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American Music Awards
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American Music Awards

The American Music Awards show is one of four annual major music awards shows (the others being the Billboard Music Awards, the Grammy Awards, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony). The AMAs were created by Dick Clark in 1973 to compete with the Grammys. While the Grammys are awarded based on votes by members of the entertainment industry, the AMAs are determined by a poll of music buyers. The "big three" established awards shows (AMAs, Billboard Music Awards, and Grammys) compete for prestige and television ratings, with the Grammys nominally rewarding quality and both the AMAs and Billboard Music Awards rewarding popularity. Stories of artists being pressured to participate in one awards show over the other have been fodder for tabloid gossip and controversy.

The only other major differenial from the Grammys and Billboard Music Awards is that the AMAs do not currently have an award for Best Single/Record (as the Grammys and Billboard Music Awards do).

However, since the establishment of the Billboard Music Awards in 1989, there have been instances where artists (such as The Dixie Chicks and Celine Dion) have won all of the "big three" major music awards (including the AMAs). But the need for a unified music awards system (on the mold of horse racing's Triple Crown) only complicates the competition between the AMAs and the other awards shows.

For the first decade or so, the AMAs had multiple hosts, each representing a genre of music. For instance, Glen Campbell would host the country portion (Campbell, infact, has co-hosted the AMAs more times than any other host or co-host), while other artists would co-host to represent his/her genre. In recent years, however, there has been one single host.

From its inception in 1973 until 2003, the AMAs have been held in mid- to late-January, but were moved to November beginning in 2003 so as not to further compete with other major awards shows (such as the Golden Globe Awards and the Academy Awards).

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