Taylor Swift has moonwalked past Michael Jackson’s record at the American Music Awards.
The pop star, who walked into Sunday night’s show with 23 AMAs, won two honors during the live telecast, surpassing the King of Pop’s 24 wins.
“This year has been a lot of good, a lot of really complicated, so behalf of my family and me, thank you so much for being there and caring,” said Swift.
Swift ended the three-hour fan-voted show by winning the top prize — artist of the year — besting Ariana Grande, Drake, Halsey and Post Malone. She also earned the artist of the decade award and performed a medley of her hit songs — a performance Swift said in a Nov. 15 social media post was put in jeopardy by Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun, the owners of her master recordings.
“This album really felt like a new beginning, and I also really love my record label, Universal and Republic. Monte Lipman, Lucian Grainge, thank you for being so generous to me and allowing me to make whatever music I want to make,” Swift said when she won best pop/rock album. “As a songwriter it’s so thrilling to me that I get to keep doing that.”
Her performance was well-received: Selena Gomez, Kesha, Ella Mai and Swift’s parents were among the audience members who sang and danced along while the pop star performed “Blank Space,” “Love Story,” “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “Shake It Off,” where she was joined by Halsey and Camila Cabello. Swift played the piano as she closed the performance with “Lover,” as ballet dancers Misty Copeland and Craig Hall performed in the background.
After the performance Swift thanked Carole King, who presented her the award.
Eilish, who won new artist of the year and favorite alternative artist, also took the stage — surrounded by fire — to perform her song, “All the Good Girls Go to Hell.” Lizzo screamed at the top of her lungs while performing the ballad “Jerome,” one of several songs from her album that earned her a Grammy nomination (she’s the top contender with eight). Christina Aguilera was a vocal powerhouse when she took the stage alongside A Great Big World and rock icon Ozzy Osbourne — who has been recovering from a bad fall that took place earlier this year — was a highlight as he performed with Post Malone and Travis Scott.
Shawn Mendes and Cabello stood close together as they performed “Senorita,” staring in each other’s eyes as they sang from one microphone at times. They even rubbed noses at the end.
The pair won collaboration of the year for “Senorita.” Other winners included top nominee Post Malone, who won favorite rap/hip-hip album for “Hollywood’s Bleeding” and Carrie Underwood, who was appropriately teary-eyed as she took home favorite country album for “Cry Pretty.”
Selena Gomez kicked off the AMAs as Swift and Halsey got out of their seats to cheer their pal on. R&B singer Ciara hosted the show, which aired live on ABC from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.