Last November, the MTV European Music Awards called out U.S. politics when Green Day lead singer Billie Armstrong told the audience that it was a relief to get away from the United States during the “horrendous” presidential campaign. “The entire country is about to have one big collective heart attack,” Armstrong said during his acceptance speech.
This year, unlike many award shows, the EMAs (taking place at Wembley Stadium in London) stayed away from anything overtly political. Although when Jared Leto’s band Thirty Seconds to Mars accepted the award for best alternative act, he had a message he wanted to get across.
“Europe, you have changed our lives. This is for you, this is about you. And we stand here proudly on this stage tonight in celebration of you,” Leto said. “We are Americans, a land of immigrants — and we just want to say that we welcome you with open arms and with open hearts and we love you. God bless you.”
The other speeches mostly thanked managers, labels, etc. — although when U2 received the Global Icon Award, Bono got creative, belting out a few lines of U.K. rapper Stormzy’s “Blinded by Grace.”
Meanwhile, Stormzy sang his hit “Big for Your Boots” on stage in a police car during the two-hour telecast, which also included performances by host Rita Ora (“Your Song”); Demi Lovato (“Sorry Not Sorry”); Camila Cabello (“Havana”); Kesha (“Learn to Let Go”); Liam Payne (“Strip That Down”); and Eminem, who performed his new track “Walk On Water” with guest artist Skylar Grey.
Eminem also won the award for best hip-hop over acts such as Drake, Future and Kendrick Lamar, and seemed a bit confused by the honor.
“I’m not really sure how I got this, I haven’t had an album out in a few years,” Eminem said, but he assured everyone that he will have a record out soon.
Vine sensation turned pop star Shawn Mendes had a big night, winning best song for “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” and best artist, the most coveted prize. Here’s the rest of the winners and nominees:
Clean Bandit — Rockabye ft. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie
DJ Khaled — Wild Thoughts ft. Rihanna, Bryson Tiller
Ed Sheeran — Shape of You
Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee — Despacito (Remix) ft. Justin Bieber
Shawn Mendes — There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back (winner)
BEST HIP HOP
Foo Fighters — Run
Katy Perry — Bon Appétit ft. Migos
Kendrick Lamar — HUMBLE. (winner)
KYLE — iSpy ft. Lil Yachty
Taylor Swift — Look What You Made Me Do
Lana Del Rey
Thirty Seconds To Mars (winner)
Camila Cabello (winner)
Dua Lipa (winner)
David Guetta (winner)
Ed Sheeran (winner)
Shawn Mendes (winner)
BEST WORLD STAGE
Steve Aoki — Live from Isle of MTV Malta 2016
Kings of Leon — Live from Oude Luxor Theatre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands 2016
DNCE — Live from Isle of MTV Malta 2017
The Chainsmokers — Live from Isle of MTV Malta 2017 (winner)
Foo Fighters — Live from Barcelona 2017
Hailee Steinfeld (winner)
The Head And The Heart