U.S. pop artists dominated the MTV Europe Music Awards held at Liverpool Echo Arena in the U.K., while the performers and winners were also keen to bask in President-elect Barack Obama’s election victory.

Britney Spears sent a video acceptance for her two awards: best album for “Blackout” (Jive/Sony BMG) and act of 2008.

Host Katy Perry, whose costumes included an Obama print dress, won the new act gong. “I want a recount,” she said. “The host can’t win.” Perry also opened the show, sat astride a giant chap-stick during “I Kissed A Girl” (Virgin).

Pink collected the first award of the night, taking most addictive track for “So What” (LaFace/Sony BMG).

Californian rock act 30 Seconds To Mars won in two categories tonight (Nov. 6) – the rock out award and the video star award for “A Beautiful Lie” (Virgin). The awards were voted by fans across Europe at www.mtvema.com.

“This has been a really exciting week for us Americans,” said frontman Jared Leto, who got the crowd to chant “Congrats Barack.”

There was also recognition for a Liverpool’s most famous musician, with Bono presenting the ultimate legend award to Sir Paul McCartney. “This is the man who invented my job,” said the U2 singer. Bono was also jeered when he said The Beatles would have been Irish, if the Irish potato famine hadn’t driven their ancestors to Britain.

“I’ve got to thank my mates Ringo, George and John,” said McCartney. “Many years ago, four little boys born here in Liverpool – and we went on to do quite well.”

McCartney also thanked people in the U.S. for “voting in Mr. Obama.”

The Liverpool crowd gave a warm reception to U.K. acts who performed, including Take That, The Ting Tings and Duffy. U.K. urban artist Estelle joined Kanye West for their first major awards show collaboration of “American Boy” (Homeschool/Atlantic), featuring a ticker-tape finale with an image of Obama on the giant screen.

Eighties pop act Rick Astley was the unlikely winner of the best act ever, following a viral Internet campaign that raised his profile in the past year.

Other performers included The Killers, Kid Rock, Beyonce, Pink and local indie-rock act The Wombats, who covered Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love.”

Katy Perry closed the show with a performance of “Hot N Cold.”

The ceremony was screened across MTV channels in Europe and was also simulcast online in many European countries.

MTV Europe Music Awards winners:

Most Addictive Track
Pink - “So What” (LaFace/Sony BMG)

Rock Out
30 Seconds To Mars

New Act
Katy Perry

Best Album
Britney Spears - “Blackout” (Jive/Sony BMG)

Best Act Ever
Rick Astley

Ultimate Urban
Kanye West

Video Star
30 Seconds To Mars - "A Beautiful Lie" (Virgin)

Europe’s Favorite Act
Emre Aydin

Artists’ Choice
Lil Wayne

Headliner award
Tokio Hotel

Act of 2008
Britney Spears

Best New U.K. & Ireland Act
Leona Lewis

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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