ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS (NOVEMBER 6, 2016) (MTV NEWTWORKS EUROPE) – An absent Justin Bieber edged out Lady Gaga as biggest winner on Sunday (November 6) at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Rotterdam, taking home three awards on the strength of support from his fans – the “Beliebers”.
Bieber, who was nominated in five categories, won for “Biggest (Most) Fans”, “Best Canadian Act”, and “Best Song” for “Sorry”.
Gaga, who is on tour in Japan, won for “Best Female” and “Best Look”.
Canadian Shawn Mendes, a favourite with the many teenage girls in the audience, won in the “Best Male” category and played a piano rendition of his ballad “Mercy”. He dedicated the win to his mother, saying it was her birthday.
“Thank you. First off, my incredible fans worldwide, you guys are outstanding you make me look so cool everywhere..so thank you so much. MTV EMAs for having me, it’s an honour. Thank you. My incredible team management and labels. My mom’s birthday is today so happy birthday mom I love you to her. Everybody that works so hard for me and my fans I love you guys so much so thank you,” he said.
“Show time! Show time! Guess who’s back again?” Mars sang, showing off disco moves that were synched with lights on the stage floor.
Veteran U.S. act Green Day gave the night a political tinge, closing it out with their signature 2004 song “American Idiot”, their protest against the Bush administration.
“I gotta say one thing – it’s really nice to be in Europe right now, it’s especially nice to be in Holland, we have been coming here for many years, we’ve been coming here since we were just a little bit older than you guys. But most of all it’s nice to be out of America just for a second because of this horrendous election that’s going on right now that has …our entire country is about to have one big collective heart attack,” said the band’s Billy Joe Armstrong.
Other big names who won but did not perform on Sunday included Coldplay for “Best Rock” and Drake for “Best Hip Hop”.
The awards themselves were coloured purple, in honour of Prince, who died in April.
Canadian R&B star The Weeknd won for “Best Video” with “Starboy”, featuring Daft Punk, and he performed the gloomy, pulsing number live, emerging from a star-covered dome on centre stage.
Honoured as “Best New Act,” Swedish teen Zara Larsson performed a medley of her biggest hits.