Minaj and Grande star at MTV EMAs
Nicki Minaj rapped about shortbread and Ariana Grande capped a breakthrough year with two trophies as the MTV Europe Music Awards celebrated their 20th anniversary Sunday with a Scottish-accented show in Glasgow.
Ariana was named best female artist and also took the best-single prize for Problem, one of a string of hits she's had this year. The 21-year-old American singer said she was doubly grateful to the EMAs - meeting Iggy Azalea at last year's awards show led directly to working with the Australian rapper on Problem.
"This is absolutely crazy," the young star said after her second win of the night.
It was a good result for a performer who admitted she was too excited to sleep the night before the ceremony, and said was shaking after walking past a gaggle of photographers on the red carpet.
Nicki proved a confident host for the show at Glasgow's SSE Hydro arena, and she also took home the prize for best hip-hop artist.
"I've been learning so much about your beautiful country and culture ... I've pretty much become Scottish," the Bang Bang star said. She illustrated it by rapping about whiskey and shortbread and singing a snippet of The Proclaimers' anthem 500 Miles.
Nicki's more provocative side was kept under tight control. There were writhing dancers during a performance of her bum-centric hit Anaconda, a putt into a derriere-shaped mini-golf hole in tribute to Scotland's love of golf, and a couple of F-bomb obscenities. But on the whole the event stuck to a standard awards-show script.
Beyonce did not appear as widely rumoured, and Scottish DJ Calvin Harris had to pull out due to illness. But thousands of music fans in the arena - and a global TV audience - saw a high-energy show featuring performances from acts including Ed Sheeran, Alicia Keys, Enrique Iglesias and U2, who brought their own string section.
The awards, founded in 1994, adopted a time-travel theme for their 20th anniversary. Giant balloons of the planets floated in the arena, and Ariana performed her song Break Free from a flying pod while wearing a white mini-dress reminiscent of the animated TV show The Jetsons.