Taylor Swift was named artist of the year at the 2011 American Music Awards Sunday night, and the win took her by surprise. She said, "This is like one of the craziest things that has ever happened to me, to get this, to be nominated alongside artists I am a super fan of." She thanked her fans as well, saying, "Please never change." Taylor also won favorite country female and favorite country album for Speak Now.Taylor, her pal Selena Gomez and Taylor's brother Austin sat on the front row at the show and sang along to pretty much every artist's performance all night.
Backstage, Taylor was still in a state of shock after winning the artist of the year award. Taylor, who won three awards in all, said she was "stunned and absolutely out-of-my-mind happy" about the victories. Noting that she won the top prize -- entertainer of the year -- at the Country Music Association Awards earlier this month, she gushed, "I just can't even tell you how much I'm really loving this fall season."
Lady Antebellum took the country band, duo or group trophy, and band member Hillary Scott thanked their fans, saying, "It starts and ends with you." Scott later said backstage that she admires another AMA winner, pop star Beyonce, because "she has nothing but class and has this ability to be extremely sexy without it coming across offensive, ever."
The Band Perry gave the only country performance of the night, singing their crossover hit, "If I Die Young."
Blake Shelton was named the AMA's favorite male country artist, but that category was announced off-camera.