It’s a Green Day with Coldplay at MTV Europe awards


US punk rock trio Green Day and British act Coldplay shared top honours at the MTV Europe Music Awards on November 3, picking up two prizes each in an event broadcast from Lisbon to millions worldwide.

Green Day walked away with the awards for best rock act and best album for American Idiot, while Coldplay, fronted by US actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s husband Chris Martin, won the awards for best UK and Ireland act and best song for Speed of Sound.

“We haven’t won any awards for our songwriting for a while so this means an awful lot to us,” said Martin. Colombian pop star Shakira collected the prize for best female act while chart-topping British singer Robbie Williams won the prize for the best male act.

Williams used his acceptance speech to praise US pop superstar Madonna, who opened the event with the first world-wide televised live performance of Hung Up from her new disco-inspired album Confessions on a Dance Floor. “I have to take the time to say how much I loved Madonna’s performance. She is an absolute legend and she makes us all look like amateurs,” he said.

Madonna, 47, emerged from a giant glitterball wearing purple boots and a matching leotard to belt out the song surrounded by a group of scantily-clad dancers. The host of the event, spoof Kazakh television presenter Borat played by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen who is known for his politically incorrect humour, pretended he did not recognise the Material Girl. “It was very courageous of MTV to start the show with a genuine transvestite. He looked very convincing,” he said.

Madonna was not nominated for any awards but she presented Irish rock star Bob Geldof, who she described as “a huge hero of mine”, with the 2005 MTV Europe ‘Free Your Mind’ award for his campaigning against African poverty.

Geldof briefly turned the spotlight from entertainment to hunger when collecting his award as he urged viewers to work to help Africa. “People must stop dying of poverty in Africa, they must stop doing that, and that is your job,” he said. Winners also included Snoop Dogg who collected the prize for best hip-hop act, Alicia Keys who snagged best R&B act, Chemical Brothers for best video for Believe and former British soldier James Blunt who won best new act.

Other artistes who performed at the event included Akon, Coldplay, Green Day, Foo Fighters, Robbie Williams, Shakira and The Black Eyed Peas. Virtual band Gorillaz used hologram technology to recreate the band’s four animated characters — Noodle, Murdoc, 2D and Russel — in 3-D on stage as part of their performance at the event.

Winners were selected by music fans from across Europe and Africa who voted via MTV’s website online, except for the category of best video and the ‘Free Your Mind’ award which were selected by MTV Europe.