Geisha-clad Katy Perry wows American Music Awards

Katy Perry performs Unconditionally at the 41st American Music Awards in Los Angele Credit: Reuters

Country starlet Taylor Swift took four honours at the 41st American Music Awards - including the coveted top prize for artist of the year.

The 23-year-old beat Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Bruno Mars and hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis to the gong - her third time collecting the prize trophy and making her the most awarded artist in that category.

Swift, who did not perform on the evening, accepted her awards in a glittering gold mini-dress and told fans: "My lucky number is 13, and so far you guys have made 2013 the most magical year so far...I'm 23 and I have no idea what's going to happen to me...I love you so much. It's unbelievable."

Gongs Taylor Swift took home from the 41st American Music Awards:

  • Artist of the Year

  • Favourite female pop/rock artist

  • Female country artist

  • Country album for her 2012 record Red

Swift's hat-trick wasn't the only first of the evening - Rihanna was given the first ever Icon accolade.

Rihanna accepts the Icon Award from her mother Monica Fenty. Credit: Reuters

After performing her single "Diamonds," the 25-year-old R&B singer, dressed in a plunging black gown, was given the Icon award by her mother Monica Fenty, who praised the singer in an emotional speech.

Rihanna, who has sold 50 million albums across the world and is the best-selling digital artist in history, also picked up the favourite female soul/R&B award.

Lady Gaga making an entrance at the American Music Awards. Credit: PA

The most outlandish moments of the night came courtesy of Katy Perry - who wowed the crowds with an elaborate geisha-themed performance - and Lady Gaga, who arrived at the ceremony on a huge white costume horse.

R. Kelly and Lady Gaga performing at the AMAs Credit: Reuters

She later changed into a skimpy silver sequined bodysuit and joined R. Kelly on stage for a presidential-themed performance of her new single Do What U Want, with the singer playing secretary to Kelly's president, who was sat in an Oval Office-styled set.

British boyband One Direction - led by Swift's ex-boyfriend Harry Styles - beat both the country singer and veteran pop star Justin Timberlake for the best pop/rock album for their Take Me Home release.

One Direction took best pop/rock album for Take Me Home Credit: PA

The band, whose fans were lined up outside the red carpet to get a glimpse of them, also won favoUrite pop/rock group.

The singer performed Drink You Away with his Tennessee Kids band on stage. Credit: PA

Timberlake may have lost out to One Direction in the rock/pop category, but the 32-year-old, who returned to the musical spotlight this year after a five-year hiatus with The 20/20 Experience won three of the five categories he was nominated in, including favourite male pop/rock artist.

Birthday girl Miley Cyrus performed her latest ballad Wrecking Ball. Credit: Reuters

Miley Cyrus, who turned 21 over the weekend, performed her latest ballad "Wrecking Ball" scantily dressed in a feline-themed outfit.

The singer - who caused controversy with her twerking antics at the VMAs raised some smiles with a kitten on a big screen behind her mouthing the words to her song.

One notable star missing from the event was Justin Bieber - the tween heartthrob wasn't nominated in any categories this year.

The American Music Awards nominees and winners are chosen by the public, who vote online and via Twitter, and the awards are given out during a live three-hour ceremony held at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles and broadcast on ABC.