This year’s American Music Awards will institute a new honor, the Dick Clark Award for Excellence, named for the veteran host and impresario who started the AMAs back in 1972, and the first recipient of the show’s new highest honor will be Taylor Swift.
Show creators said the new award was created to recognize “an artist who achieves a groundbreaking feat or creates a landmark work. It is to be bestowed upon someone whose spirit and excellence capture the visionary passion that Dick Clark himself incorporated into everything he did.”
FOR THE RECORD
An earlier version of this posted stated that Dick Clark started the American Music Awards in 1972. The first AMA ceremony was telecast in 1974, honoring recordings made the previous year.
Swift is receiving the award, a statement from the AMA said, because her latest album, “1989,” sold 1.287 million copies in its first week, making her the first artist ever to post three albums with sales exceeding 1 million copies out of the gate.
She is scheduled to perform her new single, “Blank Space,” which this week gave her another first when it replaced her previous single, “Shake It Off,” in the No. 1 position on Billboard’s Hot 100, making Swift the first woman to replace herself in the top spot on ranking of the nation’s best-selling singles.
Sunday’s show also is slated to include performances by 5 Seconds of Summer, Mary J. Blige, Garth Brooks, Charli XCX, Fergie, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, Imagine Dragons, Jessie J, Lil Wayne, Lorde, Magic! Nicki Minaj, One Direction, Sam Smith and Pitbull, who also will host the ceremony.
“The first time Dick saw Taylor perform, he knew she was something special,” Clark’s widow, Kari Clark, said in a statement. “He would be thrilled to know she is the first artist to receive the Dick Clark Award for Excellence.”
This year’s show till take place Sunday at the Nokia Theatre in the L.A. Live sports-entertainment complex.
It’s the second year running that the AMAs have created a new award and bestowed it on one of the show’s highest-profile performers. Last year, a new Icon Award was created and given to Rihanna.
The longtime host of “American Bandstand” created the AMAs as a counterpart to the Grammy Awards, which aim to recognize artistic excellence. Clark’s show was designed to salute fan favorites with awards reflecting sales of the year’s biggest hits.
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