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Taylor Swift tops Michael Jackson for most American Music Awards

Taylor Swift accepted the honor of "Artist of the Decade" at the American Music Awards Sunday night, and as someone who had already earned a whopping 23 AMAs over the past 10 years, there's no question why she received the title. That award plus her five other wins on Sunday upped her career total to 29 AMAs, meaning she earned herself another historic title at the ceremony. 

Swift is now the artist with the most AMA wins ever — beating Michael Jackson, who had 26, reports Entertainment Tonight.

The first AMA Swift ever won was in 2007, for favorite country female artist. The singer-songwriter has made several transformations since then — she went from making country to pop music, and was nominated in both categories at the 2013 AMAs for her album "Red."

Jackson won his first three AMAs in 1980 for favorite soul/R&B male artist, favorite soul/R&B song for "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," and favorite soul/R&B album for "Off The Wall." He won his last AMAs posthumously in 2009, being honored with artist of the year and four other awards. 

Both superstars have also taken home honorary awards from the AMAs, with Swift winning the Dick Clark Award for Excellence in 2015 and Jackson winning an Award of Appreciation in 1986. 

Swift ended up taking home five fan-voted awards at the 2019 AMAs, in addition to artist of the decade. 

2019 American Music Awards - Fixed Show
Taylor Swift accepts the Artist of the Year award at the 2019 American Music Awards on November 24, 2019 in Los Angeles. Kevin Winter

She won best pop/rock album, favorite pop/rock female artist, favorite adult contemporary artist, favorite music video for "You Need To Calm Down," and artist of the year. 

When her name was called during the favorite pop/rock album category, the 29-year-old looked shocked. "This is amazing," she said after beating Ariana Grande and Billie Eilish. "That was a really tough category… I didn't think I was gonna win this one."

She also thanked her new record label — a subtle dig at her old one, Big Machine. "I really love my record label, Universal Republic. Thank you for being so generous and letting me make whatever music I want to make," she said, according to ET. 

Swift is embroiled in an ongoing feud with Big Machine records and music mogul Scooter Braun. In June, Braun got the rights to Swift's masters and more when his media holding company, Ithica Holdings, acquired Scott Borchetta's Big Machine Label Group for a reported $300 million. 

In a Tumblr post at the time, Swift accused Braun of "manipulative bullying" and claimed she only learned of the deal "as it was announced to the world." 

About a week before the AMAs, Swift was under the impression that the deal would prevent her from performing her own songs at the awards show. However, Big Machine set the record straight, saying in a statement to Entertainment Tonight they had come to an agreement with Dick Clark Productions, which puts on the AMAs, to allow Swift to perform.

Swift ended up performing a medley of her biggest hits, including "The Man," Love Story," "I Knew You Were Trouble," "Blank Space," "Shake it Off" and "Lover." 

2019 American Music Awards - Fixed Show
Taylor Swift performs onstage during the 2019 American Music Awards. JC Olivera / Getty Images

She was also joined on stage by fellow artists Halsey and Camilla Cabello, and she appeared to make a statement with her initial costume — a white button-down shirt with her past album names printed on it. These albums are of course out of her control now, as they're owned by Bruan, Borchetta and Big Machine.

It appears the pop star took the title of artist of the decade seriously — proving her worth with a show-stopping performance and also by upping the ante with her record-breaking wins that outdo Michael Jackson's. 

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