MTV’s Europe Music Trophies, which returned as an in-person event after a virtual 2020 edition due to the epidemic, saw English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran win best artist and best song for ‘Bad Habits,’ while K-pop singers BTS stole four awards.
MTV announced that the EMAs, which will be held in Budapest on Sunday, will go on as planned to demonstrate support for Hungary’s LGBTQ+ population in the wake of a June law prohibiting the “showing and promotion of homosexuality” among those under the age of 18.
The 2021 EMAs, which will be hosted at the Papp Laszlo Budapest Sport Arena, will be “a global celebration of music for all audiences throughout the world,” according to the organisation.
“I’m ecstatic, and I owe MTV a debt of gratitude. I believe that suppression of any sort of love is bad, and this is a protest against it “On the red carpet, worldwide music sensation Kim Petras, the first transgender performer at the EMAs, remarked.
Some homosexual couples kissed on the red carpet as they arrived for the concert, while others wore rainbow-colored clothing to demonstrate support for LGBTQ+ persons.
For ‘MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name),’ Lil Nas X won best video, while Korean band BTS took home the most accolades with four, including best pop, best K-pop, best group, and greatest fans.
First-time EMA winners Måneskin took home best rock, while show host and performer Saweetie won best new. Nicki Minaj earned a top award for best hip-hop, Olivia Rodrigo was awarded best push, Maluma won best Latin, and YUNGBLUD snagged the award for best alternative.
For the first time, the MTV EMA Generation Change Award winners were recognised during the EMAs main show, honouring five young people promoting equality while fighting against anti-LGBTQ+ policies. Viktoria Radvanyi, a Hungarian board member of Budapest Pride, accepted the award on behalf of the winners.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who faces a tough 2022 election, says the June law is aimed at protecting children. European Union leaders say it discriminates against gay and transgender people and goes against EU values. The law has caused anxiety in the LGBT community under Orban’s government, which has stepped up its campaign against LGBT people ahead of next year’s ballot.
As Budapest prepared to host the EMAs, Orban was re-elected chairman of the ruling Fidesz party unopposed. The anti-LGBT line featured strongly on the agenda at his party congress, with several speakers pledging to protect what they see as Hungary’s traditional Christian values.
Orban’s opposition challenger, Peter Marki-Zay, an energetic political outsider, has said he would scrap the anti-LGBTQ law if elected. He has said same-sex couples should be allowed to marry and deserve equal rights.
The show derived inspiration from Budapest’s popular thermal spas and the Danube River, which runs through the capital, with stages that appeared to be floating. Grammy award-winning Sheeran opened the night surrounded by neon graffiti to perform his latest single ‘Overpass Graffiti’.Later he performed his chart-topping hit ‘Shivers’.
Imagine Dragons returned to the EMAs for the debut of their new single ‘Enemy’. Bathed in laser lights, the best-selling band rocked the stage alongside Grammy-nominated rapper and artist J.I.D and a squad of dancers.
Multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter and best alternative award winner YUNGBLUD closed the night with a pyrotechnics-filled performance of his latest single ‘fleabag’.