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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 November, 2003, 22:51 GMT
MTV awards rock Edinburgh
Justin Timberlake won three awards
Justin Timberlake won three awards
Pop music's biggest stars have been in Edinburgh for the 10th annual MTV Europe Music Awards.

A massive big top in the Leith area of the city was the centre of the music universe for the night with a galaxy of top stars attracted to the Scottish capital.

An estimated one billion people in 28 countries watched the show, featuring performances by Beyonce Knowles, Pink and Black Eyed Peas.

The night's big winner was Justin Timberlake who scooped three awards.

He was best pop, best male and also won best album for Justified.

Justin paid tribute to the Scots audience, saying: "This is my first time in Scotland and I just want to say thank you. You don't get nicer than you people."

Christina Aguilera, who hosted the event in front of thousands of screaming music fans, took the best female honour, seeing off tough competition from Beyonce, Kylie Minogue, Pink and Madonna.

However, Destiny's Child singer Beyonce beat Aguilera in the hotly-contested best song category.

Her song Crazy in Love featuring rapper Jay-Z came out on top against Aguilera's Beautiful and Cry Me A River by Timberlake.

British band Coldplay took the best group award, but did not attend the ceremony due to work commitments.

The awards ceremony opened with Aguilera taking to the stage at the Ocean Terminal Arena wearing a nun's habit.

Christina Aguilera

The star then launched into a version of her hit Dirrty, stripping off her outer clothing to expose a rather more revealing outfit underneath.

It was the first of about a dozen costume changes performed by the show's compere.

Most outrageous of all was a white cardboard basque which drew gasps from the audience.

"This is my show and if anyone's going to be getting the award for showing the most skin, it's me," she said.

Sexy little lady

The crowd inside the massive big top went crazy when the American singer revealed that she had been complimented by a cute Scottish man.

She told the crowd: "He said I was a radge wee midden. Which I am told means a sexy little lady, so I will take it like that."

The world's biggest musical artists competed in 12 categories covering pop, rock, dance, hip-hop and R&B.

MTV viewers voted online to choose their favourite acts in most of the categories.

The first award of the night went to Justin Timberlake, who won best album for Justified.

The Panjabi MC took home the award for best dance.

The area has been transformed by MTV's big top arena

The best R&B act went to Beyonce, whose rivals had included Jennifer Lopez and Craig David.

The 22-year-old Destiny's Child singer has brought Edinburgh to a virtual standstill over the past two days, mobbed by fans every time she set foot outside her hotel.

Eminem won the best hip-hop act award for the fifth year running.

The rapper sent his acceptance via video as he was one of the few stars not to attend the glittering event.

Reggae artist Sean Paul took the best new act award and best video was won by Sigur Ros.

Acts on stage also included The White Stripes, the Black Eyed Peas, Sean Paul, Dido, The Darkness and Missy Elliott.

Co-host Vin Diesel, dressed in a leather kilt, delighted the Edinburgh audience by singing Flower of Scotland.

The star of hit movies such as XXX and the Fast and the Furious then headed out to the city's Princes Street Garden's to join an 8,000-strong crowd at a special outdoor event staged for those who could not get tickets to the main ceremony.

The BBC's David Sillito
"Edinburgh has been very keen to host this event"

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