Cuban-born Camila Cabello beat heavy hitters Beyonce, Bruno Mars and Drake and won the two main prizes at the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) on Monday.
Cabello, 21 years old, was chosen as the artist of the year and won the video of the year for her latin-hued hit Havana, while rapper Cardi B won for best new artist and song of the summer for her dance hit I Like It with J Balvin and Bad Bunny.
"I can not believe that this is for me," said Cabello, who at the end of 2016 broke away from the girl group Fifth Harmony to start a solo career.
New York rapper Cardi B, 25, made her first public appearance since she had her first child in July. But the spirited Bodak Yellow singer failed to make up for her 10 leading nominations, as fans spread their voices far apart.
"A few months ago, people said: you are betting your career by having a baby," said Cardi B. "I had a baby … and now I still win prizes."
The biggest winner of the evening was Childish Gambino, the music stadium name of actor Donald Glover, who came with three for his tough video This Is America about black identity and police brutality.
But the trophies were mostly in technical categories, including choreography and direction. The high-profile APES ** T by Beyonce and Jay-Z, recorded at the Louvre in Paris against the backdrop of some of the world's most famous works of art, won only two of its eight nominations.
Canadian rapper Drake, one of the most popular artists in the field of sales and streaming, left empty-handed, as did several Grammy winners Bruno Mars.
Neither Mars, Drake, Gambino, Beyonce nor Jay-Z attended the awards ceremony in New York, with performances by Ariana Grande – who won the best pop video for No Tears Left to Cry, – Nicki Minaj, Aerosmith, Shawn Mendes and Travis Scott.
Jennifer Lopez brought the audience with a song and dance medley of her biggest hits when she was awarded the annual Vanguard Award, named after Michael Jackson, with which she recognized her 20 years show business.
"It has been an incredible journey to dream my wildest dreams and then see them coming out," said Lopez.
A promised tribute to Aretha Franklin after her death last week at age 76, however, consisted only of a speech by Madonna and a short video clip from Franklin's early career.
The VMAs are known for their dishonest and provocative stunts, but apart from part of the controversial immigration policy of US President Donald Trump, there were few surprises.
Rapper Logic was accompanied on stage by dozens of immigrant children and their families wearing white t-shirts with the text "We are all human beings" for a performance of his song One Day.
The song is a protest against the policy that thousands of immigrant children separated from their parents in June after crossing the southern border with Mexico without documents.
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First published: August 21, 2018 16:35 IST