MTV European Music Awards Recap

Article by: Beatriz C.

Edited by: Meg B.

Graphic by: Patrick P.

This year’s infamous MTV European Music Awards was one to remember. Whether you weren’t able to watch it because of the time zone differences, or pushed through to wake up at the crack of dawn to cheer on your favorite artists, you have surely heard the internet go crazy about this eventful night.

The awards show took place in Bilbao, Spain this year and was hosted by singer and actress Hailee Steinfeld on the 4th of November. The event hosted music’s biggest names from all over the world, many of which showcased extravagant red carpet looks, pleased the crowd with world-class performances and of course experienced their own nail-biting-nervous moments prior to each of the award winner announcements.

Nicki Minaj, the self-proclaimed ‘queen of hip hop’ and crowd favourite artist was the opening performer of the night. She performed her new song “Good Form”, before being joined by Little Mix for their first live performance of their collaboration hit song “Women Like Me”.

Another standout performance was of the Spanish native and Flamenco-pop singer, Rosalía, who owned the stage in her home country to perform her single “Malamente” that is nominated for five latin grammy awards this year. Bilbao’s crowd was familiar with the Spanish star’s music and sang along to her staggering performance, which has sparked foreign curiosity and fame for the local singer.

This year, Cuban-American singer Camila Cabello swept most of the major categories’ awards and was the night’s biggest winner, as she excitedly took home the award for “Best Video” and “Best Song”  for her hit single Havana, as well as “Best US Act” and “Best Artist”. Other award winners included Dua Lipa for “Best Pop”, Nicki Minaj for “Best Hip Hop” and Cardi B for “Best New”.

One of America’s most prominent figures in popular culture, Janet Jackson, was definitely one of the artists that stole the show on Monday. Janet astonished the audience with a beautiful medley of 3 songs from different periods of her 40-year career- in a performance with African drummers, flame torches and an intense choreography routine.

The night also featured global advocacy, as Janet used her global icon honoree award to make a powerful and encouraging speech in which she advocated for women’s rights, pleading for justice for women who have had their voices silenced.

While the night included a variety of performances and awards, something that stood out to the world-wide audience was the large amount of awards won by women. Like in many industries, many argue that the music industry continues to be one where gender imbalance occurs, and many internet users commented on how they saw this year’s MTV EMAs as positive progress towards breaking that imbalance and recognizing all performers in the music industry.

Sophomore Anagha C. says, “Having multiple major awards won by women at such an important and widely watched awards show this year makes me feel so proud of all the amazing women out there. This generation has really been soaring high and achieving so many goals in terms of women’s roles in society. I am so glad that so many women are getting the recognition they deserve, and are inspiring other aspiring female performers”. Sonali P. adds, “This of course is something positive for all aspiring performers and makes me personally feel hopeful and proud to be a female as a whole.”