Swift will be recognized for her historical album sales as the only artist in history to have three albums – “Speak Now, “Red” and “1989” — each debuting with more than 1 million sold in their first week. This year, in its first week, “1989” sold 1.287 million copies, making it the highest selling album released in 2014. Swift is the first recipient of the Dick Clark Award for Excellence, given to an artist who achieves a groundbreaking feat or creates a landmark work. It is to be bestowed upon someone whose spirit and excellence capture the visionary passion that Dick Clark himself incorporated into everything he did.
Clark, the creator of the 42-year-old American Music Awards, influenced popular music in America for six decades. He was known for maintaining a standard of excellence both in the shows he produced and in the talent that he showcased. Simultaneously “America’s Oldest Teenager” and the most trusted name in music, Clark was responsible for the first TV appearances of many superstars including Michael Jackson, Madonna and Prince. Taylor Swift, who also made her debut on a Dick Clark Production show, will be honored with this prestigious award with Clark’s wife, Kari, in the audience, along with a theatre full of stars who grew up on Clark’s programs. This promises to be one of the most significant moments in the rich history of the AMA’s.
“The first time Dick saw Taylor perform, he knew she was something special,” said Kari Clark, wife of the late Dick Clark. “He would be thrilled to know she is the first artist to receive the Dick Clark Award for Excellence.”
“The American Music Awards most closely reflects Dick Clark’s philosophy of popular music. It provides a platform for the biggest music artists of the day, with the winners voted on by the fans,” said American Music Awards producer Larry Klein. “Clark always said, ‘Music is the soundtrack of our lives,’ and no one’s recent music has provided a more meaningful soundtrack for the lives of music fans than Taylor Swift.”
Swift will also take to the stage to open the show with the world television premiere performance of her new single “Blank Space”. She joins a line-up of must-see artists including 5 Seconds of Summer, Mary J. Blige, Garth Brooks, Charli XCX, Fergie, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, Imagine Dragons, Jessie J, Lil Wayne, Lorde, Magic!, Nicki Minaj, One Direction, Sam Smith, and the evening’s host, Pitbull.
The 2014 American Music Awards will broadcast live from the NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE on SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23rd (8:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT) on ABC.