French DJ David Guetta won the first-ever American Music Award for electronic dance music over DJs Calvin Harris and Skrillex.
It's wonderful also to see electronic music recognized at this level in the U.S., Guetta said in a taped acceptance speech.
Only 13 of the 20 awards were handed out during the live broadcast. Katy Perry was named favorite female pop/rock artist, Shakira was named favorite Latin artist, while Beyonce was voted favorite soul artist. None of the three attended the show.
Country-pop darling Taylor Swift, 22, scored the favorite female country artist award before performing her latest single I Knew You Were Trouble from her chart-topping album Red, on a masquerade ballroom-style stage with dancers in tuxedos, gowns and Venetian masks.
R&B star Usher kicked off the night with a medley of his hits on a laser-filled stage, while pop-rocker Pink teamed her performance of her latest single Try with a dramatic interpretive dance covered in paint with a male dancer on a stage filled with burning debris.
1990s ska-punk band No Doubt performed Looking Hot from their first album in a decade, Push & Shove, while rockers Linkin Park performed their latest Burn It Down after winning favorite alternative rock band over The Black Keys and Gotye.
Korean rapper Psy didn't score any nominations, but he was named the AMA new media honoree for his viral hit music video Gangnam Style, accompanied by his trademark horse-riding dance.
The star closed out the show with his hit song, joined by surprise guest MC Hammer, one of the pioneering rappers from the 1980s, who was known for his catch phrase 'Hammer Time.'
Singer Brandy paid tribute to the late Whitney Houston, who died suddenly at age 48 on the night before the Grammy Awards in February this year from accidental drowning.
AMA founder Dick Clark, who also passed away earlier this year, was given a touching tribute by veteran soul singer Stevie Wonder, who sang a medley of hits including Hotter Than July and My Cherie Amour, against a backdrop of pictures of Clark. Wonder was introduced by American Idol host Ryan Seacrest, who also paid homage to Clark's influence.
Dick loved the power of music and the ability to create pure joy, Seacrest said.
The awards show, which marked its 40th anniversary this year, treated the audience to some of its greatest moments, including R&B star Beyonce performing Single Ladies at the 2008 show, Will Smith and DJ Jazzy