BTS wins artist of the year award for first time

November 22, 2021
BTS poses in the press room with the awards for favorite pop duo or group, favorite pop song for “Butter,” and artist of the year at the American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
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BTS had a huge night at Sunday’s American Music Awards, maybe even a miracle night.

The boy band from South Korea ended the show performing their AMA-winning hit “Butter” and won every award they were nominated for — favorite pop duo or group (for the third time in a row); favorite pop song (“Butter”) and the coveted artist of the year award (for the first time).

Accepting the best artist award, 27-year-old RM nervously said from stage, “This whole thing is a miracle. Seriously, we will never take this for granted.”

“Four years ago, we had given this first-time-ever TV live performance at this AMAs stage for ‘DNA.’ We were so excited and nervous at the time,” RM said. “It’s been a long and amazing ride since then, but nobody could have ever bet on the odds of us standing here receiving this award. Except for the ARMY. Seven boys from Korea, united by a love for music, met the love and support from all the ARMY all over the world.”

Ahead of the televised show, taking place Sunday night at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, a slew of awards were announced earlier in the day. Taylor Swift broke her own record when she won favorite female pop artist for the seventh time and topped her previous record for most AMA wins of all time. Swift also won for best pop album “evermore” during the show and now has 34 AMA trophies. 

Olivia Rodrigo, who had the most nominations of the night with seven, won new artist of the year.

Also winning three awards each were Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion. Ed Sheeran won favorite male pop artist while Drake and Megan Thee Stallion won favorite male and female hip-hop artists. 

Brutally honest reviews of every AMAs 2021 performance, including Silk Sonic

AMA nominees are selected based on fan interactions with music (including streaming, album sales, song sales, radio airplay, social engagement) that are tracked by Billboard and its data partner MRC Data, according to the organization. Winners are determined by fan voting.

Who took home a trophy at the AMAs? Scroll through to see the winners and nominees in each category.

Complete list of 2021 AMA nominees and winners:

New Artist of the Year

  • Winner: Olivia Rodrigo
  • 24kGoldn
  • Giveon
  • Masked Wolf
  • The Kid LAROI

Artist of the Year

  • Winner: BTS
  • Ariana Grande
  • Drake
  • Taylor Swift
  • Olivia Rodrigo
  • The Weeknd

Collaboration of the year

  • “Mood” – 24kGoldn ft. iann dior
  • “DÁKITI” – Bad Bunny & Jhay Cortez
  • “Go Crazy” – Chris Brown & Young Thug
  • Winner: “Kiss Me More” – Doja Cat ft. SZA
  • “Peaches” – Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar & Giveon

Machine Gun Kelly rocks the AMA red carpetwith 12-year-old daughter Casie, not Megan Fox

Favorite trending song

  • “Buss It” – Erica Banks
  • “Beggin’” – Måneskin 
  • Winner: “Body” – Megan Thee Stallion
  • “drivers license” – Olivia Rodrigo
  • “Adderall (Corvette Corvette)” – Popp Hunna

Favorite music video

  • “Leave The Door Open” – Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak)
  • “Up” – Cardi B
  • Winner: “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” – Lil Nas X
  • “drivers license” – Olivia Rodrigo
  • “Save Your Tears” – The Weeknd

Favorite male pop artist

  • Drake
  • Winner: Ed Sheeran
  • Justin Bieber
  • Lil Nas X
  • The Weeknd

Favorite female pop artist 

  • Ariana Grande
  • Doja Cat
  • Dua Lipa
  • Olivia Rodrigo
  • Winner: Taylor Swift

Favorite pop duo or group

  • AJR
  • Winner: BTS
  • Glass Animals
  • Maroon 5
  • Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak)

Favorite pop album

  • “positions” – Ariana Grande
  • “Future Nostalgia” – Dua Lipa
  • “sour” – Olivia Rodrigo
  • Winner: “evermore” – Taylor Swift
  • “F— LOVE” – The Kid LAROI

Favorite pop song

  • “Butter” – BTS
  • “Kiss Me More” – Doja Cat ft. SZA
  • “Levitating” – Dua Lipa
  • “drivers license” – Olivia Rodrigo
  • “Save Your Tears (Remix)” – The Weeknd & Ariana Grande

Favorite male country artist 

  • Chris Stapleton
  • Jason Aldean
  • Winner: Luke Bryan
  • Luke Combs
  • Morgan Wallen 

