LOS ANGELES – Michael Jackson made history by posthumously winning four American Music Awards on Sunday night, but he couldn’t beat Taylor Swift as the year’s favorite artist and the evening’s top winner.
The 19-year-old took the show’s top award, giving Jackson his only loss of the night, and giving her five trophies in all.
“Music has never been ultimately about competition,” she said as she accepted the top prize via satellite from London, where she is to perform today. “To even be mentioned in a category with Michael Jackson, who we will miss and love forever, is an unimaginable honor.”
Swift was also named favorite female pop/rock and country artist and favorite adult-contemporary artist. Her album, “Fearless,” won favorite country album. Jackson was voted favorite male artist in the pop/rock and soul/R&B categories. His 2003 greatest-hits album, “Number Ones,” also won favorite album in both categories, bringing his career AMA total to 23, making him the most honored artist in AMA history.
Jackson’s trophies were accepted by his brother Jermaine, who paid tribute to his late brother by wearing a glittery white glove. He thanked “Allah for blessing my entire family” and named each of his brothers and sisters.
Jackson’s victories were among the highlights of the evening, which also featured a jaw-dropping number from Adam Lambert, who traded in his “American Idol” image for sex, leather and chains Sunday, an eye-popping performance by Lady Gaga and a special award for Whitney Houston. The 46-year-old Houston received the International Award of Excellence for her musical and philanthropic contributions.