Former One Direction singer Niall Horan said it was “unbelievable” to win best new artist at the American Music Awards after “a hell of a year”.
The Irish singer, 24, thanked his supporters from the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday night when he was presented the award voted for by the fans.
“This is unbelievable, I’ve had a hell of a year. To be put in that category with some of my friends was unbelievable enough,” he said, accepting the accolade.
Horan, who later performed his song Slow Hands, triumphed over contenders James Arthur, Julia Michaels, Post Malone and Rae Sremmurd.
The new artist category was one of the few where women were competing against men with so few females being nominated for awards, including artist of the year, video of the year and tour of the year.
Singer Halsey previously criticised the gender balance as a “missed opportunity”, adding she was “really disappointed to hear near exclusively male names”.
Fans vote for the winners from the nominations, which organisers say are based on music sales, radio play, streaming figures as well as interactions on social media and tours.
Horan’s victory came a month after the release of his debut solo album Flicker.
The record reached number one in the US and Ireland and peaked at number three in the UK.