Entertainment & Arts

The best photos from the American Music Awards

Taylor Swift Image copyright Reuters

Taylor Swift was the big winner at the 2019 American Music Awards, taking home six trophies, including artist of the year.

The star now has 29 AMAs in total, overtaking Michael Jackson as the show's most-awarded star.

And while Swift dominated the prize-giving, there were plenty more memorable moments on the night. Here are some of the best images.

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Halsey Image copyright Getty Images

Halsey gave one of the night's most memorable performances, duelling in paint with a female backing dancer during the torrid break-up anthem Without You.

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Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes Image copyright Reuters

Pop's hottest couple, Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes, gave a steamy performance of their hit single Senorita, which went on to win collaboration of the year.

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Ciara Image copyright Kevin Mazur/AMA2019
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Show host Ciara made a stunning entrance, descending from the rafters in a glittered hoop; before performing her latest single Melanin.

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Billie Eilish and Billy Porter Image copyright Getty Images

Billie Eilish and Billy Porter upped the headgear ante on the red carpet. We're calling these looks "beekeper in pyjamas" and "Swiss cheese Pope".

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Billie Eilish Image copyright Getty Images

Eilish went on to give one of the night's best performances, a pyrotechnically-assisted version of her current single All The Good Girls Go To Hell.

It was the 17-year-old's first award show and she went on to win two prizes, best new artist and best alternative artist.

"Thank you to the fans and supporters and anyone who gives an eff about me," she said, getting censored by US broadcaster ABC in the process.

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Lil Nas X Image copyright Getty Images

Lil Nas X won best hip-hop single for his viral hit song Old Town Road; and came dressed in a lime-green zebra print suit.

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Selena Gomez Image copyright Getty Images

Pop star Selena Gomez posed for selfies with fans on the red carpet.

Selena Gomez Image copyright Getty Images

The star went on to open the ceremony, with a double performance of her new singles, Lose You To Love Me and Look At Her Now.

Despite suffering vocal problems, the star got a good reaction from the audience, with cameras showing fans singing and dancing along to the songs, including her close friend Taylor Swift.

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Shania Twain Image copyright Getty Images

Two hours later, Shania Twain closed the ceremony with a hit-strewn, leopard print-heavy megamix of her greatest hits.

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Lizzo Image copyright Reuters

2019's biggest breakout star Lizzo turned heads by bringing a minuscule handbag onto the red carpet. Presumably it contained the one Strepsil she needed to recover after her throat-shredding performance of Jerome.

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Green Day Image copyright Getty Images

Green Day celebrating the 25th anniversary of their 1994 breakthrough album Dookie, performing one of their earliest hits, Basket Case to an enthusiastic response.

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Dua Lipa Image copyright Getty Images

Six-time nominee Ariana Grande couldn't make it to the ceremony, but she lent her ponytail to Dua Lipa who put it to good use in an high-octane performance of her new single, Don't Start Now.

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Post Malone, Ozzy Osbourne and Travis Scott Image copyright Getty Images

Ozzy Osbourne joined Post Malone and Travis Scott to perform Take What You Want.

The former Black Sabbath singer, who has suffered from various health issues in 2019, stayed seated in a throne for most of the performance.

Post Malone later won best hip-hop album for Hollywood's Bleeding; and closed his acceptance speech with one of the night's most puzzling statements.

"I love grapes," he said, "so thank you so much."

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Toni Braxton Image copyright Reuters

R&B star Toni Braxton gave a stirring rendition of her classic ballad Un-Break My Heart (although, to be honest, we always preferred the Frankie Knuckles remix).

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Carrie Underwood Image copyright Getty Images

Carrie Underwood was interrupted as she accepted the award for best country album - to be told she'd also won the prize for favourite country artist.

"Oh, so it's a good surprise!" she said, clearly taken aback. "I was worried for a minute."

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Kesha Image copyright Getty Images

Kesha made a triumphant return to the ceremony after a six-year absence, dressed in pastel pink robes and announcing: "Welcome to our Sunday Service".

It wasn't exactly a religious sermon, but she took the audience to church by incorporating a snippet of her party anthem Tik Tok in the middle of her new single, Raising Hell.

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Christina Aguilera Image copyright Getty Images

Six years after performing their hit song Say Something at the 2013 American Music Awards, Christina Aguilera and musical duo A Great Big World joined forces again to perform their new single Fall On Me on Sunday night.

Aguilera is currently celebrating the 20th anniversary of her debut album; and reminisced about her early days as a cast member on the Mickey Mouse Club on the red carpet.

"Those guys, they really know how to recruit some superstars," she said. "Miley had a Disney background, too. And Ariana, I think. They just know how to cast some great people and great kids who just go on to big things. So, yes, Mickey Mouse Club, that was my old stomping ground. So always a Disney girl."

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Taylor Swift's shirt Image copyright Getty Images

Taylor Swift's feud with her old record label, Big Machine, threatened to overshadow the ceremony, with the singer saying she'd been banned from playing songs like Shake It Off and Love Story during her performance.

The dispute was resolved in time for the show - but Swift took to the stage wearing a shirt stencilled with the names of her first six albums, which Big Machine still controls the rights to.

She also performed The Man, whose lyrics deal with the lack of equality in the music industry: "I'm so sick of running / As fast as I can," she sang. "Wondering if I'd get there quicker / If I was a man."

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Camila Cabello, Taylor Swift and Halsey Image copyright John Shearer/AMA2019
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After that, though, the singer shed the shirt and started on a 13-minute greatest hits medley, including a duet with Camila Cabello and Halsey on Shake It Off.

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Taylor Swift Image copyright Getty Images

Taylor Swift relaxed with her trophies after the ceremony. Although how she stood up with all that weight pinning down her dress is anyone's guess. Perhaps she'll be stuck there forever.

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