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Image: Justin Bieber
Matt Sayles  /  AP
Justin Bieber accepts the award for pop/rock favorite male artist at the 38th Annual American Music Awards on Sunday.
updated 11/21/2010 11:36:37 PM ET 2010-11-22T04:36:37

Justin Bieber's first American Music Awards was perfection.

The 16-year-old teen heartthrob went four-for-four on Sunday night, capturing every award he was nominated for, including the top award of the night, favorite artist. He beat a list that featured veterans Eminem and Usher as well as Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.

Bieber became the youngest person to ever win the trophy. Bieber also won favorite pop/rock album, favorite pop/rock male, and the show's breakthrough artist award.

"I can't stop smiling; this is amazing," Bieber said after he also beat Eminem and Usher for favorite pop/rock male. "Truly I don't know how this is possible because I've been singing Eminem since I was three and Usher is my mentor. So this is big."

Eminem, along with Lady Antebellum, had been the leading nominee with five awards. He didn't come up empty handed though, winning two, along with Usher, who also nabbed a pair. Lady Antebellum took home one.

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Other winners included Black Eyed Peas and Taylor Swift, but Sunday's ceremony at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles was as much a showcase for acts with new albums as it was a celebration of the biggest achievers of 2010.

Rihanna, with her hair dyed a ruby red, gave the show a colorful and sexy start, performing a medley of songs from her just released album "Loud," including the No. 1 hit "What's My Name," wearing a bustier and what seemed like a scarf wrapped around her backside.

Rolling Stone.com: Best moments of AMAs

"This is amazing!" said an exuberant Rihanna, who danced onstage later to receive her award — favorite soul/R&B female. She ended her speech by yelling, "Wassup! Thank you!"

The Black Eyed Peas, winners for favorite pop/rock band, gave a levitating performance, singing from boxes atop the stage during part of their performance of their new single, "The Time."

American Music Award winners

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But some of the prime-time performances were given to acts who weren't nominated, but had albums to promote. Diddy's latest incarnation with the group Diddy-Dirty Money sang material from their upcoming album, while Kid Rock gave a stirring, acoustic performance of "Times Like These," his song lifting up his hometown of Detroit during its recent economic struggles, from his new CD, "Born Free."

A pregnant Pink was among the evening's performance highlights. Unlike recent performances marked by a high-wire act, she stayed close to the ground to perform her latest song, "Raise Your Glass," but thrilled nonetheless with a tightly choreographed, high-energy dance number.

Katy Perry had the evening's most explosive performance as pyrotechnics accentuated her performance of her latest song, "Firework."

Swift, last year's artist of the year, took home favorite country female. Sporting sleek blonde hair instead of her usual cascading curls, Swift said simply: "I just want to thank the fans."

Swift later performed her new single "Back to December," a song she also performed on the CMA Awards earlier in the month, but mixed things up by incorporating some of OneRepublic's "Too Late To Apologize."

Ke$ha, perhaps trying to make up for the absent Lady Gaga, had the night's most bizarre performance: She performed her heavily Auto-Tuned hit "Take It Off" looking like something out of space, with beams of light for eyes and sporting a motorcycle helmet. She then stripped down to a mirrored outfit, segueing into the next song with a pack of male dancers dressed like her, complete with blond wigs and fishnet stockings.

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Photos: American Music Awards

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  1. Miley Cyrus

    Pop star Miley Cyrus walked the red carpet at the 2010 American Music Awards, held at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, Nov. 21, wearing a strapless dress with a flowing train. (Christopher Polk / AMA2010 / Getty Images Contributor) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Usher

    The R&B star turns it on for the cameras as he arrives at the 38th Annual American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 21 in Los Angeles. He beat out Alicia Keys and Sade for R&B/Soul album of the year. (Chris Pizzello / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Taylor Swift

    The country sensation strikes a fetching pose before Sunday's awards. (Chris Pizzello / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Rihanna

    Singer Rihanna was clad in red from head to toe on the red carpet of Sunday's American Music Awards. The R&B star kicked off the show with a medley of songs from her latest album, including the No. 1 hit "What's My Name." (Danny Moloshok / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Boyz night out

    Singers, from left, Brian Littrell and A.J. McLean of Backstreet Boys, Joey McIntyre and Jonathan Knight of New Kids on the Block, Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys, Donnie Wahlberg of New Kids on the Block, Howie Dorough of Backstreet Boys, and Danny Wood and Jordan Knight of New Kids on the Block arrive at the 2010 American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 21. (Kevork Djansezian / AMA2010 / Getty Images Contributor) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Ke$ha

    Ke$ha shows of her version of an updo on the red carpet of the 38th Annual American Music Awards. (Chris Pizzello / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Katy Perry

    The pop star performs "Firework" at the 2010 American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 21. (Mario Anzuoni / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Justin Bieber

    Justin Bieber performs at the 2010 American Music Awards held at Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, Nov. 21. (Christopher Polk/ama2010 / Getty Images Contributor) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. He's a winner

    Bieber accepts the T-Mobile Breakthrough Artist of the Year award from singer Natasha Bedingfield onstage during Sunday's show. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Black Eyed Peas

    The group, featuring, from left, Taboo, Apl.de.ap, Fergie and Will.i.am, accept the favorite band, duo or group award. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Pink

    A very pregnant Pink performs "Raise Your Glass" at the 2010 American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 21. (Mario Anzuoni / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Brad Paisley

    The star accepts the Country Music - Favorite Male Artist award during Sunday's show. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Christina Aguilera

    The singer, who will be featured in the movie "Burlesque," which opens in theaters this week, was among the perfomers at Sunday's American Music Awards. (Kevin Winter/ama2010 / Getty Images Contributor) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Eyes have it

    Ke$ha, perhaps trying to make up for the absent Lady Gaga, had the night's most bizarre performance: She performed her heavily Auto-Tuned hit "Take It Off" looking like something out of space, with beams of light for eyes and sporting a motorcycle helmet. (Mario Anzuoni / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
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