Adele and Taylor Swift rule at American Music Awards

Taylor Swift, right, with award presenter Lionel Richie Taylor Swift, right, beat Adele, Lil Wayne, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga to artist of the year

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Adele and country star Taylor Swift have won three awards each at the audience-voted American Music Awards.

Adele, absent as she recovers from throat surgery, won the pop/rock prizes for best female and best album, for 21, as well as adult contemporary artist.

Swift, who beat Adele to artist of the year, said "you have no idea what this means to me", having written her album Speak Now solo.

Rapper Nicki Minaj won two gongs, voted for by the US public.

"This is one of the craziest things that has ever happened to me," Swift said at the Los Angeles ceremony.

"I have no idea what I'm supposed to say - I did not think this was going to happen."

The 21-year-old star, who also beat Lil Wayne, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga to artist of the year, also won best female country artist for a second year running and best country album.

LMFAO and Justin Bieber Justin Bieber, right, joined dance pop group LMFAO on stage

Lady Gaga and rapper Lil Wayne went home empty-handed while Katy Perry picked up a special award for becoming the first woman to score five number one US singles from one album, Teenage Dream.

Adele had led the nomination field with four nods.

Minaj, who opened the show in a metallic outfit complete with speakers on her bottom, won the rap/hip-hop prizes for best artist and best album, for Pink Friday.

"This one could actually make me cry," Minaj said, picking up the latter.

Maroon 5 - whose duet with Christina Aguilera on their hit Moves Like Jagger was among 17 performances on the night - were voted best pop/rock group while Bruno Mars was named best pop/rock male.

Chris Brown Chris Brown performed All Back and Say It With Me

In the soul/R&B category, Usher was best male, Beyonce was best female and Rihanna won best album for Loud.

Blake Shelton was voted best country male while Lady Antebellum won best country group.

Foo Fighters were favourite alternative rock act while Jennifer Lopez, who performed On the Floor, was favourite Latin artist.

Her performance with Will.i.am on his new single Hard was one of a number of collaborations at the 39th American Music Awards , shown live in the US on the ABC TV network.

Justin Bieber - the winner of four AMAs last year - performed Mistletoe, from his Christmas album Under the Mistletoe, while Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, Chris Brown and Enrique Iglesias also sang.

The ceremony can be seen in the UK on MTV's Viva channel on Saturday, 26 November at 10:00pm.

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