Pop diva Taylor Swift was named Artist of the Year at the American Music Awards (AMA) on Sunday, while other big winners included British boy band One Direction and crooner Justin Timberlake.
Swift, who took to the stage in a shiny golden mini-dress, also won favourite country artist and favourite country album for Red at the AMAs, which are voted on by the public.
Other highlights included typically idiosyncratic performances by Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus, who wrapped up the three-hour show by singing her hit Wrecking Ball with a giant crying kitten.
To which some tweeters responded with the following:
America's face watching Miley's performance right now pic.twitter.com/36ArDO4ZgA
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) November 25, 2013
Who else focused more on the cat than Miley?
Katy Perry opened the show on a Japanese theme, emerging demurely from behind a geisha-girl flanked screen in a kimono before launching into her latest hit Unconditionally.
Timberlake was the first winner of the show, aired live from the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles and hosted by Latino rapper Pitbull, taking favourite pop/rock male prize.
He also won best R&B/soul album and best male R&B/soul artist.
Evening's brief political turn
One Direction, who sang a stripped down version of their song Story of My Life, ended the evening with favourite pop/rock group and favourite pop/rock album for Take Me Home.
Rihanna took best female R&B/soul artist, and was also presented with an AMA Icon award by her mother, who she joked used to say she had "an annoying, husky, little man voice".
The evening took a brief political turn when best rap/hip-hop album went to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – who used a satellite link speech from Miami to refer to the notorious killing of black Florida teen Trayvon Martin.
"Due to the fact that we are in Florida … I want to acknowledge Trayvon Martin and the hundreds and hundreds of kids each year that are dying due to racial profiling and the violence that follows it," said Macklemore.
But it was left to Cyrus – closely watched ever since her twerking turn at the MTV Video Music awards – to end the show in suitably twitter-storming style, in a cat-covered bikini and with a giant orange and white kitten singing along behind her. – AFP