Maroon 5 and fun. were also nominated for 11 awards and walked away with one win each in pre-telecast announcements. Gotye and Rihanna had the second-most wins with four awards each.
But the awards show, airing live from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on ABC, is less about the trophies — which reflect success on the Billboard charts — and more about the performances. Selena Gomez sang her seductive new hit, "Come & Get It," while Chris Brown danced around the stage to his latest single, "Fine China," though his voice began to crack during the performance. Duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis also performed their massive hit, "Thrift Shop," which won top rap song.
"First and foremost, gotta thank Goodwill, gotta thank Value Village," Macklemore said to laughs.
Kid Rock, who presented the award, sparked controversy when he told the crowd, "Let's give it up for people lip-synching under pre-recorded music."
Mars and his band kicked off the show in silky red suits that matched their silky dance moves, with bright gold disco balls hanging above them during a performance of the upbeat and old-school flavored "Treasure."
Nicki Minaj won the first award in the live telecast for top rap artist, beating out Drake, Flo Rida, Pitbull and Psy.
"I definitely did not expect this one," she said, wearing a bright red dress.
She later performed "High School" with Lil Wayne and gave the rapper a provocative lap dance onstage.
Prince, who received the icon award, closed the awards show with a melody of his jams in a turquoise and purple ensemble. He sang, dance and rocked on the guitar.
Madonna won top touring artist, dance artist and dance album for "MDNA."