Top AMA Winners By Category
The American Music Awards have never gotten the same due as the Grammys. "They're just a popularity poll," critics scoff. That may be true, but that is also the show's core appeal. The show does a good job of documenting who was hot and who was not each year—which has been its central mission from the day Dick Clark created the show in 1973. As such, the show has provided a snapshot of America's always-evolving musical tastes.
When you look at the artists who have won the most awards in each category over the years, in many cases, the most famous and iconic artist in that category comes out on top. Michael Jackson won the most awards for Favorite Album in both Pop/Rock and Soul/R&B. That makes sense. Kenny Rogers has won the most awards for Favorite Album—Country. Again, that sounds right. Eminem has won the most for Favorite Artist—Rap/Hip-Hop. Again, I'll go with that.
Here's a recap of 21 of the AMA's 22 current categories (and here's a link to their site). I show which artist has won the most awards over the years in that category. In most cases, I also show key runners-up. (The 22nd category is Favorite New Artist, a category in which no one has won more than once.)
Artist of the Year: Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber have each won twice. Swift won in 2009 and 2011. Bieber in 2010 and 2012. Swift is nominated again this year. If she wins, she'll become the first three-time winner in the category.
Single of the Year: This year marks the first time that the AMAs have given out one award for the year's favorite single. From 1974 through 1995, the program gave out separate awards in three top genres. In Pop/Rock, Lionel Richie was "three times a winner," for Commodores' "Three Times A Lady" (1979), "Endless Love," a collaboration with Diana Ross (1982) and "Truly" (1983). For Soul/R&B, Michael Jackson was the top winner (three times), for "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" (1980), "Bad" (1988) and "Remember The Time" (1993). For Country, Kenny Rogers was the top winner (five times) for "Lucille" (1978), "Coward Of The County" (1981), "Love Will Turn You Around" (1983) and "Islands In The Stream," a collabo with Dolly Parton (1984 and 1985).
Favorite Album—Pop/Rock: Michael Jackson is the only three-time winner in the category. He won for Thriller (1984), Dangerous (1993) and Number Ones (2009). Whitney Houston, Eagles and Justin Bieber are runners-up with two wins each.
Favorite Male Artist—Pop/Rock: In 1980, Barry Manilow became the first three- time winner in the category. Three other artists have since equaled that feat: Michael Bolton, Eric Clapton and Michael Jackson. Jackson won his third award in 2009, after died that June.