Bruno Mars took the top prize at the American Music Awards on Sunday at a show that paid glowing tribute to legendary divas Diana Ross and the late Whitney Houston.
Mars, the retro star who found fresh success with the funky beats and R&B harmonies of his latest album “24K Magic,” accepted Artist of the Year with a brief but enthusiastic speech recorded in a moving minivan, as Mars explained he was travelling.
The awards also honoured Houston to mark 25 years since her blockbuster film and soundtrack “The Bodyguard,” which featured her classic cover of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You.”
Houston, 48, was found dead in her hotel bathroom in February 2012 on the eve of the Grammy Awards. A coroner ruled that she died of accidental drowning, with cocaine and heart disease listed as contributing factors.