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Usher tops at AMA kudos

'Confessions,' 'Speakerboxx' take home top prizes

See Winners

LOS ANGELES — Usher won a show-leading four awards at Sunday’s American Music Awards. The R&B sensation collected kudos for favorite male soul/R&B, pop/rock artist and pop-rock and soul/R&B album for “Confessions.”

Jimmy Kimmel hosted the ceremony broadcast live on ABC from the Shrine Auditorium.

“We’re here to celebrate the music and the performers who sing and or lip-sync it tonight,” Kimmel said in his monologue, poking fun at Ashlee Simpson’s recent “Saturday Night Live” faux pas.

The show was heavy on performances, some of them censored with words cut out, although a few presenters got away with racy material.

Gwen Stefani, stepping out without No Doubt, opened the show singing to “What You Waiting For?” Lenny Kravitz followed performing “Lady.”

Ringo Starr, on tape, introduced a video clip of the Beatles that hadn’t been aired in 40 years. After the performance of “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

Rap funksters OutKast, whose album “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” took home awards for pop-rock band and rap/hip-hop album. The duo also won best group in the rap/hip-hop category.

In his acceptance remarks, OutKast’s Big Boi paid tribute to founding Wu-Tang Clan member O.D.B., who collapsed and died inside a New York recording studio Saturday.

Soul diva Alicia Keys won favorite female artist in the soul/R&B category, edging out Janet Jackson and Beyonce.

Brooks & Dunn earned their fourth award for favorite country band. Toby Keith won awards for country male artist and country album and Reba McEntire was named top female country artist.

Sheryl Crow was chosen best female pop-rock artist and also received the prize for adult contemporary artist.

Rockers Linkin Park scored the alternative music artist kudo for the second year in a row.

Country singer Kenny Chesney said he was surprised to win a publicly voted award for favorite performer.

“I really didn’t think anybody was going to beat Usher tonight,” he said.

Shortly before the start of the telecast, producer Dick Clark announced rapper Jay-Z had won male artist in the rap/hip-hop category. Marc Anthony won favorite Latin music artist, and the group MercyMe won for contemporary inspirational artist.

Country singer Gretchen Wilson won the new artist honors, beating out innovative rap newcomer Kanye West and the band Maroon 5.

Veteran rockers Bon Jovi received a special merit award and performed their hits, “It’s My Life” and “Have a Nice Day.”

Nominees were chosen on the basis of record sales, with winners selected by a survey of about 20,000 listeners.

And the winners are…

Pop-Rock:
Male Artist: Usher
Female Artist: Sheryl Crow
Band, Duo or Group: OutKast
Album: ‘Confessions,’ Usher

Soul-R&B:
Male Artist: Usher
Female Artist: Alicia Keys
Album:‘Confessions,’ Usher

Country:
Male Artist: Toby Keith
Female Artist: Reba McEntire
Band, Duo or Group: Brooks & Dunn
Album: ‘Shock’n Y’All,’ Toby Keith

Rap-Hip Hop:
Male Artist: Jay-Z
Band, Duo or Group: OutKast
Album: ‘Speakerboxxx/The Love Below,’ OutKast

Adult Contemporary:
Artist: Sheryl Crow

Latin Music:
Artist: Marc Anthony

Alternative Music:
Artist: Linkin Park

Contemporary Inspirational:
Artist: MercyMe

Breakthrough:
New Artist: Gretchen Wilson

Award of Merit: Bon Jovi

T-Mobile Text-In Award (voted by public):
Kenny Chesney

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