By JUSTIN SPIKE, Related Press
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Pyrotechnics, elaborate costumes and aerial acrobatics dominated the night time on the 2021 MTV European Music Awards present in Hungary’s capital Sunday, a ceremony that was each a celebration of the 12 months’s largest musical artists and a press release of assist for LGBTQ folks within the occasion’s host nation.
The present on the Papp Laszlo Sportarena in Budapest, which aired reside on MTV in 180 nations, featured performances by among the world’s hottest artists — a few of them LGBTQ musicians that used their stage time to talk out in opposition to insurance policies in Hungary which might be extensively seen as curbing LGBTQ rights.
Opening the night time was English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran with a efficiency of his newly launched tune “Overpass Graffiti.” Then the present’s host, American rapper Saweetie, descended onto the stage using a large snowflake for her personal medley of songs.
Saweetie, after talking out on the necessity to present “respect for the LGBTQ group,” offered Sheeran with the award for finest artist.
Later, Sheeran’s hit tune “Unhealthy Habits,” a chart-topping single from his fifth studio album launched this 12 months, took the award for finest tune, and the British singer carried out his hit “Shivers.”
American rapper Lil Nas X was received the most effective video prize for “MONTERO (Name Me By Your Title),” a video the artist co-directed with Ukrainian music video director Tanu Muino. The rapper accepted the award by way of video message.
The win by Lil Nas X, who got here out as homosexual in 2019, highlighted the rift in values between the MTV EMAs and Hungary’s right-wing authorities, which got here beneath heavy backlash throughout the summer season when it handed a regulation forbidding the promotion or depiction of homosexuality to minors.
When saying in October that the awards present can be held in Budapest, the president and CEO of MTV Leisure Group Worldwide, Chris McCarthy, stated the ceremony can be a chance to make a stand for homosexual and transgender civil rights worldwide within the Central European nation that has moved to curtail them.
“We’re trying ahead to utilizing the occasion to amplify our voices and stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ siblings,” McCarthy stated in an interview with The Related Press, including that no censorship of the telecast can be tolerated.
One other expression of that solidarity got here via the EMAs debut of German musician Kim Petras, the primary transgender artist within the awards’ historical past to carry out on the present.
Earlier this month, Petras expressed assist for MTV’s determination to carry the awards in Hungary, which she stated she hoped would encourage the native LGBTQ group to “not hand over on themselves.”
“I’m transgender and performing on the EMAs,” Petras stated. “It’s going to be fairly highly effective to be in Hungary and carry out the present when these legal guidelines have simply occurred.”
In an interview with the AP from the crimson carpet on Sunday, Petras stated “censorship of any form of love sucks. It’s not good. Nobody ought to really feel, you understand, not represented in media. Nobody ought to really feel prefer it’s not okay to be who they’re.”
Additionally performing on the EMAs was Norwegian indie pop act woman in crimson, along with her hit single “Serotonin.” English singer-songwriter Griff gave a debut efficiency of her tune “One Night time,” whereas American pop-rock group One Republic carried out the earlier night time on the MTV World Stage on Budapest’s Heroes’ Sq..
Taking the most effective rock award was Italian band and first-time EMA performers Maneskin, who took the stage amid flying sparks and a large neon signal beaming the identify of their tune “MAMMAMIA.”
South Korean pop group BTS took probably the most awards with 4 — finest pop, finest Ok-pop, finest group and largest followers — whereas host and performer Saweetie gained within the “finest new” class.
Taking the most effective various award was English multi-instrumentalist and singer YUNGBLUD, who closed the night time together with his latest single, “fleabag.” Columns of fireside erupted throughout the efficiency, and a smashed guitar and overturned amplifiers had been all that had been left as soon as YUNGBLUD left the stage.
In the course of the present, the EMAs acknowledged the winners of the “Era Change Award,” a brand new class honoring 5 activists preventing in opposition to anti-LGBTQ insurance policies worldwide.
Actress and speak present host Drew Barrymore honored the winners via a video message, saying they’re doing “unimaginable issues for the LGBTQ+ group.”
“I’m proud to assist elevate these younger voices. They’re all gravely asking to like who they need and to like who they’re,” Barrymore stated.
The winners had been LGBTQ activists from Iraq, Nigeria, Brazil, america and Hungary. Accepting the Era Change Award in individual was Hungarian activist Viktoria Radvanyi, an organizer with Budapest Satisfaction.
Radvanyi devoted the award to Hungary’s LGBTQ group and urged them to “get out and vote collectively” in Hungarian elections scheduled for April, the place Hungary’s right-wing governing get together faces its most critical problem because it took energy in 2010.
“By no means settle for the notion that it’s best to tolerate violence and discrimination,” Radvanyi stated. “Each single human being is born equal, interval … Let’s not allow them to pressure us again to the closet.”
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