Backstage at the AMAs

Creed Steals Pop Crown

Teen pop got the short end of the stick Monday night — and one of the reasons was Creed, whose Human Clay took the Favorite Pop/Rock Album prize from 'N Sync and Britney Spears.

"We never thought we would ever, ever, ever be in a category with 'N Sync or Britney Spears," singer Scott Stapp told the press backstage. "And that's not anything negative towards those two artists — it's just, we're a rock band."

But he added that its pop success has an upside. "Our songs have opened so many doors for other up-and-coming rock bands. … Years ago, our kind of music never got played on Adult Contemporary or Top 40 [radio], and now they are, and other bands are getting a shot. But we never thought … we're just a rock band from Florida."

Backstreet Boys Dismiss Rivalry

The Backstreet Boys won the battle this time. While they and rivals 'N Sync took home an award, the Boys grabbed the more prestigious Favorite Band, Duo, or Group prize, while 'N Sync won Internet Artist of the Year. The gracious quintet chose not to rub it in backstage, however.

"It's not really a rivalry," said Nick Carter. "I went to a football game with ['N Sync member] Chris [Kirkpatrick] — a Tampa Bay, St. Louis football game. … There is no rivalry anymore."

"Like we've said many times," added Kevin Richardson. "It's just, in the beginning, the way it all started out, our management company, how it all came to be, who we used to be with, who they used to be with, that whole thing, that was hard to deal with."

Brian McKnight 's Hoop Dreams

R&B singer Brian McKnight, who took the trophy for Favorite Male R&B/Soul Artist, was so certain he wasn't going to win, he tried to get out of appearing at the awards show so he could play basketball.

"I'm missing my playoff game right now," he said. "I was telling them, 'I'm not going to win, let me just leave. That way I can be on time and shoot around and play' — and now I can't even make it for half time."

He said that though he rarely wins awards, he's quite happy to line his walls with album-sales trophies.

"Those are my awards — the fact that people have gone out and bought records I've worked on. I don't make records for awards, necessarily."

McGraw and Hill Relish Top Spot

Faith Hill took three awards home, and her husband, Tim McGraw, grabbed another — the couple will have to clear some space on the mantle at home.

McGraw told reporters, "Awards are kind of a gauge of where your career's at, and it doesn't matter whether it's from the peers or from the industry or from the public. it's just a testament to where your career's at and how well you're doing, and it's always a good barometer for us."

In other words, they're doing pretty well.

Janet: Not Done Yet!

Janet Jackson was more than a little surprised when she learned she would be given an Award of Merit — the sort of award, she thought, that goes to elder statesmen of the industry.

"I really could not believe it," she said. "But when I started thinking about it … I have been in this business for a very, very long time. I started when I was a kid, a baby."

But that doesn't mean she's getting tired of it. "I still have more to do; I'm still hungry — I felt that [the award] was early, because I still feel very young, but I'm very honored."

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