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American Music Awards 2014: Pop positivity, for better and worse
American Music Awards 2014: Pop positivity, for better and worse

There's only one place where One Direction would be named artist of the year, Iggy Azalea would beat Drake and Eminem for a hip-hop prize and Wyclef Jean would be described as no less than a "genuine reggae legend." Welcome to the American Music Awards. Founded in 1973 by Dick Clark as a fan-voted alternative to the Grammy Awards, which are decided by a cadre of record-industry insiders, the AMAs cheerfully privilege the popular over the prestigious, with trophies handed out to the "favorite" artist or album in a given genre rather than the "best." In a world of top-down validation, it offers encouragement from the bottom up. This year's...

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