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Cuban-Amer­i­can singer Camila Ca­bello was the big win­ner at the MTV EMAs gala in Spain on Sun­day, while Janet Jack­son used her ac­cep­tance speech for a life-time achieve­ment award to take a stand for women’s rights.

Jack­son was hon­ored with the Global Icon Award for her four­decade, 11-al­bum ca­reer that started when she was a child grow­ing up in the fam­ily that also pro­duced her mu­sic leg­end brother, Michael, and The Jack­son Five.

The 52-year-old Jack­son showed she still has her dance moves while per­form­ing a med­ley of “Made for Now,” ‘’All for You” and “Rhythm Na­tion” while ac­com­pa­nied by African drum­mers and torch­bear­ers. She later said her award came with a re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“Tonight I feel moved to speak for those women whose voices have been si­lenced,” she said. “I am one of those voices, women who have been gagged, lit­er­ally and me­taphor­i­cally, women who have been abused, women who have lived with fear, I stand with you.

“Tonight I carry the hope that a new world is emerg­ing. Women, our voices will be heard!”

Other than Jack­son’s call for gen­der equal­ity, the show was all about the daz­zle pro­vided by the cos­tumes, chore­og­ra­phy and the elab­o­rate light and video dis­plays on the huge cir­cu­lar stage.

With pop star Ar­i­ana Grande shut out de­spite her ive nom­i­na­tions, Ca­bello was the undis­puted star of the night.

The 21-year-old Ca­bello beat out Grande, Drake, Dua Lipa and Post Malone for best artist, while her sul­try hit “Ha­vana” took the tro­phy for best song and best video. She also topped the cat­e­gory for best act.

Last year, Ca­bello won the award for best pop artist at the edi­tion held in Lon­don. Born in Ha­vana be­fore her fam­ily left for Mi­ami, Ca­bello was dis­cov­ered on the U.S. ver­sion of X-Fac­tor and formed a part of the group Fifth Har­mony.

The 25th edi­tion of the awards, for­merly known as the as the MTV Europe Mu­sic Awards, was as usual loaded with eye-catch­ing per­for­mances, as well as ref­er­ences to Bil­bao’s links to the art world, irst and fore­most thanks to the city’s Guggen­heim Mu­seum.

Host Hailee Ste­in­feld opened the show with a video sketch fea­tur­ing her break­ing into an art gallery to “steal” one of the MTV tro­phies, only to then emerge on stage in a tiny sil­ver dress. Sev­eral cos­tume changes later, she be­came a “work of art,” in her words, when she donned a long white dress and was sprayed with blue and yel­low paint.

Af­ter Nicki Mi­naj and Lit­tle Mix got the mu­sic go­ing, the singer of Panic! At The Disco made an ac­tion-movie en­try. Front­man Bren­don Urie was de­picted in a video as climb­ing down the façade of the Bil­bao Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre be­fore he was lowed from the hall’s ceil­ing while singing the open­ing of “High Hopes.”

When his group won the best al­ter­na­tive award, Urie an­nounced “this is go­ing in my bath­room.”

Mi­naj won for best hip-hop artist and best look. 5 Sec­onds of Sum­mer left with the best rock award, Marsh­mello was voted best elec­tronic artist, and best new artist went to Cardi B.

Shawn Men­des won for best live per­former, and Bri­tish singer­song­writer Dua Lipa was best pop artist.

The spec­ta­tors went wild singing along to “Mala­mente” by Span­ish sen­sa­tion Ros­alia, but the most mov­ing per­for­mance be­longed to Halsey. She de­liv­ered her heart-torn “With­out Me” while chained in­side a large trans­par­ent cube. When the cube lifted, water poured down on her like rain.

Boy duo Jack & Jack lifted spir­its singing “Rise” while be­ing hoisted aloft on wires, spin­ning and twist­ing over a stage that de­picted a whirlpool un­til a friendly bunch of fans rushed in to cush­ion their land­ing.

On Satur­day night, Muse kicked off the week­end’s fes­tiv­i­ties with gui­tardriven rock con­cert at San Mames Sta­dium, home to lo­cal soc­cer club Ath­letic Bil­bao.

The MTV EMAs is held in a dif­fer­ent Eu­ro­pean city each year, with win­ners se­lected by fans across the con­ti­nent.

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