Winners Announced for First-Ever YouTube Music Awards
On Sunday, November 3, the first-ever YouTube Music Awards were webcasted live from Pier 36 in New York City. Universal Music Group’s Lady Gaga, Eminem, Arcade Fire, Avicii and M.I.A. were among the artists who performed and hosts Jason Schwartzman and Reggie Watts were on hand to announce the winners.
Award nominees were chosen by the amount of traffic they received (including views, comments, likes, shares and subscriptions) in the most recent 12 months. The nominations were categorized into six different groups: Video of the Year, Artist of the Year, Response of the Year, YouTube Phenomenon, YouTube Breakthrough and Innovation of the Year. YouTube viewers were encouraged to pick the winners by voting online for their favorite candidates.
Famed, producer-screenwriter-actor, Spike Jonze was appointed as the creative director for the ceremony and made for a truly unforgettable award show experience. As the show was mostly unscripted, artist performances were referred to as "live music videos" while award presentations and comedy sketches provided additional entertainment to the live audience and over 220,000 online viewers.
Arcade Fire delivered the night's first performance with an accompanying live video for "Afterlife." Directed by Spike Jonze, the video starred Greta Gerwig who begins dancing off-set and eventually joins the crowd in a uniquely interactive performance. The video can be viewed here.
Other highlights included Avicii's performance that was set to an original story written by HBO's Girls star Lena Dunham. Mid-set, the music was intentionally paused so viewers could vote on the story's ending. M.I.A. kept the night alive by giving an electric performance of her new track "Come Walk With Me" complete with glowing hula hoops and light sticks while Lady Gaga delivered an emotional performance of her track "Dope" to be released on ARTPOP this month. Eminem delivered a blistering edition of "Rap God" to close out the inaugural event.
The winners for each of the six categories are listed below. Highlighted artists are from UMG.
1. Video of the Year – video with the most fan engagement
Girls' Generation, "I Got A Boy"
2. Artist of the Year - most watched, shared, liked and subscribed to artists
3. Response of the Year - best fan remix, parody or response video
Lindsey Stirling and Pentatonix, "Radioactive"
4. YouTube Phenomenon- songs that generated the most fan videos
Taylor Swift, "I Knew You Were Trouble"
5. YouTube Breakthrough - artists with biggest growth in views and subscribers
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
6. Innovation of the Year - creative video innovations with most views, likes, shares and comments
DeStorm, "See Me Standing"