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Selena Gomez stole the show at the American Music Awards on Sunday night (November 20) by delivering a passionate speech to her fans as she accepted the Female Pop/Rock Artist trophy.

The pop star was not expected to attend the ceremony in Los Angeles and so her arrival on the red carpet was a shock to many, marking her first public appearance since she abandoned her world tour this summer and reportedly checked into rehab to focus on her struggle with autoimmune disorder lupus.

Wearing a stunning red gown and looking tanned, happy and healthy, the Come & Get It singer hit the stage during the prize-giving to collect the award and held back tears as she addressed her fans.

As the Microsoft Theater audience fell silent, Selena said, "In 2014 this stage was actually the first time that I was authentically, 100 per cent honest with all of you. I think it's safe to say that most of you know a lot of my life, whether I like it or not."

Gomez cut short a 2014 tour of Australia and checked in to the Dawn at The Meadows facility in Arizona to receive professional care and undergo chemotherapy. In August 2016, she announced she was taking an indefinite break from her world tour in order to focus on getting well again.

"I had to stop because I had everything and I was absolutely broken inside," she added during her speech. "I kept it all together enough to where I'd never let you (fans) down, but I kept it too much together, to where I let myself down.

"All I can say from the bottom of my heart is I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to be able to share what I love every single day with people that I love... If you are broken, you do not have to stay broken."

Meanwhile, Selena's ex Justin Bieber, fellow Canadian Drake, Rihanna, and Ariana Grande were among the biggest winners of the night.

The rapper, who came into the 2016 AMAs with a record-breaking 13 nominations, picked up three honours and shared a fourth with rumoured ex-girlfriend Rihanna, who also claimed a triple win, including an unexpected Soul/R&B Album of Year trophy for Anti, beating out Beyonce's Lemonade.

Meanwhile, Bieber picked up the most awards of the night landing four of his five nominations, and Grande was crowned Artist of the Year.

She and Bieber were also among the night's performance highlights alongside sets from Merit Award recipient Sting, Green Day, double winners Twenty One Pilots, The Weeknd, Fifth Harmony, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Niall Horan, and Maroon 5 and Kendrick Lamar, who closed the show with Don't Wanna Know.

The full list of winners is:

Artist of the Year: Ariana Grande

New Artist of the Year: Zayn Malik

Collaboration of the Year: Work From Home - Fifth Harmony featuring Ty Dolla $ign

Pop/Rock Male Artist: Justin Bieber

Pop/Rock Female Artist: Selena Gomez

Duo or Group - Pop/Rock: Twenty One Pilots

Pop/Rock Album: Purpose - Justin Bieber

Pop/Rock Song: Love Yourself - Justin Bieber

Soul/R&B Male Artist: Chris Brown

Soul/R&B Female Artist: Rihanna

Soul/R&B Song: Work - Rihanna and Drake

Soul/R&B Album: Anti - Rihanna

Rap/Hip-Hop Artist: Drake

Rap/Hip-Hop Song: Hotline Bling - Drake

Rap/Hip-Hop Album: Views - Drake

Electronic Dance Music Artist: The Chainsmokers

Alternative Rock Artist: Twenty One Pilots

Country Male Artist: Blake Shelton

Country Female Artist: Carrie Underwood

Country Duo or Group: Florida Georgia Line

Country Album: Storyteller - Carrie Underwood

Country Song: Humble & Kind - Tim McGraw

Adult Contemporary Artist: Adele

Latin Artist: Enrique Iglesias

Contemporary Inspirational Artist: Hillsong UNITED

Top Soundtrack: Purple Rain

Video of the Year: Sorry - Justin Bieber

Tour of the Year: Beyonce

American Music Award of Merit: Sting


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