Bieber, who carried away the most silverware at the MTV EMAs last year with five awards, won Best Song this time around for his smash “Sorry,” and also took away the title of Best Canadian Act. His army of so-called Beliebers earned him his third crown of the night, Biggest Fans, in online voting via Twitter and Instagram that closed shortly before the show started.
Bieber was one of the many winners on the night who did not attend the show.
Just two days ahead of the U.S. presidential election, veteran punk rockers Green Day closed the raucous show with their anti-establishment anthem “American Idiot.”
“It is nice to be out of America just for a second because of this horrendous election that is going on right now,” lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong said.
The band was honored with the MTV Global Icon Award, but lost out to Twenty One Pilots in the Best Live category and to Coldplay in Best Rock. Twenty One Pilots also won the Best Alternative category.
Lady Gaga, also among the absentees, won Best Female and Best Look. The awards were colored purple this year to honor the late Prince.
“Prince, we will always miss you,” presenter Bebe Rexha said early in the show as purple spotlights crisscrossed the Ahoy arena in Rotterdam.
Shawn Mendes gave his mom a shoutout after winning the Best Male category.
“My mom’s birthday is today, so happy birthday mom, I love you,” Mendes said.
Dutch DJ Martin Garrix kept the home crowd happy by picking up two awards – Best Electronic and Best World Stage – and teamed up with Rexha to perform a duet of “In the Name of Love.”
Rexha also provided one of the more surreal performances of the night by singing her single “I’ve Got U” while dancing on and around a giant faux-fur letter U, complete with eyes that followed her moves.
After a rainy day in Rotterdam, OneRepublic got soaked by a man-made shower on stage while performing their new song “Let’s Hurt Tonight.”
Beyoncé was tied with Bieber for the most nominations – five – leading into the awards show, but was shut out. Queen Bey was in good company; Britain’s Adele was up for four awards, including Best Song for her single “Hello,” but also failed to pick up a single prize.
On Saturday, the Kings of Leon kicked off the MTV EMA weekend in Rotterdam with an intimate gig at the Dutch city’s Old Luxor Theater.
Playing a mix of old favorites and tracks from their recently released album ‘Walls’, the U.S. musicians entertained a packed crowd that included “Game of Thrones” actress Sophie Turner who was dancing in the aisles with singer and actor Joe Jonas.