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BTS become first Asian group to win Artist of the Year at the AMAs

South Korean pop sensation BTS became the first Asian group to win Artist of the Year at the American Music Awards on Sunday, brushing aside challenges from heayweights Taylor Swift, Drake and The Weeknd, as they took home a total of three awards just four years after making their first appearance on the fan-voted show..

The seven-member boy band, consisting Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook, also scooped awards for Favorite Pop Duo or Group and Favorite Pop Song for their hit “Butter” at the glitzy ceremony, which aired live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday night, hosted by rapper Cardi B.

The band, known for its positive uplifting music, called the artist of the year win a miracle. “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. “This whole thing is a miracle. Seriously, we would never take this for granted.”

BTS closed the show with a performance of “Butter” and earlier joined Coldplay on stage for a rendition of their single “My Universe,” marking a post-pandemic return to live performances for the K-pop band.

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.”

Teen phenomenon Olivia Rodrigo came into the night with a leading seven nominations but only took home the crown for favourite new artist of the year. “Writing songs is my favourite 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 Taylor 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.

The awards show nominees were based on streaming, album and digital sales, radio airplay and social activity, and reflect the time period of September 25, 2020, through September 23, 2021.

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