Pop superstars Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift dominated the 19th annual MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs) Sunday, but South Korean Internet phenomenon PSY clinched the coveted Best Video prize, and Han Geng of China beat out Rihanna for Best Worldwide Act.
PSY, whose single "Gangnam Style" has more than 700 million views on YouTube and spawned countless videos copying his signature horse-riding dance, paid tribute to his wife of six years and loved ones back home when he picked up his award.
"I'd like to thank all my family who's got to live with a selfish job, with a selfish guy," the 34-year-old quipped.
Han Geng's award for Best Worldwide Act was handed out for only the second time. Rihanna, the 24-year-old Barbadian beauty who had led with six nominations, went home empty-handed, as did flamboyant US trailblazer Lady Gaga, who was up for three awards.
Canadian heart-throb Bieber, fresh from breaking up with his girlfriend of two years, Selena Gomez, scooped Best Male Artist for the third year in a row, with millions of fans voting to name the winners.
Bieber, 18, who did not attend the ceremony in the western German city of Frankfurt, also bagged Best Pop Act and Best World Stage Performance.
German-born supermodel Heidi Klum, 39, hosted the show, and made her entrance at the century-old Festhalle (decorated in the theme of a giant circus tent) in a sexy bridal gown and jaunty black top hat. She sat perched on a trapeze as the prize handout began.
Swift of the US claimed the gong for Best Female Artist from presenter Lana Del Rey as the show got underway and went on to pick up honors for Best Live Act and Best Look.
"This is my very first EMA. I'm so excited," said the 22-year-old blonde, who later dressed up as a circus ringleader to perform her hit "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" in the show's finale.
"This was our first European tour," Swift said, "thank you for giving me one more amazing reason to come back and see you."
British newcomer Rita Ora opening the show with a spectacular pyrotechnic-studded performance of her hit "R.I.P." She was followed by acts including US indie band fun, No Doubt, Jepsen, US soul singer Alicia Keys and Las Vegas rockers The Killers.
Keys led an inspirational tribute to Whitney Houston, as Beyonce lent a voice-over to a video in honor of the late US singer.
The MTV Europe Awards are held each year in a different European city, with past hosts including Belfast in 2011, Madrid in 2010 and Berlin in 2009.
Han Geng is the first Chinese singer ever to win an MTV award. Born on February 9, 1984, Han is well known for his powerful dance skills, and was the only Chinese member of South Korean boy band Super Junior, and the leader of its sub-group Super Junior-M.
In 2009, he returned to China to start a solo career. It turned out to be a great idea, leading to him being called "the most influential male celebrity in China."
His first solo album titled Geng Xin, which literally means Geng's heart, sold more than 1 million copies. And the tickets for his first solo concert sold out in just 37 minutes, setting a record in Chinese musical history.
Besides music, Han has also played roles in many films. In 2010, he was given the role as Deng Xiaoping in the movie The Founding of a Party - which premiered on June 15, 2011 in China - alongside scores of other famous Chinese stars. He was also cast in the movie My Kingdom which was directed by Gao Xiaosong.
On March 20, 2008, he was chosen to be one of the torch bearers for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, and became the first boyband member to ever be chosen as an Olympic torch bearer.
He was also one of the artists who sang the Beijing Olympic theme song "Beijing Welcomes You."