Rihanna and Chris Brown Tag Team the AMAs

Betsy Waldman / November 24, 2008

The American Music Awards were held last night at L.A.’s Nokia Theater.

Coupled R&B superstars Chris Brown and Rihanna took the lion’s share of the awards amidst stellar performances from Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Kanye West, Miley Cyrus and Jonas Brothers.

Brown, 19, dressed in a leather jacket complete with sweater vest and bowtie. The “Forever” singer won three AMAs in the categories of Artist of the Year, Male Pop/Rock artist and Male Soul/R&B artist.

“I don’t know what to say. I would have given it to Coldplay,” an amazed Brown told the audience in one of his acceptance speeches.

His girl Rihanna, 20, won for Favorite Female Soul/R&B Artist and Favorite Pop/Rock Female. Rihanna dazzled in the crowd with two ensembles for the evening—a frilly peach-colored number for the awards, and then a Harley-Davidson-looking halter/corset and leather leggings (with a bejeweled eye patch) for her performance of “Rehab.”

But, as usual, Kanye West, 31,was there to snatch the attention from everyone with his antics. After famously losing out last year, West won for Favorite Album and Rap/Hip-Hop Male Artist. And don’t think he didn’t compare himself to Elvis.

“I’d like to thank everyone who accepted me trying to break new boundaries in music. It’s our responsibility as musicians to keep pushing each other… We will be the new Beatles, the new [Jimi] Hendrix. I want to be Elvis,” he said.

This statement prompted longtime host Jimmy Kimmel, 41, to remark, “”Elvis died on the toilet with half a jelly doughnut in his mouth. You may want to rethink that.”

Kanye refrained from slapping him down like a wayward paparazzi.

Other artists who took home awards included the Alicia Keys, 28, for Pop/Rock Album and Soul/R&B album, Jonas Brothers for Breakthrough Artist, Daughtry for Pop/Rock Group, and famed Joe Jonas ex Taylor Swift, 18, for Female Country Artist.