American Music Award

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American Music Awards
American Music Awards of 2015
AMA Logo.png
Logo as of 2015
Awarded for "outstanding achievements" in the record industry chosen in an online voting
Country United States
Official website

The American Music Awards (AMAs) is an annual American music awards show, created by Dick Clark in 1973 for ABC when the network's contract to present the Grammy Awards expired.[1] 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 the New York firm Society Awards.

History and overview[edit]


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. Michael Jackson and Donny Osmond co-hosted the first award show with Rodney Allen Rippy and Ricky Segall in 1974.


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 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.[3]

Differences between the AMAs and Grammy Awards[edit]

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 and can nominate only the works released between December 1 of the previous year and September 1 of the current year. 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.[4][5][6]

Using phones to announce winners[edit]

Starting in 2012, as part of a marketing strategy for Samsung, the American Music Awards began to use Samsung Galaxy series mobile phone handsets rather than envelopes to reveal winners. A smart cover on each phone kept the identity of the winners secret until opened.[7] The Billboard Music Awards, also an ABC awards show produced by Dick Clark Productions, also uses Samsung Galaxy handsets to reveal winners.


Most wins[edit]

The record for most American Music Awards won is held by Michael Jackson, who has amassed twenty-four awards, including one for "Artist of the Century". For a female artist, the record for most American Music Awards won belongs to Whitney Houston, who has won twenty-one awards. The record for most American Music Awards won by a group belongs to Alabama, who have collected nineteen awards.[8]

Most wins in a single ceremony[edit]

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 category[edit]

The following list shows the artists with most wins in each category, adapted from the AMAs official website.[9]

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

  • Favorite Band, Duo or Group – Country: Alabama (17 wins)

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.

  • Favorite Female Artist – Soul/R&B: Rihanna (5 wins each)
  • Favorite Artist – Alternative Rock: Linkin Park (5 wins)
  • Favorite Artist – Adult Contemporary: Celine Dion (4 wins)
  • Favorite Artist – Contemporary Inspirational: Casting Crowns (3 wins)
  • Favorite Artist – Electronic Dance Music (EDM): Calvin Harris (2 wins)

Special awards[edit]

Artist of the Decade (special poll)[edit]

In 2000 the AMAs held a poll to elect the Artist of the Decade for each previous decade of the Rock & Roll era. The results were:

According to some sources, the result of this poll is not counted in the total of AMAs won by these artists.[10][11][12]

International Artist Award of Excellence[edit]

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

Icon Award[edit]

At the 2013 award ceremony, the first ever AMA Icon Award was awarded to Rihanna. 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," and added, "Rihanna’s iconic and innovative sound has enabled her to become one of the most influential and best-selling artists of all time."[13]

Dick Clark Award for Excellence[edit]

At the 2014 award ceremony, the first ever Dick Clark Award for Excellence was given to Taylor Swift.[14]

See also[edit]


  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. ^ Jennifer Lopez to Host and Perform at the 2015 American Music Awards | American Music Awards. Retrieved on 2015-10-21.
  4. ^ "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. 
  5. ^ "Eminem, Bieber outscore Lady Gaga in AMA nods". Reuters. October 12, 2010. Archived from the original on October 13, 2010. Retrieved October 12, 2010. 
  6. ^ Johnson Jr., Billy (October 12, 2010). "Lady Gaga Snubbed at American Music Awards Nominations". Retrieved October 14, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Used To Announce Winners at AMAs". November 26, 2012. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  8. ^ "2015 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARD NOMINEE STATISICS". dick clark productions. October 13, 2015. Retrieved October 13, 2015. 
  9. ^ "2015 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARD NOMINEE STATISTICS". The American Music Awards. Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  10. ^ "Lauryn Hill, Backstreet Boys, DMX Honored With American Music Awards". MTV. January 18, 2000. Retrieved June 16, 2010. 
  11. ^ "List of American Music Awards winners". Sun Journal. January 18, 2000. Retrieved June 16, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Santana wins top album honors at American Music Awards". Times Daily. January 18, 2000. Retrieved June 16, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Rihanna to receive 'AMA Icon Award'". November 26, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  14. ^ "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. 

External links[edit]