Perry also delivered one of the evening’s standout live performances with a powerful run through “Prism” track “Unconditionally,” which saw her elevated high above the crown on a hydraulic maypole as dancers circled below. The song culminated with Perry hanging 30 feet in the air, having metamorphosed into a human glitterball.
Her victory was, however, almost outshone by Miley Cyrus, who followed her headline-grabbing performance at this year’s U.S. MTV Video Music Awards with a series of similarly eye-catching actions, although this time none of them involved any gratuitous twerking or excessive tongue wagging.
Miley Cyrus Lights a Joint On stage at the MTV EMAs
Opening the show with a rousing rendition of “We Can’t Stop,” Cyrus later returned for the stage dressed in a predictably revealing leotard to perform “Wrecking Ball,” which subsequently won the award for best video. Accepting the prize, the singer – who reportedly spent 7 hours in an Amsterdam cannabis coffee shop earlier this year - thanked “all my fans for making this happen” before reaching into her clutch bag and getting out what suspiciously looked like a joint, which she then lit up.
The evening’s other major award, best male, went to Justin Bieber for a fourth consecutive year, although the teen star was not in attendance and accepted the prize - which was presented by Iggy Azalea and Ariana Grande - via video speech.
Big winners on the night also included Eminem, who delivered a towering live performance of “Berzerk” and “Rap God,” both taken from his new studio set “The Marshall Mathers LP II,” and collected two awards: best hip-hop and global icon. Receiving the global icon award from Will Ferrell, in character as Ron Burgundy, the rapper said: “Wow. This is crazy. First of all, I just want to say thank you to everybody for everything over the years. MTV Europe, thank you.”
Eminem then evoked Ron Burgundy character Brick Tamland by flatly stating “I love award.” Ferrell generated bigger laughs with his follow-on statement: “I hate to stir stuff up, but Afrojack has been talking shit about you. Anything you want to say?” to which Eminem deadpanned: “Who?”
Bruno Mars also had a good evening, winning best song for “Locked Out Of Heaven.” Accepting the award, the singer said: “This song means so much to me, so the fact that you all dig it really makes me feel good,” he said before paying tribute to his label, Atlantic Records, manager Brandon Creed, and band member and fellow Smeezington Philip Lawrence.
Later in the show, which was hosted by LMFAO’s Redfoo, Mars delivered an explosive performance of “Gorilla,” taken from his Billboard 200 toping sophomore album “Unorthodox Jukebox.” Best alternative was, meanwhile, won by Thirty Seconds To Mars, whose singer, Jared Leto, dedicated the award to “the dreamers, the believers, to the people that have had faith in us and made our dreams come true. We love you more than life itself.” The singer later led a minute-long silence in respect for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
The evening’s biggest surprise came in the best worldwide act category, which featured global pop heavyweights One Direction and Justin Bieber among its 10 nominees. They were, however, beaten by Chinese pop singer Li Yuchun, also known as Chris Lee, representing Mainland China, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia and Taiwan. Collecting the award, the singer stated: “To all the people who enjoy Chinese music, enjoy the night. Enjoy the music. Thank you. I love you.”
One Direction later received redemption of sorts by winning the best pop award, which the British band accepted via video speech.
Live performances on the evening included Kings of Leon, who played a bombastic, pyrotechnic-laden version of “Beautiful War,” taken from their latest studio album “Mechanical Bull.” The Killers also delivered a roof-raising two-song medley of its new single “Shot At The Night” and the band’s classic track “Mr Brightside.” Another live highlight saw Robin Thicke joined by Iggy Azalea for “Blurred Lines.”
During the show, footage of Afrojack and Snoop Dogg performing simultaneously at the Melkweg Club, Amsterdam, was broadcast live to viewers watching at home, as well as those inside the venue. A live broadcast of Imagine Dragons playing “Radioactive” outside the Ziggo Dome was also relayed during the ceremony. Icona Pop closed the show with a suitably roof-raising run through their breakthrough international hit “I Love It.”
The 2013 MTV EMAs are broadcast across MTV's global network of more than 60 channels reaching nearly 700 million households across the world, according to MTV.
The full list of winners:
Best female: Katy Perry
Best male: Justin Bieber
Best song: Bruno Mars, “Locked Out Of Heaven”
Best video: Miley Cyrus “Wrecking Ball”
Best pop: One Direction
Best new artist: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Global icon: Eminem
Best hip-hop: Eminem
Best live: Beyonce
Best rock: Green Day
Best electronic: Avicii
Best worldwide: Chris Lee (Mainland China/Hong Kong/Southeast Asia/Taiwan)
Best look: Harry Styles
Best alternative: Thirty Seconds To Mars
Biggest fans: Tokio Hotel
Best push: Austin Mahone
Best world stage: Linkin Park