“Justified,” indeed: Justin Timberlake continued his winning streak Thursday night by collecting the three top MTV Europe Music Awards — best male artist, best album and best pop artist — at a ceremony held in Edinburgh, Scotland, and beamed to some 1 billion viewers in 28 countries.
“If I could have had a picture-perfect night, it could not have been better than this,” said the overjoyed singer, 22, as quoted by Reuters. “I feel really, really blessed as I have worked so hard on this album (‘Justified’).”
Ceremony host and (before the night was over) best female artist winner Christina Aguilera, 22, first showed up onstage dressed as a nun, only to strip down quickly into something more closely associated with her: a skimpy outfit that left little to the imagination. She then sang a version of her hit “Dirrty.”
Referring to how the press has criticized her manner of dress in the past, Aguilera said after one costume change: “I’m sure I’ll find out what’s wrong with it in the papers tomorrow. But I don’t give a (bleep).” She also presented Timberlake with a life-sized inflatable doll after asking him, “Didn’t you leave something on our tour bus?”
Five-time best hip-hop artist winner Eminem accepted his award via satellite, swearing with junk food stuffed in his mouth. Britain’s Coldplay was named best group and gave an acceptance speech recorded in an elevator.
Beyonce, 22, won the best R&B artist award and wrapped up the evening on a high note, when MTV viewers named her “Crazy in Love” the best song of the year. Earlier, she sang a duet with Jamaican reggae star Sean Paul, 33, who won best new act.
And in keeping with the rowdy nature of every MTV awards show, the Scottish rockers of the group Travis sang their protest song “Beautiful Occupation,” about the war in Iraq, while flanked on stage by 125 naked protesters.
As Reuters points out, by the end of the number they were waving more than just their banners.