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Taylor beats Whitney's American Music Awards record

Photo: Getty Images

Taylor Swift took another political stand at the American Music Awards, urging fans to vote in the upcoming midterm elections during her acceptance speech.

The singer, who picked up four gongs - taking her total tally to 23, breaking Whitney Houston's record for the most won by a woman at the event - raised the issue once again following an Instagram post on Sunday announcing she will be voting Democrat.

The message to her 112 million followers, which has been liked almost two million times, broke a long-standing refusal to discuss her political opinions.

Accepting her artist of the year prize at the fan-voted awards, Swift said: "This award and every single award given out tonight were voted on by the people, and you know what else is voted on by the people? The midterm elections on November 6."

The singer, who opened the ceremony with a performance of I Did Something Bad, beat DrakeEd Sheeran, Imagine Dragons and Post Malone to win the top prize.

She also picked up the awards for favourite pop/rock female artist, favourite pop/rock album for Reputation, and tour of the year.

And Swift was not the only one to get political, with host and Golden Globe-winning Black-ish actress Tracee Ellis Ross wearing a shirt bearing the words: "I am a voter."

Comedian-actor Billy Eichner also spoke about the midterms, encouraging the audience to "please grab your friends and tell them to vote".

He continued: "Now is the time. If you believe in equality for women, for people of colour, for the LGBTQ community. If you believe that climate change is real and that we need to do something about it…

"And you can go to Vote.org like Taylor Swift told you to."

In her Instagram post about the midterms, Swift urged fans to vote and explained she felt she had to speak out "due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years" which had made her "feel very differently" about remaining quiet when it comes to politics.

Vote.org said her message sparked an increase in voter registrations, particularly in her home state of Tennessee.

Swift's four prizes have made her the most decorated woman in American Music Awards history.

Despite having the year's top-selling album and three number one hits, Drake missed out on an award.

Cardi B won three, including favourite hip-hop/rap artist, which she dedicated to her baby daughter.

"I really want to thank my daughter," said Cardi B, who gave birth to Kulture Kiari Cephus in July. "I gotta prove people wrong. They said I wasn't going to make it after I had a baby."

The ceremony closed with a rousing tribute to Aretha Franklin, who died in August. Gladys Knight, Ledisi, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin and CeCe Winans were among the musicians celebrating her incredible career.

Rapper-singer XXXTentacion, who was shot dead in June, was also honoured with a posthumous award for favourite soul/R&B album for his 2017 debut, 17.

Other winners included Post Malone, Carrie Underwood, Camila Cabello and Khalid.

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