Plus Britney Spears sweeps the board...
The star-studded event at Dublin’s Point also drew appearances from a virtually naked Marilyn Manson, Offspring, Underworld, Puff Daddy, Brett Anderson, The Cardigans, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Missy Elliot and Iggy Pop, who opened the show with a performance of ‘Lust For Life’ and later played a secret gig in the city.
Most celebrities stayed well away from both the public and media thanks to a heavy security presence, a ban on tape recorders and cameras in aftershow parties and a range of passes for different so-called ‘zones’ in the arena. However, most artists did make short and often ridiculous press conference appearances backstage. Puff Daddy, for instance, turned up with a vast entourage and the instruction that he would only answer six questions and none could be concerning his private life.
In the actual award ceremony, Alex James and Damon Albarn turned up to collect the Best Video award for ‘Coffee and TV’ and, on the plane over, Damon told NME he was tired but looking forward to his first proper night out since the birth of his daughter, Missy. Fatboy Slim was awarded the Best Dance Act while Eminem won Best Hip-Hop Act. He later commented that he was currently working on a new album that would be “ready when it’s ready”.
Bono, meanwhile, won a special award named Free Your Mind for his charity work that Mick Jagger presented. At the press conference afterwards, he marked Armstice Day by calling for the same principle of laying guns down to be applied to America today.
Despite all this, the focus remained very much on pop acts, with Britney Spears winning an alarming four awards.
Unsurprisingly, she had little to say afterwards.
The full list of winners is Best Female Singer
Best Dance Act
Fatboy Slim Best Hip-Hop Act
Eminem Best Rock Act
The Offspring Best R’n’B Act
Whitney Houston Best Nordic Act
Lene Marlin Best Group
Backstreet Boys Best Pop Act
Britney Spears Best German Act
Xavier Naidoo Best Male Act
Will Smith Best Album
Boyzone Best Song
‘Baby One More Time’, Britney Spears Best Italian Act
Elio e le Storie Tese (apparently) MTV’s Free Your Mind Award
Bono Best Breakthrough Artist
Britney Spears Best Video
‘Coffee and TV’, Blur Best UK & Ireland Act