Taylor Swift Steals the AMA Awards

Superstar Wins in Pop/Rock and Country Categories

In what world can the American Music Awards winner for favorite pop/rock female artist also claim the favorite country album of the year? Apparently, this world. Taylor Swift‘s world.

The singer took home four AMAs at Sunday (Nov. 24) night’s fan-voted show, including the grand prize at the end of the show — artist of the year, plus favorite female country artist. But the fact that Swift was able to be celebrated simultaneously in both the pop/rock category and the country category says so much about how blurred the lines have become between genres.

When Swift won favorite female country artist, she thanked country, pop, hot AC and AC radio stations. “Because the fact that all of those different genres of music played songs off of my album makes me not have to think about genre when I’m writing songs,” she said. “It just allows me to think about writing songs.”

Later, when she accepted the artist of the year trophy, she made it about the fans. “This validates that, if you voted for this, that we are heartbroken in the same way and we fall in love the same way and we’re happy in the same way. And the fact that you would listen to my music means that we’re on the same page and I’m 23 and I have no idea what’s gonna happen to me in my life,” she admitted. “But I figure if you decided on something as wonderful as this, then we’re pretty much in it together, aren’t we?”

Other big country winners included Luke Bryan (favorite male artist, country), Lady Antebellum (favorite band, duo or group, country) and Florida Georgia Line and Nelly for their remix of “Cruise” (single of the year). So I guess it could be considered a big night for country. In fact, I sensed a little country music in two of the show’s non-country performances: Justin Timberlake’s “Drink You Away” and Ke$ha’s “Timber.”

But the biggest lesson I learned — and hopefully the producers of other big music awards shows learned it as well — was that from now on, any artist receiving a major achievement award should have it presented by his or her mother.

When Rihanna was presented with the first-ever AMA Icon Award, her mother Monica Fenty did the honors. “First of all I’d like to say all praises and honor be to God Almighty for Jesus,” Fenty said. “Rihanna, I’m so proud of you tonight. I know the journey in your career has not always been an easy one, but tonight I applaud you and admire you for being so strong and so positive and so humble and so focused.” It was so heartfelt, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house.

After that special moment between Rihanna and her mom, Timberlake won favorite male soul/R&B artist. And he stopped his own speech short to say, “Can we talk about how cute Rihanna’s mom is? How cute Rihanna’s mom is! She’s so proud of the icon,” he said in his best Caribbean accent.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.