Gigi Hadid hosts action-packed American AMAs (and BF Zayn scoops award)!
Gigi and comedian Jay Pharoah hosted this year's gala. (Instagram)
Some familiar faces were among the winners Sunday at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles.
In an unusual quirk, Prince's 1984 album "Purple Rain" took the prize for favourite soundtrack, 32 years since its release, after sales spiked following his accidental death from an overdose in April.
Accepting the award, Prince's sister Tyka Nelson gave an emotional tribute to Prince.
"He is still one of the world's most respected and loved artists," she said.
Another familiar performer also took the best new artist award. The prize went to Zayn, technically a new solo performer but who as Zayn Malik won seven AMAs, including Artist of the Year in 2014 and 2015, as a member of boy band One Direction.
Actor Robert Downey Jr presented the special American Music Award of Merit, for exceptional contributions to music, to Sting. The award was last presented in 2008 to Annie Lennox.
Canadian rapper Drake led this year's nominations with 13 nods - the most ever for an artist in one year - in 11 categories including favorite male rap and pop/rock artist.
Midway through the evening, he had already won two, for favourite rap/hip-hop artist and album for his multi-platinum-selling "Views."
Rock duo Twenty One Pilots also won two awards, for favourite artist in the pop/rock and alternative categories.
Pop singer Rihanna had seven nominations, including for artist of the year, going into the awards gala.
Also in the running for the evening's top prize were Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande and Carrie Underwood. Bieber and British singer Adele each have five nominations.
US model Gigi Hadid and comedian Jay Pharoah hosted this year's gala at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, which featured performances by Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Green Day, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj, as well as Bieber, who joined via video link from Bologna, Italy on his "Purpose" world tour.
The show was peppered with references to the US presidential election, including an impression by Hadid of future US first lady Melania Trump, and a shout-out by "Frozen" singer Idina Menzel to the cast of the Broadway smash "Hamilton," who publicly clashed with president-elect Donald Trump on Saturday.
On stage, Green Day chanted "no Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA," echoing protesters who have demonstrated since the election on November 8.
Founded in 1973 as an alternative to the Grammys, the American Music Awards are the world's biggest fan-voted award show, according to the organizers. Nominations are determined by record sales, while prizes are awarded based on an online vote.