Fred Durst was the undisputed star of Thursday’s MTV Europe Music Awards ceremony, accepting three awards and performing with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page.
Limp Bizkit won Best Group, Best Rock Act and the Web Award, besting nominee leaders Gorillaz, who won only two of the six awards they were up for – Best Dance Act and Best Song for “Clint Eastwood.”
Durst, Page and Puddle of Mudd’s Wes Scantlin played the Zeppelin song “Thank You,” nearly stealing the show from such fellow performers as Mary J. Blige and Jay-Z, who performed “Girls, Girls, Girls” with 300 German women joining him onstage.
Craig David, who like Bizkit was nominated in four categories, was the evening’s only other multiple winner, taking home the prizes for Best R&B Act and Best UK Act.
David, whose performance of “Walking Away” included a section from U2’s “One,” was the butt of a few jokes from host Ali G, who attributed the two-step star’s soulful voice with helping millions of men lose their virginity. “Hopefully one day you’ll be next,” he told David.
Dido, who beat out Gorillaz, David and Nelly Furtado for Best New Act, also faced Ali G’s jabs when he introduced her to perform “Hunter.” The British comedian, who wore a zebra print suit, said the singer was named after “the world’s greatest invention,” announcing, “Give it up for Dildo.”
Thursday’s awards show at the Festhalle in Frankfurt, Germany, included several surprises. U2, who were nominated in the same four categories as Limp Bizkit, went unrecognized.
Meanwhile, Australian dance outfit the Avalanches’ “Since I Left You” won Best Video, beating out more popular songs from Outkast and Fatboy Slim. Best Video is the only award decided by MTV Europe. The others are determined by online voting.
Other winners Thursday included Robbie Williams (Best Male Act), Jennifer Lopez (Best Female Act), Eminem (Best Hip-Hop Act), Blink-182 (Best Rock Act) and Anastacia (Best Pop Act).
The tone of the ceremony was kept mostly light, in large part thanks to Ali G, whose nod to September 11 was a call for “world pees.”
Blur guitarist and Gorillaz co-founder Damon Albarn approached the subject quite the opposite, pointing to a peace symbol on his T-shirt during his acceptance speech and saying, “Fuck war. Bombing one of the world’s poorest countries is wrong.”
Like the MTV Video Music Awards in America, the European ceremony was as much about the performances as the awards. Other artists to take the stage included Kylie Minogue, Basement Jaxx, Rammstein, Travis and Depeche Mode.