osbourne and Sharon Osbourne
31 November 16, 2003 Jimmy Kimmel
32 November 14, 2004
33 November 22, 2005 Cedric the Entertainer
34 November 21, 2006 Jimmy Kimmel
35 November 18, 2007 Jimmy Kimmel Nokia Theatre L.A. Live
36 November 23, 2008
37 November 22, 2009 N/A
38 November 21, 2010
39 November 20, 2011
40 November 18, 2012
41 November 24, 2013 Pitbull
42 November 23, 2014
43 November 22, 2015 Jennifer Lopez Microsoft Theater
44 November 20, 2016 Gigi Hadid and Jay Pharoah
45 November 19, 2017 Tracee Ellis Ross
46 October 9, 2018[11]
47 November 24, 2019


Current award categoriesEdit

Category Award Year
General Artist of the Year 1996, 1999, 2001–2002, 2003 (November)–present
New Artist of the Year 2004–present
Collaboration of the Year 2015–present
Video of the Year 2016–present
Tour of the Year 2016–present
Top Soundtrack 1996–2003 (January), 2007–2010, 2013–present
Favorite Social Artist 2018
Pop/Rock Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist 1974–present
Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist 1974–present
Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group 1974–present
Favorite Pop/Rock Album 1974–present
Favorite Pop/Rock Song 1974–1995, 2016–present
Soul/R&B Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist 1974–present
Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist 1974–present
Favorite Soul/R&B Album 1974–present
Favorite Soul/R&B Song 1974–1995, 2016–present
Country Favorite Country Male Artist 1974–present
Favorite Country Female Artist 1974–present
Favorite Country Band/Duo/Group 1974–present
Favorite Country Album 1974–present
Favorite Country Song 1974–1995, 2016–present
Rap/Hip-Hop Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist 1989–present
Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album 1989–1992, 2003 (January)–present
Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Song 2016–present
Other Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist 1992–present
Favorite Alternative Artist 1995–present
Favorite Latin Artist 1998–present
Favorite Contemporary Inspirational Artist 2002–present
Favorite Electronic Dance Music Artist 2012–present

Past award categoriesEdit

Category Award Year
General Single of the Year 2013–2015
Fan's Choice Award 2003 (January)–2003 (November)
Pop/Rock Favorite Pop/Rock Video 1984–1988
Favorite Pop/Rock Male Video Artist 1985–1987
Favorite Pop/Rock Female Video Artist 1985–1987
Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group Video Artist 1985–1987
Favorite Pop/Rock New Artist 1989–2003 (January)
Soul/R&B Favorite Soul/R&B Band/Duo/Group 1974–2003 (November), 2005–2006, 2009
Favorite Soul/R&B Video 1984–1988
Favorite Soul/R&B Male Video Artist 1985–1987
Favorite Soul/R&B Female Video Artist 1985–1987
Favorite Soul/R&B Band/Duo/Group Video Artist 1985–1987
Favorite Soul/R&B New Artist 1989–2003 (January)
Country Favorite Country Video 1984–1988
Favorite Country Male Video Artist 1985–1987
Favorite Country Female Video Artist 1985–1987
Favorite Country Band/Duo/Group Video Artist 1985–1987
Favorite Country New Artist 1989–2003 (January)
Rap/Hip-Hop Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Band/Duo/Group 2003 (January)–2008
Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop New Artist 1990–1994
Other Favorite Disco Male Artist 1979
Favorite Disco Female Artist 1979
Favorite Disco Band/Duo/Group 1979
Favorite Disco Album 1979
Favorite Disco Song 1979
Favorite Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Artist 1989–1997
Favorite Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Album 1989–1992
Favorite Heavy Metal/Hard Rock New Artist 1990–1993
Favorite Dance Artist 1990–1992
Favorite Dance Song 1990–1992
Favorite Dance New Artist 1990–1992
Favorite Adult Contemporary Album 1992–1994
Favorite Adult Contemporary New Artist 1992–1994

Most winsEdit

The record for most American Music Awards won is held by Michael Jackson, who has amassed twenty-six awards. The record for most American Music Awards won by a group belongs to Alabama, who have collected twenty-three awards. For a female artist, the record for most American Music Awards won belongs to Taylor Swift who has won twenty-three awards.[12]

Artist Number of awards
Michael Jackson 26
Taylor Swift 23
Whitney Houston 22
Kenny Rogers 19
Garth Brooks 17
Justin Bieber 15
Reba McEntire
Lionel Richie
Rihanna 13
Carrie Underwood
Willie Nelson 12
Janet Jackson 11
Tim McGraw
Stevie Wonder
Mariah Carey 10
Randy Travis

Most wins in a single ceremonyEdit

The record for the most American Music Awards won in a single year is held by Michael Jackson (in 1984) and Whitney Houston (in 1994), each with 8 awards to their credit (including the Award of Merit, with which both artists were honored in the respective years).

