Sunday's American Music Awards celebrated the ceremony's 40th anniversary in the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles by handing out 20 trophies to this year's most popular musical artists, selected based on sales and airplay, and voted by fans online. Top nominees included rapper Nicki Minaj, who won favorite rap/hip hop album for Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, and British boy band One Direction, which lost out to Carly Rae Jepsen for the coveted new artist of the year award. But the highest award was snatched by Justin Bieber, 18, who beat out Rihanna, Katy Perry, Maroon 5 and Drake for favorite artist of the year. "This is my mom," Bieber said of Pattie Malette, whom he pulled onstage to accept the award. "She's little, but she's beautiful." Bieber thanked her for believing in him, adding: "I want to say this is for all the haters who thought that I was just here for one or two years. I feel like I'm going to be here for a very long time." Bieber returned onstage to accept the award for favorite pop/rock album for Believe, at which point he also thanked his mentor and friend, Usher.

But Bieber wasn't the only enduring winner of the night. Taylor Swift was named favorite country female artist for a fifth consecutive year. "This is unreal. I want to thank the fans. You guys are the ones who voted on this," Swift said. She was later joined onstage by Linkin Park, who was named best alt rock artist; Luke Bryan, who took home the award for best male country artist; and Usher, who won best male soul/R&B artist and also opened the ceremony with a medley of songs, including "Numb" and "Climax." Other memorable performances featured Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, No Doubt, Pink and Pitbull, and a tribute to the late Whitney Houston by Brandy.

The AMA's 40th anniversary also marked the creation of a new musical category, Electronic Dance Music. "It's wonderful also to see electronic music recognized at this level in the U.S.," said David Guetta in a taped acceptance speech, after beating out Calvin Harris and Skrillex.

Other winners who were not present to accept their respective awards include Shakira for favorite Latin artist, Katy Perry for favorite female pop/rock artist and Beyonce for favorite soul artist. Rihanna, who went in with the most nominations at four, received the award for favorite soul/R&B album for Talk That Talk, though she was also not present at the ceremony due to tour commitments.

Watch Justin Bieber accept his favorite male rock artist award, plus performances by Usher and "Gangnam Style" by Psy and MC Hammer, below:

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