Favorite female country artist

  • Winner: Carrie Underwood
  • Gabby Barrett
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Maren Morris
  • Miranda Lambert

Favorite country duo or group

  • Winner: Dan + Shay
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Lady A
  • Old Dominion
  • Zac Brown Band

Favorite country album

  • “Starting Over” – Chris Stapleton
  • Winner: “Goldmine” – Gabby Barrett
  • “Hey World” – Lee Brice
  • “Born Here Live Here Die Here” – Luke Bryan
  • “Dangerous: The Double Album” – Morgan Wallen

Favorite country song

  • “Starting Over” – Chris Stapleton
  • “Famous Friends” – Chris Young & Kane Brown
  • Winner: “The Good Ones” – Gabby Barrett
  • “Forever After All” – Luke Combs
  • “Fancy Like” – Walker Hayes

Favorite male hip-hop artist 

  • Winner: Drake
  • Lil Baby 
  • Moneybagg Yo
  • Polo G
  • Pop Smoke

Favorite female hip-hop artist

  • Cardi B
  • Coi Leray
  • Erica Banks
  • Winner: Megan Thee Stallion
  • Saweetie

Favorite hip-hop album

  • “Certified Lover Boy” – Drake
  • “Legends Never Die” – Juice WRLD
  • Winner: “Good News” – Megan Thee Stallion
  • “Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon” – Pop Smoke
  • “SoulFly” – Rod Wave

Favorite hip-hop song

  • Winner: “Up” – Cardi B
  • “Lemonade” – Internet Money ft. Gunna, Don Toliver & NAV
  • “Calling My Phone” – Lil Tjay ft. 6LACK
  • “RAPSTAR” – Polo G
  • “What You Know Bout Love” – Pop Smoke

Favorite male R&B artist

  • Chris Brown
  • Giveon
  • Tank
  • Winner: The Weeknd
  • Usher

Favorite female R&B artist 

  • Winner: Doja Cat
  • H.E.R.
  • Jazmine Sullivan
  • Jhené Aiko
  • SZA

Favorite R&B Album

  • Winner: “Planet Her” – Doja Cat
  • “When It’s All Said And Done… Take Time” – Giveon
  • “Back of My Mind” – H.E.R.
  • “Heaux Tales” – Jazmine Sullivan
  • “Missunderstood” – Queen Naija

Favorite R&B song

  • “Leave The Door Open” – Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak)
  • “Go Crazy” – Chris Brown & Young Thug
  • “Heartbreak Anniversary” – Giveon
  • “Damage” – H.E.R.
  • “Pick Up Your Feelings” – Jazmine Sullivan

Favorite male Latin artist 

  • Winner: Bad Bunny
  • J Balvín
  • Maluma
  • Ozuna
  • Rauw Alejandro

Favorite female Latin artist

  • Becky G
  • Kali Uchis
  • Karol G
  • Natti Natasha
  • Rosalía 

Favorite Latin duo or group 

  • Winner: Banda MS de Sergio Lizárraga
  • Calibre 50
  • Eslabon Armado
  • La Arrolladora Banda El Limón De René Camacho
  • Los Dos Carnales

Favorite Latin album 

  • Winner: “EL ÚLTIMO TOUR DEL MUNDO” – Bad Bunny
  • “Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios)” – Kali Uchis
  • “KG0516” – Karol G 
  • “Papi Juancho” – Maluma
  • “Afrodisíaco” – Rauw Alejandro

Favorite Latin song 

  • “Dákiti” – Bad Bunny & Jhay Cortez
  • “LA NOCHE DE ANOCHE” – Bad Bunny x Rosalía 
  • “Pepas” – Farruko
  • “telepatía” – Kali Uchis
  • “Hawái (Remix)” – Maluma & The Weeknd

Favorite rock artist 

  • AJR
  • All Time Low
  • Foo Fighters
  • Glass Animals
  • Winner: Machine Gun Kelly

Favorite inspirational artist

  • CAIN
  • Winner: Carrie Underwood
  • Elevation Worship 
  • Lauren Daigle
  • Zach Williams

Favorite gospel artist

  • Winner: Kanye West
  • Kirk Franklin
  • Koryn Hawthorne
  • Maverick City Music
  • Tasha Cobbs Leonard

Favorite dance/electronic artist

  • David Guetta
  • Illenium
  • Winner: Marshmello
  • Dj Regard
  • Tiësto

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