Shawn Mendes, Eminem among winners at MTV EMAs in London

LONDON — Shawn Mendes beat Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran to win the best-artist prize Sunday at the MTV EMAs, while U2 were proclaimed global icons in a show that celebrated London’s diverse culture, from pubs to pirate radio.

Mendes, the 19-year-old Canadian star, also won the best-song trophy for “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back,” to the delight of fans standing in a polite onstage mosh-pit at the city’s SSE Arena. Fittingly, he also took the prize for best fans.

The show, formerly known as the MTV Europe Music Awards, opened with a clip of Eminem performing his new single “Walk on Water” in a London pub. He then emerged onstage in jeans and a black hoodie to perform the slow-burning number live, with Skylar Gray filling in on the duet duties Beyoncé performed on the recording.

Eminem was also named best hip-hop artist, and proclaimed surprise.

“I don’t know how I got this because I haven’t had an album out in a few years,” he said.

Sunday marked the awards’ return to London for the first time since 1996, and locally bred singer Rita Ora was a suitably chipper host. Taking the stage clad in a bathrobe and towel, she kept things moving, changed outfits every few minutes and gamely joshed in video clips with the stars of pirate-radio sitcom “People Just Do Nothing.”

The show featured plenty of visual dazzle, from the 50 dancers accompanying Demi Lovato on “Sorry Not Sorry” and “Tell me You Love Me” to the giant animatronic bird carrying Travis Scott onto the stage.

Singer Camila Cabello, who won the best-pop prize, performed “Havana” with a troupe of dancers dressed as bathing beauties around a realistic projection of a pool. London grime artist Stormzy arrived in a police car and left in a blaze of fireworks after performing the rousing “Big For Your Boots.”

Performers ranged across genres and generations, and included singer-songwriter Kesha, electronic act Clean Bandit, rapper French Montana, rockers The Killers and former One Direction heartthrob Liam Payne.

Kendrick Lamar won best video for “Humble,” a lavish clip laced with religious and art-history imagery.

Coldplay was named best rock act, while the best-alternative prize went to Thirty Seconds to Mars. Frontman Jared Leto thanked Europe, adding that the U.S. is a land of immigrants and “we welcome you with open arms.”

British singer-songwriter Dua Lipa was named best new artist.

Apart from the occasional hint of marijuana smoke wafting across the arena, there were few of the unscripted-feeling moments that made past shows stick in the memory. There was no equivalent of Kanye West crashing the stage after losing in 2006 or Miley Cyrus smoking a joint in Amsterdam in 2013.

U2, who played an MTV-sponsored concert in London’s Trafalgar Square on Saturday, received the Global Icon award from Leto, who said “U2 changed my life.”

“Their songs are prayers, their concerts a church,” he said. “They challenge us, they inspire us.”

The Irish band dedicated the award to label boss Chris Blackwell of Island records, who signed them almost 40 years ago. And in a nod to a new generation of artists, Bono crooned an a capella version of Stormzy’s “Blinded by Your Grace.”

The awards are held in a different European city each year, with winners selected by fans across the continent. Next year’s ceremony will be held in Bilbao, Spain.

Just Posted

One strong wind leaves years of replanting work for Red Deer parks staff

High visibility boulevards already replanted, neighbourhood work starts next year

Red Deer-area indigenous filmmakers invited to apply for $20,000 grant

Storyhive launches Indigenous Storyteller Edition

Restaurant closed after compliance team patrol

Public Safety Compliance Team checked eight bars and restaurants on Oct. 19

Red Deerians await local cannabis stores

So far 31 stores in Alberta awarded licence to operate

Rimbey RCMP seek missing man with health concerns

Has anyone seen Bill Harris of Ponka County?

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Local Sports: Rudy Soffo valuable to Kings on the court

When Rudy Soffo first saw the RDC basketball Kings roster he was… Continue reading

Except for 1 kick, Saints, Ravens are evenly matched

BALTIMORE — In a matchup between the league’s highest-scoring offence and top-ranked… Continue reading

Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets a top award for comedy

WASHINGTON — After a 35-year acting career and with two iconic television… Continue reading

Ricky Skaggs, Dottie West enter Country Music Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE — Bluegrass and country star Ricky Skaggs, singer Dottie West and… Continue reading

AP Exclusive: Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, thesis for sale

LONDON — Stephen Hawking was a cosmic visionary, a figure of inspiration… Continue reading

Canada deemed U.S. a safe country for asylum seekers after internal review

OTTAWA — Canadian immigration officials have determined that the United States remains… Continue reading

Bombardier sues Mitsubishi over alleged theft of aircraft trade secrets

MONTREAL — Bombardier is suing Mitsubishi Aircraft in the United States over… Continue reading

Three strong earthquakes reported in Pacific Ocean off Vancouver Island

Three relatively strong earthquakes were recorded Sunday night in the Pacific Ocean… Continue reading

Most Read