The winning artists, however, still received their MTV EMA Awards. Among them were Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, Billie Eilish and David Guetta.
The awards have twice been staged in Scotland – in Edinburgh in November 2003, and in Glasgow in November 2014. Here we look back at some of the highlights of those memorable nights.
GLASGOW: SSE Hydro, November 9, 2014.
It was the night when host Nicki Minaj stole the show while wearing a spectacular grey dress with a 14ft-long train … and wrapped things up by quipping: “I’m going back to my hotel with a cup of tea and a Downton Abbey boxset”.
The SSE Hydro was awash with stars that night. Minaj, Ed Sheeran, Alicia Keys and U2 thrilled the huge crowd – and an estimated 500 million TV viewers across the world – with live performances.
Ariana Grande sang her hits, Problem (which took the award for Best Song) and Break Free. Of her award she said: “I’m excited. I’m very happy. This is my first one of these. My brother will probably take it from me and put it in his apartment”.
Minaj, who made no fewer than eight costume changes throughout the show, said: “It’s so great to be here in Scotland the brave. I have been learning about your culture and I’m practically Scottish now. I’ve written a rap specially for you”.
She then rapped before breaking into a cover of The Proclaimers’ I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles).
Ozzy Osbourne received the Global Icon award from Guns’n’Roses guitarist Slash.
Ed Sheeran sang his hit Thinking Out Loud: U2 performed Every Breaking Wave, and the 9,000-strong crowd waved light-up wristbands as Enrique Iglesias sang.
Katy Perry and One Direction, who between them won five awards, both appeared in video clips as they were unable to attend in person.
David Hasselhoff, who had greeted arriving fans by wearing a kilt, took part in a sketch as William Wallace.
The show came to an end as Slash, and Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil, performed a tribute to Ozzy in a blaze of pyrotechnics.
Best Song: Problem, by Ariana Grande
Best Pop Act: One Direction
Best Female: Ariana Grande
Best Male: Justin Bieber
Best New Act: 5 Seconds of Summer
Best Worldwide Act: Bibi Zhou
Best Video: Dark Horse, by Katy Perry
EDINBURGH: Ocean Terminal, Leith, November 6, 2003
Christina Aguilera, the co-host for the 2003 awards, opened this epic show with a raunchy stripping routine as she began her hit song. Dirrty. ”This is my show and if anyone’s going to be getting the award for showing the most skin, it’s me”, she said at one point.
Aguilera beat Beyonce, Kylie Minogue, Madonna and Pink to win the best female award. Beyonce, it was reported, looked put out when Aguilera’s name was read out but she herself took home two prizes: Best Song for Crazy In Love and the best R&B award.
Justin Timberlake grabbed much of the attention by winning no fewer than three awards, Best Male, Best Pop and Best Album. When he took the second award he told the audience, in a temporary, purpose-built arena: ”If I could have had a picture perfect night it wouldn’t have been as good as this.” As he collected the third and final award he declared: ”This is my first time in Scotland and I just want to say thank you. You don’t get nicer than you people.”
Other highlights included co-host Vin Diesel, in a black leather kilt, singing Flower of Scotland, and the pioneering German group, Kraftwerk, performing live. Britney Spears had pulled out of the awards a few days earlier because she was unwell.
The awards were a considerable coup for the Scottish capital, with much excited talk about the economic and tourism benefits.
Brent Hansen, MTV Europe’s New Zealand-born chief, said after Edinburgh had been revealed as the venue: “My feeling is that we get a lot more value out of Scotland, from a creative point of view, than we would being in the middle of London, where it would have been just another event happening in another week.
“Edinburgh is also incredibly visual as a city and we can take advantage of that. We can do TRL Live [MTV’s afternoon show] and all the European channels are going to be shooting links around town. Edinburgh provides a wonderful backdrop to that.”
Diehard music fans queued overnight outside a Glasgow store to claim the last of the public tickets for the show.
Outside the Leith venue, teenage fans shivered in micro kilts and skimpy tops and carried huge plastic handbags. They were so excited that, even as early as 5.30pm they just screamed at everything they saw – including a black Labrador pup innocently snuffling the pavement at Britannia Quay.
Blacked-out limos, Land Rovers and Mercedes received equal treatment, as did any man with shaved hair who looked remotely like Timberlake. Actor Gerald Butler was among the many celebrities who were photographed as they arrived, as were Kylie Minogue and Michael Stipe – the REM frontman was one of the presenters.
A policeman sought to calm down the proceedings by announcing that all the stars had been inside the striped marquee since earlier in the day, but if the fans were freezing in vain they did not seem to care. Three 11-year-olds from Leith excitedly said the only person they had seen so far was ”a fake Eminem”.
Upmarket shops and stores did well on the eve of the ceremony. At 9am on the day before, Timberlake himself contacted Cruise in a desperate search for Pringle’s best-selling black-and-grey cashmere Argyle print jumper, autumn’s hot item. Perhaps he was feeling the Scottish chill.
Many other performers had prepared for the cold, and Harvey Nichols sold Joseph Shearling’s Prada gloves, Kangol sports hats, and opaque tights to the Atomic Kittens. Even the Darkness, hardened rockers, bought heavy coats from Miu Miu, Paul Smith, and Dior.
Thousands of music fans flocked to Princes Street Gardens, where Jane’s Addiction, The Chemical Brothers and The Flaming Lips took part in an MTV EMA outdoor show.
The Leith event itself was a glittering, glamorous success.
Reported the Glasgow Herald: “At the end of it all, Aguilera announced that this was the greatest show on earth. Certainly, it was well rehearsed and strictly executed.
“MTV executives had said they wanted to pare down the panache to make the Edinburgh event more performance-driven than it had been in Barcelona in 2002.
“What made the audience really sit up and take notice was the sight of 1970s German band Kraftwerk who did their first live TV performance. The pioneers of electronic music played from their latest album Tour De France – and were the sensations of the entire evening.
“Rumour has it that they are due to play Scotland as part of an international tour at the end of this year or early next year.
“The fans filed out to the sight of confetti from the Pink act being rigorously brushed up to the sound of Beyonce”.
Herald photographer Gordon Terris was present that night, and took pictures of all the stars.
He recalled this week: “It was quite an exciting night as we’d never seen so many big recording stars up our neck of woods and I also remember getting a fist bump with Gérard Butler – we share a mutual friend.
“The incongruity of it being Leith Docks was not lost on any of the locals”.
Best male artist: Justin Timberlake
Best female: Christina Aguilera
Best group: Coldplay
Best pop act: Justin Timberlake
Best album: Justin Timberlake, Justified
Best dance: Panjabi MC
Best R&B: Beyonce
Best rock: The White Stripes
Best hip-hop: Eminem
Best new act: Sean Paul
Best video: Sigur Ros, Untitled 1
Best song: Crazy In Love, Beyonce