MOSCOW - The 10th edition of the Muz TV awards, handed out in Moscow's Olimpiisky sports center late on Friday, June 1, brought few surprises but stirred some controversy.
Dima Bilan was awarded as the best male singer, collecting the award for the fifth time over the last six years and winning over Grigory Leps, Sergei Lazarev, Filipp Kirkorov and Dan Balan.
The best female singer award went to pop/hip-hop singer Yolka, who picked up the award for the first time in her career. The other contenders for the statuette were Zemfira, Nyusha, Vera Brezhneva and Ani Lorak. Nyusha was still awarded for the best song for "Vyshe" (Higher).
The band Gradusy collected the best album award for Golaya (Naked). The other nominees were Yolka with Tochki Rasstavleny (All Is Final), Bilan with Mechtatel (Dreamer), Vintazh with Anechka and Kirkorov with DruGOY.
The latter's live version, performed at the Kremlin Palace last November, was awarded as the best live show, and the singer also collected the best video award for "Sneg" (Snow).
Zveri were awarded as the best rock band, adding a seventh title to the six wins in a row they grabbed from 2004 to 2009. The other nominees were Mumiy Troll, Okean Elzy, Leningrad and Bi-2. Vintazh was announced the best pop band.
Ukraine-born singer Ivan Barskikh won the breakthrough artist award in a tough competition with Ivan Dorn, Dasha Suvorova and the bands Nervy and Obe Dve.
Since the award ceremony was held for the 10th time, two special prizes to the decade's best female and male singer were awarded to Zemfira and Kirkorov, respectively.
Meanwhile, the ceremony, hosted by the television channel Muz-TV, fell short of many people's expectations. For the first time in several years, no top Western artist showed up as the main headliner. According to original announcements, Lady Gaga was supposed to take part in the ceremony, but a promoter hired by Muz-TV failed to bring the singer to Moscow, and the television channel is suing the company. In the past, the likes of Christina Aguilera, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez and 50 Cent were the ceremony's special guest.
There was also controversy around firing popular TV personality Kseniya Sobchak -- who co-hosted the Muz-TV award ceremony for several years -- just days before the event, allegedly because of her recent activities in the opposition camp. Prominent musical critic Artemy Troitsky intended to read a message from her but wasn't allowed to the stage.