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Drake, Zayn, Prince win at music awards

AAP logoAAP 21/11/2016 Valerie Hamilton

Some familiar faces were among the winners 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, who as Zayn Malik won seven AMAs 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.

Canadian rapper Drake led this year's nominations with 13 nods - the most ever for an artist in one year - in 11 categories including favourite male rap and pop/rock artist.

Bruno Mars, right, performs "24K Magic" © Provided by AAP Bruno Mars, right, performs "24K Magic"

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.

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.

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