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.”
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.
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.
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.