CALIFORNIA: Taylor Swift took the high road as she won six American Music Awards on Sunday to surpass Michael Jackson’s all-time record, avoiding any direct mention of a bitter dispute with her old record company.

Swift won the top award, artist of the year, and four others. She was also given an honorary artist of the decade award, taking her all-time total to 29 American Music Awards, organisers said. That easily outstripped the 24 awards picked up by Jackson.

Halsey and Taylor Swift perform.–Reuters

“All that matters to me is the memories that I have had with you guys, with you the fans, over the years,” Swift, 29, told the audience at the ceremony in Los Angeles after performing a medley of her old hits.

Swift had been expected to speak out about a long feud with record industry executive Scooter Braun, who owns the master recordings to her first six albums after Swift signed with a new label in 2018.

Carrie Underwood poses backstage with her awards for Favorite Album-Country for “Cry Pretty” and for Favorite Female Artist-Country. –Reuters

Swift accused Braun last week of refusing permission for her to sing songs from her back catalog at the awards show. The public spat culminated last week with Braun saying that his family had received numerous death threats after the pop singer urged her 122 million Instagram fans to let Braun “know how you feel about this.”

Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello pose with their award for Collaboration of the Year for Senorita.–Reuters

But on Sunday, the “Fearless” singer made no mention of the dispute, although she opened her performance wearing a white shirt printed with the titles of her old albums.

“This year for me has been a lot. It’s been a lot of good, it’s been a lot of really complicated,” she said, without elaborating. She beat Drake, Ariana Grande, Halsey and Post Malone as artist of the year.

US singer Selena Gomez arrives for the 2019 American Music Awards at the Microsoft theatre in Los Angeles. –AFP

Newcomer Billie Eilish, 17, took home two statuettes for best new artist and best alternative rock artist after a breakout year that saw her top the US charts with her single “Bad Girl.”

“You made it all happen,” said Eilish, thanking her fans.

Eilish showed her support for environmental causes by wearing a T-shirt with the slogan “No Music on a Dead Planet” as she gave her first awards show performance with “All the Good Girls Go to Hell.”

Dan and Shay pose with their awards for Favorite Duo or Group-Country and Favorite Song-Country for “Speechless”. –Reuters

Selena Gomez kicked off the ceremony in her first live TV performance in two years after undergoing a kidney transplant in 2017 and battling anxiety and depression.

Body positive R&B singer Lizzo performed her new single “Jerome,” and Cuban-born Camila Cabello and boyfriend Shawn Mendes sang their hit pop single “Senorita,” which won the award for collaboration of the year.

Shania Twain performs a medley.–Reuters

British rocker Ozzy Osbourne, 70, who has been sidelined by serious health problems for a year, was mostly seated as he took to the stage with rappers Post Malone, Travis Scott and rocker WATT for their single “Take What You Want.”

Punk rockers Green Day got the audience to its feet as they marked the 25th anniversary of their 1994 breakout album “Dookie.”

Other performers included the Jonas Brothers, Kesha, Halsey, Christina Aguilera and Shania Twain.

Post Malone, Ozzy Osbourne and Travis Scott perform.–Reuters

Following is a list of winners in key categories:

Artist of the year

Taylor Swift

Artist of the decade

Taylor Swift

New artist of the year

Billie Eilish

Collaboration of the year

Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello “Senorita”

Tour of the year


Favourite music video

Taylor Swift “You Need to Calm Down”

Favourite social artist


Favourite male artist pop/rock


Favourite female artist pop/rock

Taylor Swift

Favourite duo or group pop/rock


Favourite album pop/rock

Taylor Swift “Lover”

Favourite male artist country

Kane Brown

Favourite female artist country

Carrie Underwood

Favourite duo or group country

Dan + Shay

Favourite artist rap/hip-hop

Cardi B

Favourite male artist soul/R&B

Bruno Mars

Favourite female artist soul/R&B

Beyonce. –Reuters