If there was any ever doubt, teen sensation Justin Bieber received a rousing validation at the American Music Awards on Sunday (Nov. 21), topping even Eminem in awards and winning artist of the year — thanks to his fans.
Bieber also won for favorite pop album, breakthrough artist and favorite male pop artist.
In a touching moment, R&B singer Usher, who also won two awards, came on stage and hugged Bieber after the 16-year-old won his first award for artist of the year.
Usher helped discover Bieber a mere 18 months ago and signed him to a record deal.
Here are the AMA winners for 2010 Breakthrough Artist: Justin Bieber
Artist of the Year: Justin Bieber
Pop/Rock Album: Justin Bieber, My World 2.0
Pop/Rock Band, Duo or Group: The Black Eyed Peas
Pop/Rock Female Artist: Lady Gaga
Pop/Rock Male Artist: Justin Bieber
Soul/R&B Album: Usher, Raymond v. Raymond
Soul/R&B Female Artist: Rihanna
Soul/R&B Male Artist: Usher
Rap/Hip-Hop Album: Eminem, Recovery
Rap/Hip-Hop Male Artist: Eminem
Country Band, Duo or Group: Lady Antebellum.
Country Album: Carrie Underwood, Play On
Country Female Artist: Taylor Swift
Country Male Artist: Brad Paisley
Contemporary Inspirational Artist: MercyMe
Soundtrack: Glee: The Music, Volume 3 – Showstoppers
Latin Music Artist: Shakira
Alternative Rock Artist: Muse
Adult Contemporary Artist: Michael Buble
“I don’t cry that often but I did, and I enjoyed it,” Usher told reporters backstage.
Bieber was equally humbled. “I’m from the smallest town in the world of, like, 30,000 people,” he said as he accepted the breakthrough artist award. “I never thought this was possible.”
Bieber, who was raised in Canada, but now lives in the United States, is music’s hottest act at the moment.
His album “My World 2.0” has sold almost 2 million copies in the United States, and his fans are legion.
The awards are decided based on online votes, and Bieber is also music’s biggest Twitter star next to Lady Gaga. Fans buzzed the social networking site, urging support for him.
Eminem and country trio Lady Antebellum scored five nominations each; the rapper won two awards and Lady was named best country group. Perhaps sensing a drubbing, Eminem was a no show.
Michael Buble, 35, won his first-ever award, for favorite adult contemporary artist. British rock band Muse was also a first-time winner, for favorite alternative rock artist.
Other winners included country stars Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley; funk band the Black Eyed Peas; R&B singer Rihanna, and Colombian pop star Shakira.