Perfect night as One Direction win big at American Music Awards
British boy band One Direction have been named artist of the year at the American Music Awards, just months before they are due to go on a hiatus.
The band also picked up a gong for favourite pop or rock duo or group at the ceremony at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles.
They are due to take an extended break in March 2016 and while accepting the awards said they are looking forward to spending time with loved ones.
Collecting the artist of the year trophy, which they have won for two consecutive years, Louis Tomlinson said: "Wow, this is incredible, to win two years in a row. It's a testament to how incredible our fans are so thank you, thank you, thank you.
Liam Payne added: "We can't believe we get to win awards like this and we are obviously going on a little break now to spend a little time with our families and obviously we want to thank our families."
The band beat Taylor Swift, Luke Bryan, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj to the prize.
Swift was the biggest winner of the night but did not attend the show because she is out of the country filming a music video. The Shake It Off singer scored awards for song of the year for her hit Blank Space, favourite pop/rock album for 1989 and favourite adult contemporary artist.
Earlier in the evening One Direction sent the crowd in the theatre wild when they picked up their award for favourite pop or rock band or duo from rapper Nicki Minaj.
Addressing the packed theatre, Niall Horan said: "Wow, to say that we have won this award for three years on the bounce is a pretty incredible thing to say and we wouldn't be able to do it without our fans and all the things they have done for us."
Harry Styles added: "To everyone who worked with us and has supported us for the last five years, thank you all, you are brilliant to work with and we love you all. And to the fans, thank you."
The boys later got the crowd on their feet again for their performance of their hit single Perfect.
The night of celebration took a sombre turn when actor Jared Leto moved the crowd to tears as he paid tribute to the people of Paris and victims of violence around the world.
He recalled an impromptu show his band had performed at the Bataclan in Paris, the scene of one of the terrorist attacks 10 days ago.
"Seven months later that same venue was under siege, one of a series of attacks that changed the world forever."
He added: "Tonight we honour the victims of the unimaginable violence that took place in Paris and around the world.
"France matters, Syria matters, Russia matters, Mali matters, the Middle East matters, the entire world matters and peace is possible."
Introducing Celine Dion for a performance of Edith Piaf's L'Hymne a L'Amour, Leto added: "Many of us here are the sons and daughters of immigrants and Steve Jobs, the son of a Syrian immigrant, and President Barack Obama. The American Music Awards wanted to show its support for the people of France and the entire world."
The Weeknd was the first winner of the night, scoring an AMA for best soul or R&B album Beauty Behind The Madness, and thanked his many collaborators including Kanye West, Lana Del Rey and Ed Sheeran. He also won favourite soul or R&B male artist.
Minaj also went home with two gongs for favourite rap or hip-hop artist and favourite rap or hip-hop album for The Pinkprint.
She implored her fans: "Please find your voice and find your purpose before it's too late."
Host Jennifer Lopez kicked off proceedings by performing a lengthy and energetic dance routine to a medley of the biggest hits of the year including songs by The Weeknd and Rihanna, as well as her own hit from 15 ago, Waiting For Tonight.
Another notable moment came from Meghan Trainor and Charlie Puth, who excited the crowd when they shared a passionate kiss at the end of their duet on his hit Marvin Gaye.
Ariana Grande beat both Swift and Trainor to be named favourite pop/rock female artist. She collected the award from singer Paula Abdul, who won the same award in 1990.
After embracing Trainor, Grande stood at the microphone and said: "Eeeew, I'm crying, I owe a lot of this to my Nana who voted, she told me: "Ariana, I went on the computer and voted so I think you will win."
Earlier in the show Grande performed her new single Focus for the first time.
Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release of her album Jagged Little Pill, Alanis Morissette took to the stage to perform her hit You Oughta Know joined by Demi Lovato and Justin Bieber closed the show by performing a medley of his hits from his new album Purpose, including What Do You Mean and Sorry under a deluge of pouring water.