Singer Justin Timberlake and hip hop duo Gnarls Barkley were the big winners at the MTV Europe music awards, each collecting two prizes.
A performance by Timberlake opened the show
Timberlake, named best male and best pop act, joked that he only won because he agreed to present the 13th annual event in Copenhagen.
Gnarls Barkley won awards for best new act and best song, for Crazy.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers won just one prize from four nominations, the best album award for Stadium Arcadium.
Best group winners Depeche Mode, founded in the UK in 1980, said: "A big thank you to the fans and a big thank you to MTV for playing our videos for 25 years."
Fellow Britons Muse won the award for best alternative act, while the honour for best UK and Ireland act went to The Kooks.
Christina Aguilera was named best female artist, while Barbadian singer Rihanna won best R&B artist and Kanye West collected the best hip hop act award.
"This is amazing for me to be recognised this far away from America," said West.
But after missing out on the best video award, to Justice Vs Simian for We Are Your Friends, West returned to the stage to say: "Best video should have been mine. I should have won."
Best video was the only category not chosen by MTV viewers, and West claimed it had been awarded as a "spreading-the-wealth type thing".
Thousands of fans
Las Vegas group The Killers won the award for best rock act and were among the artists who performed to an expected 10,000 people in the Danish capital's main square, where the temperature was just above freezing.
The awards ceremony was held in front of about 3,000 people in the city's Bella Center Convention Hall.
A performance by Timberlake opened the show, and Keane, Nelly Furtado, Snoop Dogg and Muse were among the other acts who performed.
Barbadian singer Rihanna said her award was "totally unexpected"
Last year's host, the Kazakh reporter character Borat played by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, spoke to Timberlake by mock video link.
He joked that he had a baby to sell to Madonna, a reference to the singer's attempt to adopt a Malawian boy, adding: "My only concern is that this singing transvestite will not be such a good father."
Madonna, Shakira and Nelly Furtado had all been nominated in three categories but won no awards.
Actor Daniel Craig, soon to be seen in cinemas as James Bond, presented an award, as did Oscar-winner Adrien Brody.
Asked about the forthcoming 007 film, Casino Royale, Craig said: "We've got a fantastic movie and I'm excited about it."
The awards ceremony was broadcast live to 17 countries.