Los Angeles: Rapper Eminem and teen idol Justin Bieber were among the early winners at the American Music Awards on Sunday, an event that will see the duo square off for the top artist of the year honor later in the show.
Other winners at the 38th annual ceremony included Taylor Swift, the Black Eyed Peas, Usher and Carrie Underwood.
Eminem and country act Lady Antebellum lead the nominees with five nominations each. Traditionally averse to award shows, Eminem did not attend the event at the Nokia Theater. He was named favorite male artist in the rap/hip hop category.
Another no-show was Colombian pop singer Shakira, who was named favorite Latin music artist.
Bieber won the favorite album prize in the pop/rock category for "My World 2.0," beating Eminem. Also in the pop/rock race, the Black Eyed Peas were named favorite group.
Swift won the favorite female country artist prize for the third consecutive year. "I only wanna thank the fans," said Swift. "You get me and you know where I`m coming from."
The country starlet received only one nomination this year, having dominated the event last year. She will likely scoop up plenty of nominations next year for her recently released chart-topping album.
In the other album races this year, Usher was honored in the soul/R&B category for "Raymond v. Raymond," and Underwood took home the country prize for "Play On."
All the winners are determined by fan votes, which could give Bieber the edge for artist of the year since his devoted followers take such things seriously. Eminem, on the other hand, is riding high with the biggest album of the year and two No. 1 singles. Also vying for artist of the year are Ke$ha, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.
The three-hour ceremony is mainly a showcase for artists to sing their new hits, with awards handed out almost as an afterthought. Performers in the early going included Rihanna, Kid Rock and the Black Eyed Peas.