MILAN – It was a very good night for Justin Bieber who scored five wins at MTV’s 2015 Europe Music Awards, during a star-studded show held Sunday at the Mediolanum Forum in Milan aired across MTV’s global network of more than 60 channels and hundreds of digital platforms.
Ed Sheeran, Nicki Minaj, One Direction, Rihanna, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Taylor Swift, and Shawn Mendes also won EMAs, which were based on more than half billion votes from around the globe.
Bieber, who performed his tropical ballad hit single “What Do You Mean?” on the Milan stage, scooped EMAs for Best Male; Best Look; Worldwide Act: North America; Best Collaboration for his work with Skrillex and Diplo on “Where Are You Now?”; and also the Biggest Fans prize in a heated social vote, with One Direction landing in second place.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis opened the show with a high-octane performance of their award-winning song “Downtown,” which featured mopeds, travellators and Eric Nally flying high above the stage. Later in the evening, they scored the Best Video prize for “Downtown.”
Andrea Bocelli performed his classic “Time To Say Goodbye,” and then joined singer-songwriter Tori Kelly to bring down the house with a duet rendition of Pink’s hit “Learn To Love Again.” Appropriately, Milan marked the first time the Italian tenor attended the EMAs. Bocelli’s new album “Cinema,” which was released globally Friday by Sugar Music/Universal Music Group features great movie themes, including from “Doctor Zhivago,” “West Side Story,” and “The Godfather.”
The closing act was Pharrell Williams’ potent perf of his hit track “Freedom.” The broadcast then cut to Milan’s cantral Piazza Duomo, where thousands of fans held up a massive ‘Freedom’ flag comprising national flags from all over the world. It symbolized the birth of a utopian country that knows no borders and kicked off the MTV Freedom campaign, which seeks to raise awareness, activism and donations in support of the refugee crisis in Europe.
Duran Duran were honored with the first ever MTV Visionary Award.
Ed Sheeran and “Orange is the New Black” actress Ruby Rose hosted, with Sheeran also performing with U.K. drum and bass outfit Rudimental on their hit “Lay It On Me.” Sheeran also took home awards for “Best Live Act” and Best World Stage.”
Viacom used the EMAs, which are the biggest international MTV event of the year, to test the latest technology to give fans new ways to experience and interact with live TV.
MTV aired the red carpet pre-show and also the entire awards ceremony via a virtual reality livestream that used multiple cameras and touted the Milan show as the first global music awards event providing fans this type of immersive experience during the entire event. Viewers in the U.S. and a slew of international territories accessed via an MTV EMA app, available globally and localized in various languages, including Brazilian/Portuguese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Latin American Spanish, Russian and simplified Chinese.
MTV also partnered with Instagram to host a custom booth backstage at the awards show, inspired by Instagram’s just-launched Boomerang app, through which attending stars shot images of themselves and Instagrammed them and boomerang style videos throughout the evening.
The 2016 MTV EMAs will be held in Rotterdam.
FULL LIST OF 2015 MTV EMA Winners
Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar “Bad Blood”
BEST LIVE ACT
BEST NEW ACT
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis “Downtown”
Lana Del Rey
BEST HIP HOP
Justin Bieber, Skrillex, Diplo “Where Are You Now?”
BEST WORLD STAGE
Ed Sheeran V Festival, Hylands Park, UK 2014
VIDEO VISIONARY AWARD
WORLDWIDE ACT: North America
Canada – Justin Bieber
WORLDWIDE ACT: LATIN America
Brazil – Anitta
WORLDWIDE ACT: Europe
Italy – Marco Mengoni
WORLDWIDE ACT: Africa / India
Africa – Diamond Platnumz
WORLDWIDE ACT: Asia
China – Jane Zhang
WORLDWIDE ACT: Australia / New Zealand
Australia – 5 Seconds of Summer