MADRID (Reuters) - Lady Gaga dominated the MTV Europe Music Awards in Madrid on Sunday, picking up prizes for best female, best pop act and best song ("Bad Romance").
The 24-year-old songstress was in Budapest for a concert and so accepted her awards via video link. On the third occasion she appeared to be wearing little more than a folded piece of plastic, enhancing her reputation for outlandish outfits.
"I wish so much that I could be there," she said, before launching into a song for the MTV crowd in the Caja Magica venue in Madrid. "Get off my stage!" she shouted at the end.
Lady Gaga and Katy Perry went into the annual awards ceremony -- one of pop music's biggest nights outside the United States -- leading the field with five nominations apiece.
Perry was also recognised, winning the best video category for "California Gurls."
Both Americans, the singers underlined the dominance of U.S. music on the night even though most prizes were decided by a popular vote on MTV's Europe Awards website.
Of the main winners, only one was not American. That was 16-year-old Canadian chart sensation Justin Bieber, who beat out the likes of Eminem and Kanye West to pick up the coveted best male prize.
Colombian singer Shakira opened the show with British rapper Dizzee Rascal, and there were performances by acts including Kings of Leon, Kid Rock and Miley Cyrus.
Among the highlights was Barbadian star Rihanna, who sported red hair, a tiara and a short white wedding-style dress when she sang "Only Girl."
Bon Jovi were the closing act, after the band picked up the inaugural Global Icon title.
"Thanks for making us icons," Jon Bon Jovi told the cheering crowd. "I want to thank everyone at MTV for this unbelievable ride over a quarter of a century. We're still doing what we do and we're doing it well."
According to MTV, the group has sold more than 125 million albums, performed over 2,700 concerts in over 50 countries to 35 million fans and were the number one touring act in 2008.
Rounding out the prizes were U.S. performers Ke$ha (best new act), Eminem (best hip hop), Paramore (best alternative), Linkin Park (best live act) and 30 Seconds to Mars (best rock).
"Hopefully I can inspire you guys to give the finger to the cynics," Ke$ha told the screaming crowd.
"Desperate Housewives" actress Eva Longoria hosted the event, and managed eight changes of costume, all designed by Victoria Beckham.
At one point she was joined on stage by last year's host Perry, who tore at the shoulder straps of her successor's black dress revealing a tight-fitting bodice.
The main MTV Europe Awards winners were:
- Best New Act: Ke$ha
- Best Pop: Lady Gaga
- Best Female: Lady Gaga
- Best Song: Lady Gaga/"Bad Romance"
- Best Video: Katy Perry/California Gurls
- Best Hip Hop: Eminem
- Best Alternative: Paramore
- Best Male: Justin Bieber
- Best Live Act: Linkin Park
- Best Rock: 30 Seconds to Mars
Writing and additional reporting by Mike Collett-White