Bruno Mars had the Rotterdam audience on its feet and dancing when he opened this year’s MTV Europe Music Awards in Rotterdam with his single ’24k Magic’, the follow-up to his 2014 hit ‘Uptown Funk’.
Canadian heartthrob Justin Bieber did not turn up to collect his prizes for Best Song (‘Sorry’), Biggest Fans, and Best Canadian Act. Nor was Lady Gaga there to collect her two gongs, for Best Female and Best Look. Her wins make her the most awarded artist in the history of the MTV EMAs.
The night saw several surprise disappointments. Beyonce looked certain to win, but, despite five nominations, she failed to take home a single prize. British singer-songwriter Adele, nominated in four categories, also went home empty-handed.
Canada’s was again represented by Shawn Mendes, who won in the Best Male category. Collecting his award, he wowed his teenage fans with an accoustic version of his hit ballad ‘Mercy’.
And Canadian act The Weeknd picked up Best Video for ‘Starboy’ featuring Daft Punk.
At just 18, Swedish pop artist Zara Larsson was the youngest winner, scooping up the Best New Artist and Best Worldwide Act (Sweden) awards.
MTV’s Global Icon award – for career achievement – went to US band Green Day. Speaking as he went up to collect the prize, lead singer Billy Joe Armstrong introduced a political note, saying: “It’s nice to be out of America just for a second because of this horrendous election that’s going on right now… our entire country is about to have one big collective heart attack.”
The band closed the show with a performance of their 2004 hit ‘American Idiot’, which they dedicated to Donald Trump.