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Usher, Bieber make early appearances at American Music Awards

Usher donned some cool ruby red slippers that you can't see in this photo. Credit: Getty Images

Usher donned some cool ruby red slippers that you can't see in this photo. Credit: Getty Images

The 40th annual American Music Awards might be taking place in Los Angeles, but there was a healthy dose of Atlanta early in the show.

Usher, up for three of the fan-voted awards, opened the telecast sporting black leather and red boots and rolled through a medley of “Numb,” “Climax” and “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop.” The singer, looking a little more beefily muscular than usual, seemed to mostly be singing live (painfully obvious during his run down a treadmill while singing) except when engaging in a fleet-footed routine. An assault of laser lights nearly took him and his troupe of dancers out at the end, but a breathless Usher kept his cool.

Moments later, Dunwoody’s ubiquitous Ryan Seacrest – does this guy ever nap? – moved closer to becoming the next Dick Clark and announced the winner of Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist: Justin Bieber.

The sometimes-Atlantan didn’t look as heartbroken as the tabloids have pegged him this week since his breakup with Selena Gomez, but he did use his platform to dedicate his award to “all the haters who thought I would only be here one or two years, but I feel like I’m going to be here for a very long time.”

Maybe wait a few more years into a career before making that statement, eh, Biebs?

Bieber also thanked manager Scooter Braun for being “a great mentor and role model.”

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