One Direction has claimed the highest honour at the world’s biggest fan-voted music awards for the second consecutive year.
The popular British boy band, which has a legion of devoted followers, racked up more votes than fellow nominees Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift to be crowned Artist of the Year.
Swift threw her own substantial fan base into a tizzy by unexpectedly snubbing the red carpet event in Los Angeles, despite winning three awards, including the coveted Song of the Year (Blank Space). The singer was reportedly spotted flying to New Zealand instead, perhaps for a well-earned break.
Jennifer Lopez sizzled in her role as hostess, starting the night with a 10-minute dance montage of the year’s biggest hits, from Uptown Funk and Girl Crush to Swift’s Bad Blood and the meme-perfect Hotline Bling.
Later in the night, she teared up while telling the crowd she was fulfilling her girlhood dream of hosting the award ceremony.
But it was Celine Dion who made the audience cry with her emotional tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks, set against images of the Eiffel Tower and other French landmarks.
The Canadian sang Edith Piaf’s classic Hymne a l’Amour in French, barely a week after the terrorist atrocity.
The moving tribute overshadowed notable performances by Selena Gomez singing her hit Same Old Love, Carrie Underwood performing her romantic ballad Heartbeat and Demi Lovato’s duet of You Outta Know with Alanis Morissette.
Meghan Trainor and Charlie Puth also set hearts racing and tongues wagging by pashing onstage after their performance of Marvin Gaye.
Based on votes tallied from the AMA website, Minaj won both most popular rap/hip-hop artist and most popular rap/hip-hop album.
Sam Hunt was declared New Artist of the Year, while Skrillex, Diplo and Justin Bieber took out Collaboration of the Year with Where Are Ü Now.
Ed Sheeran and Grande were the favourite artists in the pop/rock division, Minaj in rap/hip-hop, The Weeknd and Rihanna in soul/R&B, Fall Out Boy in alternative rock, Enrique Iglesias in Latin, and Calvin Harris in electronic dance music.
Rebel Wilson’s movie Pitch Perfect 2 won Top Soundtrack.