2008-11-24 - Chris BrownSinger Chris Brown walked away the big winner of Sunday night’s 36th annual American Music Awards (AMAs) in Los Angeles, taking home three wins including the Artist of the Year award.

The teen R&B sensation, just 19, led nominees with five noms. In addition to the Artist of the Year honor, he also was also named favorite male artist in both the soul/R&B and pop/rock categories, while his girlfriend, Rihanna, won the same categories for women, beating out artists such as Alicia Keys.

When the envelope was opened, and he was named Artist of the Year, Brown was shocked.

“I probably was shocked like everybody else,” Brown told reporters backstage. “I know everybody was like, ‘Huh?’ I thought Coldplay should have genuinely won that award, but I’ll take it!”

Kanye West shows a little humility Sunday — instead of a temper trantrum when he doesn’t win — claiming two trophies, one for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album for Graduation, which beat out Jay-Z’s American Gangster and Lil Wayne’s The Carter III. But when he landed the Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Male Artist award, he didn’t want it, and offered it to Weezy.

“I’m a fan of music,” said West, who performed “Heartless,” a cut from upcoming 808s and Heartbreak album. “I got my opinion. And I want to give this award to Wayne, for this year. If it was last year, this would have been my award. This year’s Wayne award; we’ll see what happens next year.”

Alicia Key’s took home honors in the Favorite Pop/Rock and Soul/R&B album categories for As I Am; Three 6 Mafia won Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Band, Duo or Group; Jordin Sparks won Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist; and Mariah Carey was recognized for becoming the solo artist with the most #1 hits of all time.

The night also included performances by Mariah Carey who delivered “I Stay in Love”, Kanye West, Beyonce, Ne-Yo, and Rihanna, among others.

It all went down inside Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre with Jimmy Kimmel playing host.