MTV's European Music Awards are one of the most important nights in international pop music, and some of the world's biggest pop stars dazzled both on stage and on the purple carpet in Madrid. Shakira opened the show with her World Cup anthem "Waka Waka" and shined on the purple carpet in an understated metallic frock with a deep V-neck.
Ke$ha (above right) may have taken home her first award ever for Best New Act, but she arrived in her typical flamboyantly trashy style in too-long satin purple pants, a slashed tee, and purposefully dirty hair. The singer was so excited about winning that she flubbed her acceptance speech, and later posed with her trophy after performing "Tik Tok" under the blacklight in a lime green leotard and neon body paint.
Katy Perry's Jeremy Scott almost-dress resembling a torn ticket was fun and costumey, and her sleek knotted ponytail was pure glamour. She arrived with new husband Russell Brand and took home the award for Best Video for "California Gurls".
Perry's pal Rihanna looked stunning in a pale gown with sheer cutouts and puffy flowers. Her unexpected black nails and bright red updo gave the very girly look an edge, and she looked pretty in pink in soft makeup and bubblegum lips. Her performance of "Only Girl in the World" was a crowd favorite, with Mad Men-inspired backup dancers carrying briefcases full of confetti.
Miley Cyrus, who performed her single "Who Owns My Heart", wore a tiered white gown with a black sash that reflected her grown-up style, but her wilted waves could have used a boost.
Taylor Momsen's outfit was undoubtedly the biggest 'miss' of the night, with her signature raccoon eye makeup, semi-obscene cleavage, mis-buttoned dress shirt, and over-the-knee dominatrix boots evoking the goth/vampire look we've come to expect from her, but are still always startled to see.