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Lionel Richie Wins Six Awards, Prince Three

January 29, 1985

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The mellow crossover sounds of Lionel Richie outpolled Prince’s ragged rock edge at the 12th annual American Music Awards, with a surprised Richie winning six awards and Prince, accompanied by a tattoed bodyguard, taking three.

Kenny Rogers won three trophies on the nationally broadcast show, making him the all-time American Music Awards champion with a total of 16. The awards Monday night honored winners of a nationwide public opinion poll.

Tina Turner, Anne Murray, Cyndi Lauper and the Pointer Sisters picked up two awards apiece during the three-hour ABC telecast at the Shrine Auditorium.

Offstage, Richie and producer Quincy Jones announced that several top recording artists including Richie, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen were joining together Monday night to record a song, with the proceeds donated to relieve starving Ethiopians.

Prince and Richie were nominated in eight of the same categories, and Prince had 10 nominations overall, giving him a shot at breaking the record set last year by Michael Jackson, who won seven regular awards and also was the year’s Award of Merit recipient for career achievement.

Richie, who was host of the show, was honored as favorite male vocalist and favorite male video artist in both black and pop-rock categories. His video clip, ″Hello,″ was named favorite pop-rock video single and black video single.

″I cannot believe it. I was concentrating so much on making sure the show was going properly that when they kept calling my name I said ’Wait a minute - this is not in the program, this is not in the script,‴ said Richie, who had previously won seven of the awards.

Prince, the 26-year-old sensation from Minneapolis, won for favorite black single with ″When Doves Cry,″ as well as top black album and pop-rock for the soundtrack album to his hit film, ″Purple Rain.″ He electrified the audience into a swaying mass with a live performance of the title song.

″For all of us, life is death without adventure,″ Prince said after his third trip to the podium. ″Adventure only comes to those willing to be daring and take chances.″

But the slim, androgynous Prince apparently preferred to take no chances at the awards, with a hulking, tatooed bodyguard accompanying him even to the stage to accept his trophies.

Rogers’ awards included one he shared with Dolly Parton for favorite country single for their duet, ″Island in the Stream.″ Rogers’ LP, ″Eyes That See in the Dark″ was voted favorite country album, and he also was named favorite male country vocalist for the fifth time.

Miss Lauper was named favorite female vocalist and video artist in pop- rock, while Miss Turner picked up the same awards in the black artist category. Miss Murray won favorite female country video artist, and her hit, ″A Little Good News,″ was voted favorite country video single.

Miss Turner, whose first hit was 1960′s rhythm and blues smash ″A Fool in Love″ with former husband Ike, said her latest album, ″Private Dancer,″ was the result of a desire ″to see what I could do on my own. It just really shows I can do it.″

The favorite pop video group award went to Huey Lewis and the News, who hit it big last year with an album called ″Sports.″

Springsteen won favorite pop single for ″Dancing in the Dark″ but was not present to collect it. Daryl Hall and John Oates made it three years in a row as favorite pop-rock group, and Alabama also checked in as favorite country group for a third straight year.

The Pointer Sisters were named favorite black group, their first American Music Award, and also won as favorite black video group.

Barbara Mandrell won her fifth consecutive country vocalist award, accepting via satellite from Nashville, and Willie Nelson was named favorite male country video artist.

The show featured tributes to two-time American Music Award winner Loretta Lynn, who received this year’s special Award of Merit, and to two singers who died last year, Marvin Gaye and Ernest Tubb.

Awards were determined by a nationwide public opinion poll of 20,000 record buyers who were asked to pick their favorite male and female artists, duo or group, single, album, video clip and male, female and group video artists from nominations in each of three major categories: pop-rock, soul and country.

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