Determined to still recognize excellence in music, organizers unveiled the award recipients as scheduled. Taylor Swift reigned supreme with multiple wins for her global hits off her latest albums. Elsewhere, chart-topping talents like Billie Eilish, Lana Del Rey, and BTS member Jung Kook also took home Moonmen after breakout years. However, the evening was not without controversy as Nicki Minaj faced backlash for comments she made online about the conflict. While fans missed the big performances, all celebrated the recognition of their favorite diverse artists during such a tumultuous time.

Taylor Swift was one of the night’s biggest winners with three awards namely: Best Video, Best Artist and Best Live earned. For her, 2023 was highlighted by the added shows of her “Eras Tour” and, of course, the release of her re-recorded albums. She also received nominations in the Best Song category for “Anti-Hero” and Best Pop Artist.

On the other hand with three nominations, Nicki Minaj won two major awards – Best Hip Hop Artist and Best US Act – in recognition of her important work in the hip-hop genre.

Jung Kook, a globally-renowned BTS member, celebrated wins in two categories, that is the Best Song award in which along with Latto, took home for their song “Seven” and Best K-Pop Artist.

The 2023 MTV EMAs, which were initially scheduled for November 5th in Paris, France, have been canceled by show’s organizers following heightened global tensions and a series of threats and advisories. The Paramount Network, the network slated to air the show, said in a statement, “Our concern was and still is the safety and well-being of all involved, including our guests, employees, production crews, talent, artists and our partners around the world.”

In a statement released in October, a Paramount spokesperson addressed the call to cancel on the annual awards show, saying, “Given the volatility of world events, we have chosen not to proceed out of an abundance of caution for the thousands of employees, crew members, artists, fans, and partners who come together from all corners of the world to bring the show to life.”

While the cancellation of the 2023 MTV EMAs was without a doubt a blow to fans looking for the global engagement music has long provided, the simple act of recognizing the outstanding musical achievements of  last year, let alone the announcement of the winners, serve to underscore the lasting impact and essential nature of artists in the wake of events that affect the world.

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