Justin Bieber’s first American Music Awards was perfection.
The 16-year-old teen heartthrob went four for four Sunday night, capturing every award he was nominated for, including the top award of the night, artist of the year. He beat a list that featured veterans Eminem and Usher, as well as Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.
Bieber became the youngest person to ever win the trophy. Bieber also won favorite pop/rock album, favorite pop/rock male and the show’s breakthrough artist award.
“I can’t stop smiling; this is amazing,” Bieber said after he also beat Eminem and Usher for favorite pop/rock male. “Truly I don’t know how this is possible because I’ve been singing Eminem since I was three, and Usher is my mentor. So this is big.”
Eminem and Lady Antebellum led the nominees going into the night with five apiece. They didn’t come up empty-handed, though: Eminem won two, and Lady Antebellum took home one. Usher also nabbed a pair.
Other winners included The Black Eyed Peas and Taylor Swift, but Sunday’s ceremony at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles was as much a showcase for acts with new albums as it was a celebration of the biggest achievers of 2010.
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.”
Katy Perry had the evening’s most explosive performance as pyrotechnics accentuated her performance of her latest song, “Firework.”