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Pop / Rock 09/11/2001

Robbie Williams wins top prize at MTV Music Awards

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - British singer Robbie Williams won the MTV Europe Music Award for best male singer Thursday at the annual showcase event for the world's top pop stars that was expected to be viewed by a billion pop fans around the world.

Williams, who last year won the Best Song award, thanked MTV in a videotape from a tour in Australia and mocked his 2000 acceptance speech, when he jokingly praised MTV for helping him get three cars, five houses and a supermodel girlfriend.

"I'm very humbled to receive an award from MTV once again," he said. "Last year I was very arrogant with my acceptance speech. This year's it's completely different. The supermodel girlfriend turned out to be an anorexic lesbian. As far as the houses go, I couldn't keep up with the mortgage payments. I'm living in a caravan now. And the cars ... I ran them all off."

He continued the self-deprecation by noting his earlier claim to be "living the dream" was all wrong. Williams closed his bleak address by saying: "Live the nightmare."

Jennifer Lopez won the best female singer award. Like other American performers, Lopez had been expected to attend the event beamed to worldwide by the cable television channel from the German financial capital.

But after the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States she, like many American musicians including Janet Jackson, elected to stay home.

"I'm so excited," Lopez said in a video acceptance speech from her living room. "Thank you so much for your support. I wish I could have been there."

The best R&B award went to David Craig. Best Group was won by Limp Bizkit. Gorillaz won best dance.

The MTV Europe Music Awards also included performances from such top popular acts as Kylie Minogue, U2, R.E.M., Depeche Mode, Dido, and Atomic Kitten.

The show was hosted by British cult comedian Ali G, alias Sacha Baron Cohen, whose trademark spoof rap "gangsta" lingo and attire became known worldwide after he appeared in a recent video for U.S. singer Madonna.

The awards are designed to honor the best musicians on the European scene, but, like last year, Americans figured heavily in many categories, including all the nominations for best hip-hop and almost all the slots for best rock, R&B and pop.

The winners were picked by an 800-member "voting academy" consisting of key record executives in the music industry and MTV viewers from across the continent.

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