YouTube Music Awards: Highlights of the winners

Written by Helen Healy

The first ever YouTube music awards took place 3rd November in New York City.

The first ever YouTube music awards took place 3rd November in New York City. Taking a fresh alternative to other award ceremonies the whole evening was broadcast live on and the winners of the awards were solely chosen by viewers of the video sharing site.

There was six award categories in total; Video of the Year, Artist of the Year, Response of the Year, YouTube Phenomenon, YouTube Breakthrough and Innovation of the Year.

The alternativeness even continued through to the hosting of the event, as co-hosts Jason Schwartzman and Reggie Watts were not given any scripts before the evening, just a list of bullet points from creative director of the event Spike Jonze.

Celebrations for all things YouTube had been taking place throughout Sunday at four other locations across the globe; London, Rio, Moscow and Seoul.

Starting at 9pm GMT, London’s part in the celebrations began with Dizzee Rascal kicking off the British support for the night at the infamous Abbey Road Studios.

Performing his new single ‘Love This Town’ he then wowed the crowd with some genius free styling; Dizzee showed why British music deserves recognition globally.

Tinie Tempah also performed his new track ‘Children of the Sun,’ featuring the rocky tones of John Martin, famous for his vocals on Swedish House Mafia’s ‘Don’t You Worry Child.’ Other UK artists that took the stage in front of the home crowd included Conor Maynard and Foxes performing acoustic sets.

The main event then took place at NYC’s Pier 36; with Manhattan Bridge and the New York skyline in the distance it was set to be an eventful evening.

Opening the show was Arcade Fire with ‘Afterlife’. Actress Greta Gerwig began recreating a music video live on stage with a house full of pots and pans and then moved on with some crazy arm movements to a forest complete with fake snow.

Breaking with tradition from the get go, the feeling from the first act was that the night was going to be full of madness and it sure was.

Probably the most memorable performance of the evening came from none other than Lady Gaga. Known for her crazy antics and even crazier dress sense she did not let the viewing public down. Gaga started her song with an apology to her ‘mom’ and her fans before tears started to stream down her face.

With an almost demonic rendition of her single ‘Dope’ Gaga was hardly recognisable in a plain male like chequered shirt and black ‘Dope’ hat. Rumours have it that a large number of viewers tuned out before the end of her solemn piano performance. Whether she was acting or the emotion was genuine it made for uncomfortable viewing.

Artist of the Year went to Eminem who performed ‘Rap God’ in black and white. To begin with it was unclear as to whether The Real Slim Shady was actually in the building but he entered the stage towards the end of his track to a loud applause from the audience.

Following the music video vibe, Avicii had the limelight taken away from him and his DJ-in skills and instead viewers were treated to a conversation between two unknown people in the crowd.

The evening continued to follow suit from the outset and the brains behind this event were definitely focusing more on the recreation of music videos than the actual talent that was on the line up and the awards themselves. Maybe next year’s awards might be a little less ‘unplanned’.

Other performances on the evening came from: MIA, Earl Sweatshirt and Tyler the Creator and Lindsay Stirling.

YouTube Music Awards 2013 Winners:

Video of the Year: Girls Generation ‘I Got a Boy’

YouTube Breakthrough: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Innovation of the Year: Destorm ‘See Me Standing’

YouTube Phenomenon: ‘I knew you were trouble’

Response of the Year: Lindsay Stirling and Pentatonix ‘Radioactive’

Artist of the Year: Eminem.