LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 24: Host Pitbull speaks onstage during the 2013 American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 24, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo/Getty Images)

While J.Lo and Pitbull wow at AMAs, many on Twitter take shots at Latino influence

The 2013 American Music Awards may have celebrated the best in American music, but by doing so the 41st annual ceremony commemorated the Latino contribution to pop culture at nearly every turn.

The AMAs – broadcast live from the NOKIA Theater in Los Angeles – were hosted by Pitbull, who opened the event with a few jokes about how the club scene in Miami practiced the “twerk” dance move long before Miley Cyrus made it popular. The first-time host made plenty of references to his Hispanic background during the three-hour show and even made a point to pronounce presenter Zoe Saldaña with the ñ.

But Pitbull – whose real name is Armando Christian Pérez – was the subject of plenty of tweets during the show, including from those who slammed the rapper for not being American and for dropping the occasional word in Spanish.

And Pitbull wasn’t the only Latino subject to these kinds of tweets: Jennifer Lopez performed a high-wattage Spanish-language tribute to Cuban salsa icon Celia Cruz – a medley of “Quimbara,” “La vida es un carnaval” and “Bemba Colorá” “that was disparaged on Twitter for similar reasons.

Even E! News added to the criticism of Lopez’s performance – never mind that the 44-year-old’s tribute was nearly flawless— tweeting “Nice to see they’re previewing the ‘Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights’ musical at the #AMAs tonight.”

The tweet generated hundreds of responses from Latino viewers at home, who were quick to defend Lopez’s performance.

E! News has yet to respond to NBC Latino’s request for comment regarding the tweet, which has since been deleted.

Pitbull and Lopez weren’t the only Latin artists to take the stage. Christina Aguilera joined songwriting duo A Great Big World in the ballad “Say Something.”

And being an awards show, there were plenty of awards doled out. Taylor Swift took home her record 14th AMA, edging out Bruno Mars for “Artist of the Year.” Other big winners included Ariana Grande for “New Artist of the Year” and Justin Timberlake (“Favorite Male Artist, Soul/R&B” and “Favorite Male Artist, Pop/Rock”).

RELATED: The full list of 2013 American Music Award winners

Yet on stage, it was clear who were the real winners: Latinos. From Marc Anthony’s award for “Favorite Artist, Latin” to presenters Daisy Fuentes and Naya Rivera, it was an evening that may have celebrated American music – but with a decidedly Latin twist.

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