Vandross, 50 Cent Honored With Two AMAs
Veteran soul singer Luther Vandross and ubiquitous rapper 50 Cent were the winners of two American Music Awards (AMAs) each tonight (Nov. 16). Neither was on hand at Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium toVeteran soul singer Luther Vandross and ubiquitous rapper 50 Cent were the winners of two American Music Awards (AMAs) each tonight (Nov. 16). Neither was on hand at Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium to accept the awards, but Vandross, still recovering from a debilitating stroke suffered in April, was represented by his mother.
Visibly moved, Mary Vandross slowly climbed the steps to the stage to accept the award for favorite male soul/R&B artist. "I'm so very sorry Luther could not be here tonight in person," she said after taking the stage to receive the male artist award. "I'm here to represent him and say thanks to all of you who made this possible."
After announcing Vandross' win of the favorite soul/R&B album for his J Records set "Dance With My Father," actor Michael Chiklis carried the trophy to her seat near the stage.
50 Cent won awards for favorite male rap/hip-hop artist and favorite rap/hip-hop album "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope).
As the public plays a key role in the awards -- winners are chosen through a national poll of 20,000 music listeners -- most artists used their acceptance speeches to thank fans.
"A special 'thank you' to the fans who have sustained us, encouraged us and inspired us all these years," Alabama lead singer Randy Owen said in accepting the favorite country band, duo or group award. The retiring act has won more AMAs than any other artist, with 23 to its credit.
"All I've ever wanted to do is stand on stage and sing," favorite country female artist winner Faith Hill said. "And you fans have made it possible time and time again." Hill's husband Tim McGraw also won, taking home the favorite country male trophy.
Clay Aiken, who won the Internet-voted fan's choice award, was particularly appreciative of the legion of admirers he has won since taking second place in the second "American Idol" competition. "I didn't expect to be up here, I'm kind of used to second place," he joked before admitting, "I've been amazed at the support of the most amazing fans across the country."
Missy Elliott wasn't on hand when it was announced she'd won the favorite female rap/hip-hop artist award. After a commercial, host Jimmy Kimmel ushered the artist on stage to accept, where she explained, "Somebody stole my limo, but I'm here now." Along with a host of music industry figures, she also thanked God, much to Kimmel's chagrin, as he announced at the top of the show that it was not allowed during the night's proceedings. "God doesn't watch television," he quipped. "And if he did, he wouldn't be watching this."
Nearly as many performances were presented as awards, with back-to-back songs from Britney Spears ("Me Against the Music") and Kid Rock ("Feel Like Makin' Love") opening the show. The formula was repeated throughout the night, as Pink's "Trouble" was quickly followed by Rod Stewart's rendition of the Rodgers/Hart standard "My Heart Stood Still." Alan Jackson's "Remember When" bumped up against Ashanti's "Rain on Me."
"Idol" winner Ruben Studdard sang the Carpenters' "Superstar" immediately after Aiken performed "Invisible," then the two dueted on the gospel song "Jesus Is Love." OutKast's Andre 3000 and Big Boi also performed separate hit singles back-to-back with the former offering "Hey Ya" and the latter rapping through "The Way You Move."
Towards the end of the show, favorite contemporary inspirational artist winner Steven Curtis Chapman and actress Sarah Rue announced the Bomb Squad as the winner of the Coca-Cola Unsigned Band award. The New York-based funk rock group beat out a field of 12,000 acts to earn the performance slot during the ceremonies.
Also performing during the three-hour ABC broadcast were Hilary Duff, Evanescence, Fleetwood Mac (via satellite from Hamburg), Toby Keith, Sheryl Crow, 3 Doors Down, Sean Paul and Metallica.
Here are the winners of the 31st annual American Music Awards:
Favorite male artist: Kid Rock
Favorite female artist: Jennifer Lopez
Favorite band, duo or group: Fleetwood Mac
Favorite album: "Justified," Justin Timberlake (Jive/Zomba)
Favorite male artist: Luther Vandross
Favorite female artist: Aaliyah
Favorite band, duo or group: The Isley Brothers
Favorite album: "Dance With My Father," Luther Vandross (J)
Favorite male artist: Tim McGraw
Favorite female artist: Faith Hill
Favorite band, duo or group: Alabama
Favorite album: "Unleashed," Toby Keith (Dreamworks Nashville)
Favorite male artist: 50 Cent
Favorite female artist: Missy Elliott
Favorite band, duo or group: Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz
Favorite album: "Get Rich or Die Tryin'," 50 Cent (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope)
Favorite artist: Celine Dion
Favorite artist: Ricky Martin
Favorite Artist: Linkin Park
Favorite artist: Steven Curtis Chapman
Fans' choice award: Clay Aiken