NEW YORK — South Korean superstars BTS were crowned artist of the year at the American Music Awards on Sunday, brushing aside challenges from Taylor Swift, Drake and The Weeknd as they took home a total of three awards and teamed up with Coldplay for a raucous “My Universe” and closed the show with “Butter.”

“Seven boys from Korea, united by love for music, met the love and support from all the armies all over the world,” said BTS' RM after the group won their artist of the year for the first time. “This whole thing is a miracle. Seriously, we would never take this for granted.”

Taylor Swift appears onscreen to accept the award for favorite pop album for "evermore" at the American Music Awards on Sunday. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
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Taylor Swift appears onscreen to accept the award for favorite pop album for "evermore" at the American Music Awards on Sunday. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Credit: Chris Pizzello

Credit: Chris Pizzello

The band was also named favorite pop duo or group and got the favorite pop song award for “Butter.”

The show celebrated the best popular music for a second pandemic year with a mix of live and pre-taped performances. Silk Sonic’s Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak kicked off the awards on a funky, R&B and pre-taped note with their “Smokin Out the Window” and Jennifer Lopez pre-taped her “On My Way” from her upcoming romantic comedy “Marry Me.”

An earlier scheduled performance of “Butter” by BTS and Megan Thee Stallion was scrapped after the rapper cited personal reasons for dropping out Saturday. She turned out to be a big winner: named favorite female hip-hop artist, her “Good News” winning for favorite hip-hop album and her “Body” was crowned favorite trending song, a new award this year.

Olivia Rodrigo poses in the press room with the award for new artist of the year at the American Music Awards on Sunday in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
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Olivia Rodrigo poses in the press room with the award for new artist of the year at the American Music Awards on Sunday in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Olivia Rodrigo came into the night with a leading seven nominations but only took home the crown for favorite new artist of the year. “Writing songs is my favorite thing in the whole world, and I am so grateful for everyone who has embraced my music,” she said.

Rodrigo lost favorite pop album to Swift’s “evermore.” In a taped speech, Swift told her fans: “I’m so lucky to be in your life.” Swift also won for favorite female pop artist, giving her a career total of 34, the record for the most awarded artist in AMA history.

Rodrigo performed her hit “traitor” live on a stage covered with flowers, and Carrie Underwood and Jason Aldean brought a little country to the stage when they sang their pre-taped duet “If I Didn’t Love You.” With a little help from Julieta Venegas and Tainy, Bad Bunny performed their hit “Lo Siento BB :/.”

Among live performances, Italian band Måneskin made their U.S. awards show debut with their viral hit “Beggin.’” Chlöe of Chloe x Halle floated down onto the stage to perform her hit debut single as a soloist “Have Mercy,” swinging her hair and twerking. Mickey Guyton got loud cheers while singing her patriotic song “All American” in a silvery dress, periodically screaming out “How y'all doing?”

Mickey Guyton performs "All American" at the American Music Awards on Sunday. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
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Mickey Guyton performs "All American" at the American Music Awards on Sunday. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Credit: Chris Pizzello

Credit: Chris Pizzello

The fan-voted awards show aired live from Los Angeles on ABC. Nominees were based on streaming, album and digital sales, radio airplay and social activity, and reflect the time period of Sept. 25, 2020, through Sept. 23, 2021.

Becky G won for favorite female Latin artists and thanked the Latinx community. “You are not alone,” she said. “We are the American dream.”

Machine Gun Kelly grabbed the favorite rock artist award. “I want to accept this for all the aspiring musicians, the one who desires to play an instrument, wants to rap, wants to sing — not just the rock artists, but all the artists,” he said.

Becky G poses in the press room with the award for favorite female Latin artist at the American Music Awards. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Caption
Becky G poses in the press room with the award for favorite female Latin artist at the American Music Awards. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Earlier Sunday, in awards announced before the show, Swift was named favorite female pop artist, Ed Sheeran got the favorite male award and Doja Cat featuring SZA on “Kiss Me More” was named collaboration of the year. Kanye West was named favorite gospel artist.

Underwood won for favorite inspirational artist and favorite female country artist. Doja Cat also won two other awards: favorite female R&B artist and her “Planet Her” was named favorite R&B album.

Luke Bryan was named favorite country artist, and Bad Bunny was the favorite male Latin artist. The Weeknd was crowned favorite male R&B artist, and Drake won the favorite male hip-hop artist. Gabby Barrett took home the favorite country album for “Goldmine” and favorite country song for “The Good Ones.”

For the older viewers, New Edition and New Kids on the Block performed together. The Boston-based groups took turns with the hits: “You Got It (The Right Stuff”), “Candy Girl,” “Step By Step,” “Mr. Telephone Man” and uniting for “Can You Stand the Rain,” “Is This the End,” “Hangin’ Tough” and “If It Isn’t Love.”

The favorite Latin album went to Bad Bunny’s “El Último Tour Del Mundo.”

Host Cardi B, wearing a constant stream of new outfits, revved up the crowd. Later her song “Up” was named favorite hip-hop song. The Associated Press was not able to transmit images of Cardi B while she was onstage because her representatives required approval, a restriction the AP would not accept.

Here is a complete list of winners:

Artist of the year

BTS

New artist of the year

Olivia Rodrigo

Collaboration of the year

Doja Cat ft. SZA, “Kiss Me More”

Favorite trending song

Megan Thee Stallion, “Body”

Favorite music video

Lil Nas X, “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)”

Favorite male pop artist

Ed Sheeran

Favorite female pop artist

Taylor Swift

Favorite pop duo or group

BTS

Favorite pop album

Taylor Swift, “evermore”

Favorite pop song

BTS, “Butter”

Favorite male country artist

Luke Bryan

Favorite female country artist

Carrie Underwood

Favorite country duo or group

Dan + Shay

Favorite country album

Gabby Barrett, “Goldmine”

Favorite country song

Gabby Barrett, “The Good Ones”

Favorite male hip-hop artist

Drake

Favorite female hip-hop artist

Megan Thee Stallion

Favorite hip-hop album

Megan Thee Stallion, “Good News”

Favorite hip-hop song

Cardi B, “Up”

Favorite male R&B artist

The Weeknd

Favorite female R&B artist

Doja Cat

Favorite R&B album

Doja Cat, “Planet Her”

Favorite R&B song

Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak), “Leave the Door Open”

Favorite male Latin artist

Bad Bunny

Favorite female Latin artist

Becky G

Favorite Latin duo or group

Banda MS de Sergio Lizárraga

Favorite Latin album

Bad Bunny, “El Último Tour Del Mundo”

Favorite Latin song

Kali Uchis, “telepatía”

Favorite rock artist

Machine Gun Kelly

Favorite inspirational artist

Carrie Underwood

Favorite gospel artist

Kanye West

Favorite dance/electronic artist

Marshmello