In 1973, the Grammy’s were moved to Nashville and the broadcast rights for the show were purchased by CBS. Prior to that year, they were owned by ABC. The American Music Awards (AMA) came about because Dick Clark wanted ABC to produce a show that could legitimately compete with the Grammy’s. So, Dick Clark created the American Music Awards. Initially, it chose its winners just like the Grammy’s with music professionals selecting the winners. This was the standard from 1973 through to 2005. After that the AMA’s website collected votes from the public to select the winners of the AMA awards. Later, the AMA’s expanded to include Spanish speaking television viewers. Telemundo acquired the rights to produce a Spanish-language version of the AMA’s, the Latin American Music Awards in 2014 and aired its first award show in 2015.
The first hosts for the 1974 AMA’s were Helen Reddy, an Australian-American pop singer, Roger Miller, an American Country-pop singer, and Smokey Robinson, a Motown original known for his many chart- topping R & B songs. From their very beginnings, the AMAs were inclusive, embracing a wide range of popular musical genres of the period. Today, the AMA’s give out awards for these categories:
- New Artist of the Year
- Collaboration of the Year
- Favorite Music Video of the Year
- Favorite Trending Song of the Year
- Favorite Male, Female, Duo or Group, Album, and song in the following Categories: Pop, R & B, and Country.
- Favorite Artist, Album, and song in Hip-Hop and Latin.
- Favorite Artist in Gospel, Dance/Electronic, Inspirational, and Rock.
The record for the largest number of AMAs won, is held by Taylor Swift with 34, followed by these two well-loved, yet deceased artists, Michael Jackson with 26 and Whitney Houston with 22. Generally, the American Music Awards are held in the fall months. This year, the Latin American Music Awards were held on April 22, 2022 at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas.
Oddly enough, The American Music Awards draws a much larger television audience than the Grammy’s probably because the awards are based on the public’s opinion of the artists. In addition to that, the program is organized to attract the most viewers with the most popular awards given out strategically throughout the airing of the program. Another factor to consider is the extra half hour that the Grammy’s air for a total of three- and one-half hours compared to an even three hours for the AMA’s.
The AMA’s keep your attention for just enough time and give out the awards you most want to see after you the public have chosen the winners. With the public choosing the winners, they in turn watch the show with a special zeal and excitement. Added to that are the headliners, who perform and remind the viewer why they watch the AMA’s: artists like Drake, Adele, John Legend, Green Day, Chainsmokers, Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, and Rihanna. It’s no wonder the American Music Awards is the most popular music awards show.