“Smooth like butter”— that was how the LA Times referenced superstar group BTS’ hit single as it made history at the 2021 American Music Awards (AMA) with three wins and delighted worldwide audiences with two performances at the show held 21 November at the Microsoft Theater and televised on ABC.
The seven-member South Korean boy band became the first Asian group to take home the AMA’s Artist of the Year trophy — defeating American pop stars Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and Olivia Rodrigo, as well as Canadian artists Drake and The Weeknd.
BTS likewise bagged Favorite Pop Group and Favorite Pop Song (“Butter”).
Swift won Female Pop Artist and Pop Album, adding up to her total 34 AMA wins.
Other big winners included Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion, who each won three awards. Doja Cat won Collaboration of the Year (“Kiss Me More” featuring SZA), Favorite Female R&B Artist and R&B Album, while Megan Thee Stallion bagged Favorite Trending Song (“Body”), Favorite Female Hip-hop Artist and Hip-hop Album.
Rodrigo, who performed her heartbreak song “Traitor,” was New Artist of the Year; Ed Sheeran, Favorite Male Pop Artist; and Drake, Favorite Male Hip-Hop Artist.
Jennifer Lopez sang her latest single “On My Way.”
BTS performed “My Universe” with Coldplay and the award-winning single “Butter” to cap the night.