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Music

EMA in Milan: Europe loves Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber

"Shake It Off" "All Around the World" because fountain-of-youth superstars Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber are about to take Milan. The MTV Europe Music Awards promise tons of Tweets, but few surprises.

Swift has set a record with nine nominations for the MTV Europe Music Awards. Closely following is Canadian heartthrob Justin Bieber, nominated in seven categories.

With plenty of celebs on hand, awards are bestowed in 16 categories this year, including the best bands in various genres and best male and female artists. The decision lies with fans, who can vote online up to one day before the event.

Justin and Pharell take the stage

Taking three prizes, British boy band One Direction swept last year's awards in Glasgow, while US singer Katy Perry was nominated in seven categories and won twice.

MTV Europe Music awards trophy. Photo: MTV (c) dpa - Report

A number of artists are slated to perform their hits live, including Justin Bieber, producer Pharell Williams, hip hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and notably, Italian star tenor Andrea Bocelli, who appears twice: once solo and once with the young vocalist Tori Kelly.

Joining the roster of famous hosts who have presented the EMAs in former years - including Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry and Heidi Klum - are this year's Ed Sheeran, the British songwriter, and Ruby Rose, the Australian model. Sheeran will also be joined by Rudimental, the British quartet.

Andrea Bocelli. Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images for MTV

Classical musician with pop appeal: Andrea Bocelli

Lena takes 'Best German Act'

With the best national acts announced ahead of the show, the majority of online votes for Best German Act went to Lena, whose full name is Lena Meyer-Landrut. The winner of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest edged out Andreas Bourani, DJ Robin Schulz, Cro and Revolverheld.

"I'm incredibly happy and proud to have won," Lena told German news agency dpa. "The nomination itself was a huge honor, and I can hardly believe the support my fans have given me." In the coming round, Lena vies for Worldwide Act: Europe, which will go to one of Europe's national acts and which Lena won once before, in 2013.

The same faces

A look at the list of nominations, hosts and live performances in the history of the European Music Awards shows little difference to the American event they were modeled after, the MTV Video Awards, which date back to 1984. Although the EMAs take place every year in Europe, they hardly represent indigenous music scenes, but instead give a platform for international, largely American and British superstars.

Lena Meyer-Landrut. Copy: Universal

Lena picks up another prize

Along with musical distinctions that tend to reflect popularity rather than artistic level, non-musical aspects are in focus. Last year Katy Perry took home the Best Look Award - only to later say in her video message, "I didn't even know it's a category."

Introduced last year, the Biggest Fans Award is voted on using a Twitter hash tag. The awards generate considerable social media activity with #EMA2014 trending internationally. The show will be broadcast live on more than 60 channels in over 160 countries.

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