Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj performed together – and separately – at the American Music Awards. They both were also double winners.
The 18-year-old won favourite pop/rock male artist in the first award handed out at the American Music Awards and gave a broadside to those who did not think he would last on the music scene.
“I want to say this is for all the haters who that I was just here for one or two years. I feel like I’m going to be here for a very long time,” he said, also thanking his mother manager, family and his “beautiful, beautiful fans”.
He also won favourite pop/rock album for Believe. He gave a stripped down, acoustic performance of As Long As You Love Me, sitting down as someone played the guitar.
He transitioned to the dance-heavy Beauty and a Beat, where Minaj joined him onstage, grinding with the teen for a few seconds. Minaj repeated her AMAs wins from last year, picking up trophies for favourite rap/hip-hop artists and album for Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded.
She was in an all-white get-up, including fur coat and pink hair when she performed her new song Freedom. The scene was ghostly and snowy, as a choir – also in white – joined her onstage. One background singer stole the performance, belting semi-high notes as Minaj looked on.
As Bieber won his second award, he was kissed on the neck by Jenny McCarthy, who presented the award. “Wow. I feel violated right now,” he said, laughing.
Usher kicked off the three-hour show with green laser lights beaming onstage as he performed a medley of songs, including Numb, Climax and Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop, which featured a smoky floor and a number of back-up dancers, as Usher jammed in all black, with the exception of his red shoes.
Swift won her fifth consecutive award for favourite country female artist. “This is unreal. I want to thank the fans. You guys are the ones who voted on this,” she said. Luke Bryan won favourite country male artist and Lady Antebellum favourite country group.
Swift gave a masquerade-themed performance of the pop song I Knew You Were Trouble.