BTS, Taylor Swift & More Record-Setters at the 2021 AMAs

BTS and Taylor Swift were among the artists who set records at the 2021 American Music Awards, held on Sunday (Nov. 21) at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

BTS won artist of the year, becoming the first group to win in that top category since One Direction won back-to-back awards in 2014-15. The K-pop sensations beat Swift, who has won six times in the category, more than anyone else. This is only Swift’s second loss in the category. She previously lost to 1D in 2015.



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BTS won favorite pop duo or group for the third year in a row. They’re just the third act to win three years in a row in this category, which dates to the show’s first year (1974). They follow Daryl Hall + John Oates (1983-85) and One Direction (2013-15).

BTS also won favorite pop song for “Butter,” which logged 10 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, longer than any other single so far this year. That gave BTS three awards on the night, which put them in tie with Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion as the night’s numerical leaders.

Swift won favorite pop album for a record-setting fourth time, for evermore. She previously won for 1989 (2015), reputation (2018) and Lover (2019). Michael Jackson won three times in the category, as has Justin Bieber.

Swift also won favorite female pop artist for a record-extending sixth time. Moreover, this is her fourth consecutive win in the category, making her the first woman to win four years in a row in this category. Olivia Newton-John and Whitney Houston each won four times, but not in a row.

These two awards bring Swift’s career tally of AMAs to 34, extending her lead as the artist with the most wins. Jackson is in second place with 26 wins.

Female artists won four of the five album awards. In addition to Swift’s win for favorite pop album (evermore), Megan Thee Stallion took favorite hip-hop album (Good News), Doja Cat won favorite R&B album (Planet Her) and Gabby Barrett won favorite country album (Goldmine).

The only male artist to win an album award was Bad Bunny for favorite Latin album, which was he won for the second year in a row. He won this year for El Último Tour Del Mundo. He won last year, the category’s inaugural year, for YHLQMDLG. Bad Bunny also won for favorite male Latin artist.

Olivia Rodrigo won new artist of the year. The teen phenom is almost certain to win best new artist at the Grammys on Jan. 31. That would make her the third artist to win the new artist award at both shows, following Carrie Underwood and Billie Eilish. Jesse Collins, who was the showrunner on the AMAs, is also one of the top producers of the Grammys, which are slated to be held at Staples Center, which is located adjacent to the Microsoft Theater.

Silk Sonic’s “Leave the Door Open” won for favorite R&B song, giving Bruno Mars his third win in the category. This puts him in a tie with Jackson for most wins in the category. Mars previously won for “That’s What I Like” (2017) and “Finesse,” a collab with Cardi B (2018). Jackson won for “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” (1980), “Bad” (1988) and “Remember the Time” (1993). Note: The category was on hiatus from 1996-2015. This win brings Mars’ career total of AMA wins to 11.

Cardi B, who hosted the show, won favorite hip-hop song for “Up.” It’s her record third win in the category (which was introduced in 2016). She won three years ago for “Bodak Yellow” and again last year for “WAP,” a collab with Megan Thee Stallion.

Underwood won favorite female country artist for the eighth time. That’s second only to Reba McEntire, who has won 11 times in the category. The fan-voted award may mean a little extra to Underwood this year: She was passed over for a nod for female vocalist of the year at the CMA Awards for the first time, ending a 15-year nomination streak. Underwood also won an AMA for favorite inspirational artist, on the strength of her hit album My Savior. These two wins bring Underwood’s career tally to 17 AMA wins.

Luke Bryan won favorite male country artist for the fifth time. Only three other artists have won that many or more awards in this category. Garth Brooks leads with eight wins, followed by Tim McGraw with six. The late Kenny Rogers also won five.

Marshmello won favorite dance/electronic artist for the third time. He’s the first three-time winner in the category, which dates to 2012. Calvin Harris and The Chainsmokers have each won twice.

Doja Cat featuring SZA’s “Kiss Me More” became the first all-female collab to win collaboration of the year. The category dates to 2015. Doja Cat also won as favorite female R&B artist for the second year in a row.

The Weeknd won favorite male R&B artist for the third time; the second year in a row. He’s the first artist to win two or more years in a row since Usher (2010-12).

Lil Nas X took music video of the year for “Montero (Call Me by Your Name).” His “Old Town Road” collab with Billy Ray Cyrus was nominated two years ago, but lost to Swift’s “You Need to Calm Down.”

Most of the top nominees won something, but, as often happens, a few nominations leaders were shut out. Five-time nominee GIVĒON and four-time nominee Ariana Grande went home empty-handed.

The American Music Awards are produced by MRC Live & Alternative, which is owned by MRC. MRC and Penske Media are co-parent companies of Billboard.