The AMAs were created by Dick Clark in 1973 to compete with the Grammys after the move of that year's show to Nashville, Tennessee led to CBS picking up the Grammy telecasts after its first two in 1971 and 1972 were broadcast on ABC. Michael Jackson and Donny Osmond co-hosted the first award show with Rodney Allen Rippy and Ricky Segall.
Differences between the AMA and Grammy Awards
While the Grammy Awards are awarded based on votes by members of the entertainment industry, the AMAs are determined by a poll of music buyers, and as a result is more of a representative of public opinion.The "big three" established awards shows (AMAs, Billboard Music Awards, and Grammy Awards) compete for prestige and television ratings, with the Grammy Awards nominally rewarding quality and both the AMAs and Billboard Music Awards rewarding popularity. Stories of artists being pressured to participate in one awards show over the other have been fodder for tabloid gossip and controversy. The controversy was muted somewhat after the AMA's moved to late November, avoiding being in the same awards season as the Grammys.
Another major difference between the Grammys and the AMAs is that the AMAs do not currently have an award for Best Single/Record but the Grammys do.
Also, the American Music Awards have nominations based on sales and airplay (even if the album is old), while the Grammys only nominate albums from their eligibility period.
Favorite Artist of the Year
In 1996, the AMAs instituted a new award, Favorite Artist of the Year, which was awarded to Garth Brooks. Brooks gave a short speech essentially saying he didn't deserve the award in a year he didn't do anything, and left the award on the podium. The category was discontinued.
In 2004, the AMAs brought in a new category entitled "T-Mobile Text-In Award", which resembled the Favorite Artist of the Year. The academy took one artist from 5 genres of music (rap, rock, pop, R&B, country) and merged them into one category, where America texted in their vote for their favorite artist of the selected five. Kenny Chesney won the first award, Rascal Flatts won the second award, Carrie Underwood won the third, with Chris Brown winning the fourth.
Although the American Music Awards is primarily for artists that originate from the United States, international artists like Elton John, Def Leppard, Celine Dion, Shania Twain, George Michael, Rihanna, Enrique Iglesias, Shakira and the have also won awards on the show, although this is in part of their large popularity in the United States.
For the first decade or so, the AMAs had multiple hosts, each representing a genre of music. For instance, Glen Campbell would host the country portion (Campbell, in fact, has co-hosted the AMAs more times than any other host or co-host), while other artists would co-host to represent his/her genre. In recent years, however, there has been one single host. For the 2008 awards, Jimmy Kimmel hosted for the fourth consecutive year. In 2009, there will be no host for the first time in history. Instead, the AMAs will follow the Grammys' lead in having various celebrities give introductions.
From its inception in 1973 until 2003, the AMAs have been held in mid- to late-January, but were moved to November beginning in 2003 so as not to further compete with other major awards shows (such as the Golden Globe Awards and the Academy Awards) and allows for ABC to have a well-rated awards show during November sweeps.
Artists with the most awards
The most American Music Awards for a group belongs to Alabama who have collected twenty-two awards. The record for a solo artist belongs to Michael Jackson who has amassed twenty-three awards (twenty-two as solo artist), including one for "artist of the century".
The record for the most American Music Awards won in a single year is held by both Michael Jackson (for 1983's Thriller), and Whitney Houston (for 1992's The Bodyguard Soundtrack), each with 8 awards to their credit (including the Award of Merit, with which both artists were honored in the respective years).