According to Billboard magazine, “Canadian artists dominated the 2016 MTV EMAs”. The awards gala was held in Rotterdam, Netherlands where part of Jackie Chan’s Who Am I? was filmed. Four Canadian artists, all male soloists walked away with awards, though two of them were not able to attend. Shawn Mendes, who performed “Mercy” within an inverted holographic pyramid, which slowly lifted to reveal him seated at the piano, took home the trophy for Best Male, a category in which four of the five nominees were Canadian. He was also named the Worldwide Act winner for Canada.
Also in attendance was The Weeknd who performed his hit “Starboy” from inside an enclosed star-filled dome. He won Best Video for the song which earlier stirred up controversy, as it was nominated before it was released. Drake, absent from the ceremony, won Best Hip Hop. Justin Bieber, also not present, won awards for Best Song – “Sorry” –, Biggest Fans, and Best Canadian Act. Alessia Cara, nominated among 10 for Best Push, conceded to DNCE.
International artists who won awards included Lady Gaga (Best Female and Best Look), Twenty One Pilots (Best Live and Best Alternative), Zara Larsson (Best New), Fifth Harmony (Best Pop), Coldplay (Best Rock), and Martin Garrix (Best Electronic and Best World Stage). Green Day was given the Icon Award and expressed happiness about being in Europe and away from the “horrendous” federal election in the States. Worldwide Act winners were Troye Sivan – Australia, Maluma – Colombia, GOT7 – South Korea, Wizkid – Nigeria, Zara Larsson – Sweden, and Ariana Grande – United States.
And, yes, we did notice that one of Bruno Mars’ backup singers was wearing a Toronto Blue Jays jersey.