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Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
11/19/2004 7:34:59 AM

Tags and topics realted to this article include Outkast and Eminem.

Hip-hop duo OutKast and R&B sensation Usher shared top honors on Thursday, scooping a combined five prizes at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Rome which was broadcast to millions of viewers worldwide.

OutKast stars Andre 3000 and Big Boi, whose Speakerboxxx/The Love Below won the 2004 Grammy for album of the year, walked away with best group, best song and best video awards.

The smooth-singing Usher grabbed best male artist and best album for Confessions less than a week after dominating the American Music Awards.

"I humble myself to all of my fans, without them it wouldn't be possible," said Usher, who turned out in a pin-stripe suit with a red carnation in his buttonhole.

Music fans across Europe chose the winners by voting online and with mobile phones, although ironically American musicians swept the awards, claiming all the main prizes.

Britney Spears won best female artist, The Black Eyed Peas won best pop and Linkin Park won best rock, while Alicia Keys took home best R&B and D12 secured best hip hop.

Rap star Eminem kicked off the ceremony with the rat-a-tat of machineguns and whirring of helicopters as he performed his politicized single "Toy Soldiers" in front of a tank on stage.

Children in fatigues marched by while the 32-year-old rapper belted out the song.

Eminem's much-hyped spoof of Michael Jackson never materialized, however, amid rumors he scrapped plans to re-enact his video "Just Lose It," which makes light of child molestation charges against the pop legend.

Gwen Stefani, frontwoman of top-selling U.S. band No Doubt, also made waves with her performance of "What You Waiting For?" as a kind of Alice in Wonderland in silver platform shoes.

The mega-event was put on for 6,000 music fans at the racetrack on the outskirts of Rome. MTV hosted a simultaneous concert at the Colosseum in the heart of the capital.

Some 200,000 people crowded into the wide avenue facing the ancient Roman stadium to get a glimpse of Anastacia and aging goth rockers The Cure.

The entertainment wasn't without controversy, including protests by some politicians who said they feared the noise of the amplified music at the Colosseum could harm the 2,000-year-old monument.

Earlier in the evening, MTV awarded its "Free Your Mind" humanitarian prize to La Strada, an organization dedicated to the fight against the trafficking of women and sexual slavery.

In a bid to heighten awareness about a business that exploits some 500,000 women and girls in Europe alone every year, MTV said it was also launching a television awareness campaign that would run through 2005.

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