The circus rolled into town - Frankfurt, Germany more specifically - for the 2012 MTV European Music Awards hosted by Heidi Klum and starring some of the music biggest stars in music such as Taylor Swift, Muse, No Doubt and Gangnam Style star Psy. (Photos AP/AFP)
"Drei? Drei? I can't believe you gave me three awards," Swift, who was nominated in five categories, told the crowd, trying out her best German.
Rihanna, who led the nominations with six, had so far not picked up a prize.
Teen heartthrob Justin Bieber won Best Male for the second year in a row, while Carly Rae Jepsen picked up Best Song for Call Me Maybe and Best Push recognising up-and-coming talent.A circus
MTV chose a circus theme for this year's awards at the 100-year-old Festhalle venue, and Rita Ora opened the show by belting out her No 1 British hit R.I.P. from a giant bird cage.
One of the night's most popular performers was dance sensation Psy with his record-breaking hit Gangnam Style.
Skipping through the venue and on to the main stage in a sparkly blue jacket with his horse riding-inspired dance, he became the first South Korean artist to perform at the annual awards.
The song, which is up for the Best Video award, has been viewed more than 670 million times on YouTube and received a record-breaking 4.9 million "likes" on Facebook since being released in mid-July.
Host Heidi Klum, who this year filed for divorce from singer husband Seal, also teamed up with Psy for a tongue-in-cheek performance of the dance.
Alongside Psy, acts who took the stage at the show included country singer Swift, 14-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys, the Killers, newly reformed No Doubt and Jepsen.Big nominees
Heading the nominations was Rihanna with six, including Best Song and Best Video for We Found Love.
Following close behind with five nominations was Swift, Katy Perry had four, while Lady Gaga, who cleaned up last year with four prizes, was in the running for three awards.
Bieber, who reportedly had just broken up with girlfriend Selena Gomez, was up for four awards, including Best Male and Best Pop.
MTV also honoured late Whitney Houston with a Global Icon award. Houston, who was found dead in a Beverly Hills hotel bathtub on 11 February, will be the third artist to be given the award, following Bon Jovi and Queen in 2010 and 2011.
"We will also love you Whitney. Forever!" Alicia Keys said, presenting the award.
The EMA awards were last held in Frankfurt in 2001. Last year's awards in Belfast attracted 23 million viewers on all platforms and 158 million votes worldwide.
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