The Weeknd, in bandage, picks up AMA win

The Weeknd gave no reason for his heavily bandaged appearance at the American Music Awards.
The Weeknd gave no reason for his heavily bandaged appearance at the American Music Awards.

Canadian musician The Weeknd, wearing a face bandage, has picked up the first of eight potential American Music Awards in a show held in Los Angeles amid tight coronavirus restrictions.

The Weeknd accepted the trophy for best soul/R&B album for After Hours on Sunday and later performed sporting a large white bandage that wrapped around his face and nose.

He gave no reason for his appearance, which confused fans on social media, but it appeared to be an artistic choice that started with his March album cover where he sported a bloodied and broken nose.

The Weeknd and California rapper Roddy Ricch went into the fan-voted awards show with a leading eight nominations apiece.

Both musicians are competing for the top award - artist of the year - along with Justin Bieber, Post Malone and Taylor Swift.

It will be announced towards the end of the Taraji P Henson-hosted show that has featured a mix of live and pre-recorded performances in front of a limited, socially-distanced audience.

The night kicked off with Bieber singing his hits Lonely and Holy before being joined by Shawn Mendes for their duet Monster.

The show celebrated the surge in popularity of Latin music with expanded categories and a steamy performance by Jennifer Lopez and Colombian singer Maluma singing Lonely in both English and Spanish.

Becky G won for best female Latin artist and dedicated her award to immigrant workers.

Rapper Megan Thee Stallion marked her debut performance at the American Music Awards with Body and later accepted the best rap/hip-hop song trophy for her raunchy collaboration WAP with Cardi B.

Bieber and country singers Dan + Shay won the best country song for 10,000 Hours, while Katy Perry gave her first major performance since giving birth to a girl in August.

Australian Associated Press