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American Music Awards

This year's American Music Awards rocked harder than ever! Jimmy Kimmel hosted the star-studded, music-filled night at the Shrine Auditorium with presenters including Clay Aiken, Pamela Anderson, Ashanti, Big Boi, Carmen Electra, Nick Lachey, Mandy Moore, Kelly Osbourne, Nicole Richie, and Anna Nicole Smith, among many others. The AMA's compile nominations according to top record sales and determine winners based on the votes of about 20,000 music listeners.

This year, smooth-moving crooner Usher cleaned up the night, winning every award he was nominated for: Favorite Male Artist and Favorite Album for "Confessions" in both Pop/Rock and Soul/R&B. Usher's hugely popular "Confessions" sold over one million copies in its first week in stores.

"Thank you for this moment. Thank you for this year," Usher said as he picked up his last award of the night, "It's been amazing."

Long-time hip-hop favorites Outkast took home three awards (out of four nominations). They won Favorite Band, Duo or Group in both Rap/Hip Hop and Pop/Rock categories. Their album"Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" won Favorite Rap/Hip Hop Album over formidable competitors Jay-Z's "The Black Album" and Kanye West's "College Dropout." In his acceptance speech, OutKast's Big Boi gave love and respect to founding Wu-Tang Clan member O.D.B., who died in New York Saturday of unknown causes.

Sheryl Crow was named Favorite Female Artist in the Pop/Rock category, edging out newcomers Avril Lavigne and Jessica Simpson, as well as in the Adult Contemporary category.

In the category of Soul/R&B, Alicia Keys took home the award for Favorite Female Artist, while Jay-Z won Favorite Male Artist in Rap/Hip Hop. Cross-over rockers Linkin Park took home the award for Favorite Alternative Artist for the second year in a row over Incubus and Jet.

Toby Keith and Reba McEntire were awarded with Favorite Male and Female Country artists. Toby Keith's "Shock'n Y'All" won Favorite Album. Brooks & Dunn took home the award for Favorite Country Band, Duo or Group.

Backstage, breakout hip-hop artist Kanye West vented his frustration at losing all three categories he was nominated for: Favorite Artist and Favorite Album in the Rap/Hip Hop category and Breakout Favorite New Artist. "I feel I was definitely robbed...I was the best new artist this year," West said.

Ever the comedian, Jimmy Kimmel poked fun at Anna Nicole Smith who, looking sleek as ever in a curve-hugging little black and pink number with a diamond encrusted Trim Spa necklace, appeared disoriented on stage when announcing a performance by Kanye West. "I still think the best performance of the night was Anna Nicole Smith. I told her to stay away from Snoop Dogg's brownies," Kimmel quipped.

Of course, the night would not be complete without adrenaline-pumping performances by some of the year's hottest acts. Gwen Stefani, stepping out on her own without No Doubt, opened the show singing "What You Waiting For?" A short-haired Lenny Kravitz followed with a performance of "Lady." Usher and Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, John Mayer, Maroon 5, Jessica Simpson, Fantasia, Rod Stewart, and Toby Keith also took the stage to rock the crowd.

The spectacular awards show was topped off with a star-studded bash thrown by music industry master Clive Davis at the fabulous Esquire House in Beverly Hills. It was where the best and brightest new stars as well as the old favorites of the industry got to strut their stuff and bask in the year's tremendous success!

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