Shawn Mendes, Eminem among winners at MTV EMAs in London
Singer Shawn Mendes poses for photographers with his awards for Best Song and Best Artist backstage at the MTV European Music Awards 2017 in London, Sunday, Nov. 12th, 2017. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Jill Lawless, The Associated Press
Published Monday, November 13, 2017 7:41AM EST
LONDON -- Shawn Mendes took the prize for best song Sunday at the MTV EMAs as Rita Ora hosted an energetic British-accented awards show in London.
Mendes, the 19-year-old Canadian star, won the trophy for "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back," to the delight of fans standing in a polite onstage mosh-pit at the city's SSE Arena.
Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran were among contenders for the best-artist trophy at the ceremony, where Irish rockers U2 are set to be named global icons.
Swift had nominations in six categories at the music awards, including best artist and best video, for "Look What You Made Me Do."
Mendes, Kendrick Lamar, Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus are also nominated for the first-ever best artist prize, which replaces the awards' previously separate male and female artist categories.
The show, formerly known as the MTV Europe Music Awards, opened with a clip of Eminem performing his new single "Walk on Water" in a London pub. He then emerged onstage in jeans and a black hoodie to perform the slow-burning number live, with Skylar Gray filling in on the duet duties Beyonce performed on the recording.
Eminem was also named best hip-hop artist and proclaimed surprise.
"I don't know how I got this because I haven't had an album out in a few years," he said.
The upbeat show, which used bold high-resolution animation, video and projections to impressive effect, also had live performances by former One Direction heartthrob Liam Payne and Cuban-American singer Camila Cabello followed
Cabello performed "Havana" with a troupe of dancers dressed as bathing beauties around a realistic projection of a pool. London grime artist Stormzy arrived in a police car and left in a blaze of fireworks after performing the rousing "Big For Your Boots."
U2, who played an MTV-sponsored concert in London's Trafalgar Square on Saturday, is due to receive the Global Icon award. The band thrilled several thousand fans with a mix of new tunes and classic hits at the outdoor show.
U2 paid tribute Saturday to the 22 people killed by a bomber at Manchester Arena in May, and Bono sent out a message of unity, saying: "We need each other, and we have much more in common than what divides us."
The awards are held in a different European city each year, with winners selected by fans across the continent.
They were last held in London in 1996.