One Direction wins big at American Music Awards, Paris takes spotlight

Mon Nov 23, 2015 1:39am EST
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - British boy band One Direction swept the top honors at Sunday's American Music Awards, while a sorrowful tribute to the victims of the attacks in Paris lent a somber note to a night of otherwise vibrant performances.

One Direction was named artist of the year for a second consecutive year, and also won the best pop/rock album for a third consecutive year, with the album "Made In The A.M."

"It's absolutely incredible to receive this award two years in a row. It's a testament to how incredible our fans are," band member Louis Tomlinson said.

Actor-musician Jared Leto made a moving tribute to the 130 victims of the deadly Nov. 13 attacks across Paris, specifically the 89 who died at the Bataclan concert hall, where he said he and his band, 30 Seconds to Mars, had performed "a beautiful, peaceful" show earlier this year.

"Tonight we honor victims of the unimaginable violence that took place in Paris and around the world," he said. "France matters, Russia matters, Syria matters, Mali matters, the Middle East matters, the United States matters, the entire world matters and peace is possible."

French-Canadian singer Celine Dion sang Edith Piaf's classic French ode "Hymne à l'amour" in memory of those lost.

Key winners on the night included Taylor Swift, who went into the night with a leading six nominations and won three awards but did not attend the event.

Nicki Minaj won two awards in the rap/hip hop categories, The Weeknd won two soul/R&B awards, Florida Georgia Line won two country music awards and country artist Sam Hunt was named best new artist.   Continued...

One Direction poses backstage with their awards for Favorite Rock/Pop Band/Duo/Group and Artist of the Year during the 2015 American Music Awards in Los Angeles, California November 22, 2015.  REUTERS/David McNew