Justin Bieber broke a major record at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2015 (EMAs) in Milan, Italy, after winning five awards on Sunday night (he won a sixth earlier this month), to become the most awarded artist in MTV EMAs history.
The 21-year-old superstar now has a total of 18 EMAs, surpassing the last record holder Eminem (15) for most EMA awards.
Justin won Best Worldwide act: North America, Best Male, Best Collaboration for “Where Are Ü Now?” — his chart slaying song with Jack Ü’s Skrillex and Diplo — Best Look, and the title of Biggest Fans during the Ed Sheeran and Ruby Rose-hosted show. The awards ceremony was held at the Mediolanum Forum and aired across MTV’s network around the world and digital platforms.
One week earlier, the heartthrob won in the Best Canadian category, beating off the likes of Drake, Carly Rae Jepsen, Shawn Mendes, and The Weeknd.
— MTV Canada (@mtvcanada) October 26, 2015
Coming off the singer’s recent history-making debut atop Billboard’s Hot 100 chart with the worldwide No. 1 smash, “What Do You Mean?”, and the overwhelmingly positive chart and streaming reaction to his new music, his MTV EMAs wins undeniably set the seal on the Justin Bieber comeback story ahead of his highly anticipated Purpose album, which drops November 13.
After high-fiving fans and wowing in the style stakes on the MTV EMAs red carpet in a head-to-toe red custom tee and pants ensemble teamed with an Amiri hoodie and white slip-ons, the Biebs was the first winner of the night, picking up the Best Male accolade for the sixth year in a row.
“Wow. Thank you,” Justin began amid screams, while collecting his award for Best Male. “It’s been a long couple of years. I just feel like this is pretty awesome to be recognized for my music.”
He added, “First of all I just want to say thank you to all my fans. You guys are really incredible. I want to thank my mom, and my dad, and God, and everyone that helped me get to this place.”
The Canadian continued, “I don’t really know what else to say. I’m pretty much winging it right now. But I love you. Thank you.”
— BuzzFeed UK (@BuzzFeedUK) October 25, 2015
— Universal Music Aus (@umusicAU) October 25, 2015
Shortly after, the singer sang “What Do You Mean?” with a line-up of backing dancers in a “laser box” at the star-studded event, which included performers such as Pharrell Williams, James Bay, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Tori Kelly, and more.
Impressively, JB performed with a broken ear drum (due to a wakeboarding accident, according to MTV News), and managed to pull it off with an ear plug to block out the noise.
Taking to the stage for his Best Worldwide Act (for North America award), Justin told the audience: “I love you! You don’t understand I don’t take any of these moments for granted. Not one of them. You guys are unbelievable and that’s where I belong. Right there on that stage.”
While accepting the Best Collaboration gong for “Where,” the hitmaker said, “This has been an okay night for me. First of all I wanted to say Skrillex and Diplo — man, those guys are so talented and really helped me take my music to the next level so I just to say thank you to Skrillex and Diplo.”
“Once again, thank you to my mum and dad, my brother and sister, I miss you so much,” Justin added. “I just want to give you [siblings] a big old kiss and a hug. I can never not thank everybody in this audience, and everybody around the world.”
He went on, “I’m shaking a little bit because I’m just like, ‘this is so awesome!’ I’m done. Thank you guys, you’re awesome.”
— MTV EMA (@mtvema) October 25, 2015
Hilarity ensued when the “Sorry” singer picked up the Best Look award, saying, “Um, I don’t know what to say because I got these looks from my mama.”
After the show ended, Justin looked somewhat stunned posing with all of his awards backstage.
— Carly Heading (@carlyylalaa) October 25, 2015
As for the rest of the EMAs. Host Sheeran was waltzed off with the Best Live Act and Best World Stage Awards.
Meanwhile, Taylor Swift, who was not at the ceremony, won in one category: Best Song for “Bad Blood”, which featured Kendrick Lamar, despite being nominated for nine awards. Rihanna and One Direction, neither of whom were at the awards, won Best Female and Best Pop Act, respectively. Nicki Minaj scored the Best Hip-Hop award and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis swiped Best Video for “Downtown.”
Brit veterans Duran Duran were honored with the inaugural MTV video visionary award. “Music lovers around the world when we started there was us and MTV and we blazed a trail and we were there for each other,” frontman Simon Le Bon said, as he accepted the award with the rest of the band.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) October 25, 2015
Some special performances came from British musician James Bay singing “Hold Back The River,” Ellie Goulding in a spectacular rendition of “Love Me Like You Do,” and Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, who sang “Time To Say Goodbye” before joining Kelly — who previously belted out her revamped single “Should’ve Been Us” — for a duet of Pink’s “Just Give Me A Reason.”
Justin and Ruby had a laugh at the twinning “joke,” which somehow gets play even though the two don’t look alike. At one point during the night, the pair riffed about both of them wearing red, “I feel like you copied me,” the Biebs hammed to the Orange is the New Black star.
— MTV Pop (@mtvpop) October 26, 2015
Pharrell wrapped the show, singing “Freedom” amid a colorful array of dancers. But the night belonged to Justin Bieber. Officially the most awarded artist in MTV EMAs history, it’s a record he can be especially proud of, given the many who hastily — and shamefully — wrote the kid off when he simply needed help.
Random tweet of the night award goes to Mark Ronson, who tweeted a hilarious caption with a photo of him sitting next to the Biebs during the show.
For a full list of the MTV EMAs 2015 winners, click the link.
Awkward photo. We just agreed to start seeing other people. pic.twitter.com/VeceAOY1lg
— Mark Ronson (@MarkRonson) October 25, 2015
[Images via Getty Images for MTV]