Most wins by categoryEdit

The following list shows the artists with most wins in each category, adapted from the AMAs official website.[13]

The Song of the Year record holder accounts for all previous single category winners.

The Favorite Artist – Rap/Hip-Hop record holder accounts for all previous Favorite Female Artist – Rap/Hip-Hop and Favorite Male Artist – Rap/Hip-Hop category winners.

Special awardsEdit

Award of MeritEdit

The American Music Award of Merit has been awarded to thirty two artists, the latest being Sting (2016).[14]

International Artist Award of ExcellenceEdit

The International Artist Award of Excellence has been awarded to seven artists:[15]

Icon AwardEdit

The AMAs' producer Larry Klein stated: "The first-ever Icon Award was created to honor an artist whose body of work has made a profound influence over pop music on a global level."[16]

Dick Clark Award for ExcellenceEdit

At the 2014 award ceremony, the Dick Clark Award for Excellence was given for the first time.[17]

Award of AchievementEdit

Lifetime Achievement AwardEdit

Artist of the DecadeEdit

In 2000, the year Brooks won the award, the AMAs held a poll to elect the Artist of the Decade for each previous decade of the Rock & Roll era. According to some sources, the result of this poll is not counted in the total of AMAs won by these artists.[20][21][22] The results were Elvis Presley (1950s), The Beatles (60s), Stevie Wonder (70s) and Michael Jackson (80s).

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Perebinossoff, Philippe; et al. (2005). Programming for TV, radio, and the Internet. Elsevier. p. 42.
  2. ^ "VOTING FAQs" (PDF). the amas. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
  3. ^ Block, Alex Ben (July 30, 2014). "Telemundo Will Produce a Spanish-Language American Music Awards in 2015". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  4. ^ Cobo, Leila (August 24, 2015). "First-Ever Latin American Music Awards Headed to Telemundo". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  5. ^ "Taylor Swift, Michael Jackson dominate American Music Awards nominations [UPDATED]". Los Angeles Times. October 13, 2009. Archived from the original on October 15, 2009. Retrieved October 14, 2009.
  6. ^ "Eminem, Bieber outscore Lady Gaga in AMA nods". Reuters. October 12, 2010. Archived from the original on October 13, 2010. Retrieved October 12, 2010.
  7. ^ Johnson Jr., Billy (October 12, 2010). "Lady Gaga Snubbed at American Music Awards Nominations". Retrieved October 14, 2010.
  8. ^ Jennifer Lopez to Host and Perform at the 2015 American Music Awards | American Music Awards. Retrieved on October 21, 2015.
  9. ^ "Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Used To Announce Winners at AMAs". November 26, 2012. Retrieved December 11, 2012.
  10. ^ Spangler, Todd (August 22, 2018). "YouTube Music Signs American Music Awards Two-Year Title Sponsorship Deal". Variety. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  11. ^ "2018 American Music Awards to Air Live Tuesday, October 9 - American Music Awards". February 13, 2018.
  12. ^ "2015 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARD NOMINEE STATISTICS". dick clark productions. October 13, 2015. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  13. ^ "2015 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARD NOMINEE STATISTICS". The American Music Awards. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  14. ^ "American Music Award of Merit". The AMAs. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  15. ^ "International Artist Award". The AMAs. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  16. ^ "Rihanna to receive 'AMA Icon Award'". November 26, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  17. ^ "Taylor Swift to Receive First Ever Dick Clark Award for Excellence at the 2014 AMAs". The AMAs. dick clark productions, inc. November 21, 2014. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
  18. ^ "Winners Database". The Amas.
  19. ^ "American Music Awards: List of winners". CNN. January 18, 2000.
  20. ^ "Lauryn Hill, Backstreet Boys, DMX Honored With American Music Awards". MTV. January 18, 2000. Retrieved June 16, 2010.
  21. ^ "List of American Music Awards winners". Sun Journal. January 18, 2000. Retrieved June 16, 2010.
  22. ^ "Santana wins top album honors at American Music Awards". Times Daily. January 18, 2000. Retrieved June 16, 2010.

External linksEdit