Lady Gaga's outfits edge out Biebermania as Belfast hits high note for MTV awards
For seven days the city had been gearing up for the European MTV awards, and the glitzy parade of world-famous acts didn’t disappoint, writes BRIAN BOYDin Belfast
BELFAST’S ODYSSEY Arena may have been done up by the same person responsible for next year’s Olympics closing ceremony, but the main visual of the night belonged to singing star Lady Gaga, who picked up her award for “Best Female” at last night’s European Music TV awards show (EMTV) in what fashion observers could only attempt to describe as “a drum cymbal dress”.
The glitzy award show was opened by Coldplay and there were performances by Gaga, Katy Perry and Bruno Mars, with footage of Snow Patrol playing a special outdoors show at City Hall and Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Ulster Hall being beamed in live to the main Odyssey event.
Belfast certainly enjoyed its big red-carpet musical night out. Despite being the smallest ever city to host the EMTVs there had been a week-long series of musical events under the name “Belfast Music Week”, which featured more than 130 different musical events including performances by big local names Ash, Divine Comedy, The Undertones and Stiff Little Fingers.
At the main event last night there were awards for Katy Perry (Best Live Act), and a Global Icon award for Queen – with guitarist Brian May saying how delighted he was to see Belfast “showing its beauty and emerging into true peace”. Teen idol Justin Bieber picked up the Best Male award and Eminem accepted his Best Hip-Hop by a video link-up.
Earlier in the day a tweet from Bieber to say he had arrived in the city was enough to generate delirious screams of joy from the young fans camped outside what was rumoured to be his hotel in the city. His appearance at the event was on the back of media allegations that he had fathered a child last year (something he denies) but either way it should have made for interesting conversation when he met up with his girlfriend, Disney star Selena Gomez, who was hosting the main Odyssey Arena event.
Last night’s awards show was watched by an estimated 600 million people on the MTV global network. “The city is literally vibrating with joy,” said Snow Patrol front man Gary Lightbody. “Very often, Northern Ireland in the past has been in the news for other reasons and this is a really, really amazingly positive reason to be in the news.”
There had been a somewhat fraught run-up to the EMTV show coming to Belfast. The city council had to issue a statement justifying an extra payment of £200,000 towards the cost of staging the award – this was on top of the original £900,000 they had contributed to the cost of the event. MTV had argued that a £200,000 shortfall would jeopardise all the events leading up to the main awards show.
Mayor of the city Niall Ó Donnghaile said that “attracting such a world-class event as the EMTV show is a great coup for the city and gives us the opportunity to showcase our home-grown talent on a global stage”. The Northern Ireland Tourist Board said that the staging of the awards show in the city could be worth as much as £10 million to the local economy thanks to the tourist revenue it could generate in coming years.
MTV AWARDS: THE WINNERS
Best Song: Lady Gaga: Born This Way
Best Live:Katy Perry
Best Pop: Justin Bieber
Best New: Bruno Mars
Best Female: Lady Gaga
Best Male: Justin Bieber
Best Hip-Hop: Eminem
Best Rock: Linkin Park
Best Video: Lady Gaga: Born This Way
Best Alternative: Thirty Seconds To Mars
Best World Stage: Thirty Seconds To Mars
Best Push: Bruno Mars
Best Fans: Lady Gaga
Best UK & Ireland Act: Adele