AFTER a virtual event in 2020, the 2021 MTV European Music Awards was live from the Papp László Budapest Sportaréna in Hungary and aired on MTV in 180 countries over the weekend.

Ed Sheeran was awarded Best Artist and Best Song for Bad Habits. BTS won the most awards, including Best Pop, Best Group, Best K-Pop, and Biggest Fans, but were not present at the ceremony.

Lil Nas X was awarded Best Video for his song MONTERO, and Billie Eilish the Video for Good for Your Power. The Best Collaboration award went to Doja Cat ft. SZA for Kiss Me More while David Guetta won Best Electronic.

Italian rock band, Måneskin, won Best Rock. Saweetie won Best New, Nicki Minaj won Best Hip-Hop, and Olivia Rodrigo Best Push. Colombian singer Maluma won Best Latin and YUNGBLUD won the award for Best Alternative.

Among the regional local act categories, Taylor Swift won for the U.S. and Little Mix for the U.K. and Ireland.

Justin Bieber had eight nominations, making him the most nominated male artist, despite not winning any awards.

The show got its inspiration from Budapest’s famous thermal spas and the Danube, which is the river that runs through the city. The event featured a water theme with stages that had an illusion that made it look like it was floating.

Sheeran opened the show with a rendition of his latest single Overpass Graffiti and his hit number Shivers after.

Saweetie hosted the event and interacted with soldiers in hot pink suits inspired by Squid Game and MTV masks. She also performed a medley of her hits, including Best Friend, Tap In, and OUT OUT.

In Maluma’s Mama Tetema performance, he and his dancers were drenched in artificial rain in the end, keeping with the water theme.

Being the first trans artist to perform at the show, Kim Petras made EMAs history as she performed a medley of two unreleased songs, Coconuts and Hit It From The Back.

Lastly, YUNGBLUD closed the night performing his latest single, Fleabag, with pyrotechnics and ended with him and his band trashing the stage.

The MTV EMA Generation Change Awards went to five honourees for fighting against anti-LGBTQ+ policies. Despite the country passing anti-LGBTQ+ laws in June, MTV went ahead with the awards in Hungary in solidarity with the community.

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