The Black Eyed Peas and Taylor Swift were among the early winners at American Music Awards on Sunday night, but the ceremony was as much a showcase for acts with new albums as it was a celebration of the biggest achievers of 2010.
"This is amazing!" said an exuberant Rihanna, who danced onstage to receive her award — favorite soul/R&B female. She ended her speech by yelling, "Wassup! Thank you!"
Rihanna, with her hair dyed a ruby red, gave the show a colorful and sexy start, performing a medley of songs from her just released album "Loud," including the No. 1 hit "What's My Name," wearing a bustier and what seemed like a scarf wrapped around her backside.
The Black Eyed Peas, winners for favorite pop/rock band, gave a levitating performance, singing from boxes atop the stage during part of their performance of their new single, "The Time."
But some of the prime-time performances were given to acts who weren't nominated, but had albums to promote. Diddy's latest incarnation with the group Diddy-Dirty Money sang material from their upcoming album, while Kid Rock gave a stirring, acoustic performance of "Times Like These," his song lifting up his hometown of Detroit during its recent economic struggles, from his new CD, "Born Free."
Swift, last year's artist of the year, took home favorite country female. Sporting sleek blonde hair instead of her usual cascading curls, Swift said simply: "I just want to thank the fans."
Swift was due to perform later in the evening, along with Bon Jovi, a pregnant Pink and more.
The night's top nominees were Eminem and Lady Antebellum with five apiece; they had yet to appear on the stage by mid-show.
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