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Stars, sequins shine in AMA spotlight

LOS ANGELES - The Black Eyed Peas were triple winners at the 2006 American Music Awards on Tuesday.

The hip-hop quartet was named favorite group twice, in the rap/hip hop and soul/rhythm & blues categories. They also won favorite rap/hip-hop album.

Expressing gratitude via satellite from Costa Rica, the band's frontman, will.i.am, thanked fans and artists "for keeping hip-hop progressive and pushing it forward."

Awards came in pairs for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kelly Clarkson, Mary J. Blige and Rascal Flatts.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers were favorite alternative artist and pop/rock band. Clarkson captured trophies for pop/rock female and adult contemporary artist. Rascal Flatts won favorite country group and the T-Mobile Text-In award, which is chosen by fans.

Blige won favorite soul/rhythm & blues album for "The Breakthrough." She was also the favorite female R&B artist. She accepted the award from surprise presenter Britney Spears.

Oscar winner Jamie Foxx was named favorite male soul/rhythm & blues artist.

"I'm like a rookie in this music thing," he said. "This means a lot more than you think, man."

Nickelback took home the trophy for pop/rock album. Dancehall singer Sean Paul was named favorite male pop/rock artist.

Among country honors, favorite female artist went to Faith Hill, male artist went to Toby Keith and Tim McGraw's "Greatest Hits Volume 2" was favorite album. Carrie Underwood was named favorite breakthrough artist.

Eminem was favorite male rap/hip-hop artist. Shakira won favorite Latin artist, and Kirk Franklin captured the award for contemporary inspirational music.

Talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel kicked off the three-hour ceremony with a skit about Spears' ex, Kevin Federline. Kimmel cracked that Federline was the world's first "no-hit wonder."

Beyonce began the show in a sparkly sequined minidress. The Pussycat Dolls also chose sequins for their performance, while Nelly Furtado opted for a skin-tight white dress.

New mom Gwen Stefani made a stylish return to the music scene in a skimpy sequined shift.

Jay-Z stepped out of retirement, Lionel Richie returned to the awards and Barry Manilow performed a '60s medley.

Some awards were announced off camera before the broadcast presentations.

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