Mon, November 24, 2008
Entertainment > Music

Kanye West, Rihanna, Chris Brown early AMA winners

2008-11-24 03:22:59 GMT2008-11-24 11:22:59 (Beijing Time)

Kanye West's reason for throwing a tantrum was removed early Sunday night.(

Rihanna won favorite female soul/R&B artist and favorite pop/rock female.(

Chris Brown (L) captured one of the first two trophies of the night.(

Christina Aguilera performs for the 2008 American Music Awards.

Kanye West's reason for throwing a tantrum was removed early Sunday night as the rapper won his first American Music Awards.

His CD, "Graduation," won favorite rap/hip-hop album. If he was humbled by his win, he didn't show it in his grandiose acceptance speech.

"I'd like to thank everyone who accepted me trying to break new boundaries in music," said West. "It's our responsibility as musicians to keep pushing each other. ... We will be the new Beatles, the new (Jimi) Hendrix. I want to be Elvis."

He also won favorite rap/hip-hop male, but in generous mood, he said he would give his trophy to best-selling rapper and fellow nominee Lil Wayne.

"If it was last year, it would have been my award," he said.

Four years ago, West threw one of his first awards-show tantrums when Gretchen Wilson beat him for favorite new artist, beginning what has become somewhat of a tradition at awards shows — the Kanye outburst.

West was also set to take the stage to perform a song of his new CD, "808s & Heartbreak," during the performance-packed show, which featured sets by Miley Cyrus, Ne-Yo.

The American Music Awards traditionally centers on its performances, and it featured high energy sets from Ne-Yo and Miley Cyrus, though a pair of lackluster medleys opened the program at the Nokia Theatre. Christina Aguilera channeled Madonna and the New Kids on the Block channeled an earlier version of themselves as each sang their latest singles and greatest hits.

Pink, whose new track, "Sober," was awkwardly introduced by slurring rocker Scott Weiland.

Musical lovebirds Rihanna and Chris Brown captured the first two trophies of the night: she won favorite female soul/R&B artist and he won favorite male pop/rock artist. Rihanna also won for favorite pop/rock female.

"Now I have another American Music Award: This is a big deal," she said.

Alicia Keys, who led the nominees with five nods, including artist of the year and favorite female artist in both the pop/rock and soul/R&B categories, won early in the show: favorite pop/rock album for "As I Am."

"I'm very, very shocked and proud to be here," she said, dedicating her award "to all the incredible artists who are here tonight and who show their artistry."

Other early winners included Brad Paisley, for favorite country artist, Taylor Swift for favorite female country act, and Rascal Flatts for favorite country favorite band, duo or group.

Jimmy Kimmel returned for a fifth time as host of the three-hour show, broadcast live on ABC, poking fun at the celebrity-filled crowd during his opening monologue.

Recapping the year in music, he cracked: "Christina Aguilera had a baby ... Mariah Carey married one."

Carey's husband, Nick Cannon, kissed her hand as she took the stage to perform her new single, "I Stay in Love." Other performers included Coldplay.


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