Obamamania met Beatlemania Thursday, as Liverpool hosted an MTV Europe Music Awards show energized by the city’s musical heritage and the U.S. presidential election.
Pink and Kanye West took home prizes – Britney Spears won two – and stars on the stage included Beyonce, Kid Rock and former Beatle Paul McCartney.
But the absent president-elect was given star status, too.
Singer Katy Perry, who hosted the show and also was named best new act, appeared in a dress emblazoned with Obama’s face and quipped that “maybe Europeans will love us again now.”
Her co-host, 30 Seconds to Mars singer Jared Leto, wore an Obama T-shirt and urged the 10,000-strong crowd at Liverpool’s Echo Arena to yell “Congrats, Barack.”
Hometown pride was also on display in the Beatles’ birthplace, with McCartney receiving an “ultimate legend” award from U2 singer Bono.
Bono hailed the ex-Beatle as “St. Paul McCartney” and the “one person in this hall tonight whose work is immortal.”
McCartney’s acceptance speech was more modest. “I want to thank my mum and dad,” he said, going on to pay tribute to his bandmates in The Beatles, the people of Liverpool and Americans, “for voting in Senator Obama.”
Backstage, McCartney said he had a song he thought the new U.S. leader would like for his wife, Michelle Obama – the Beatles ballad “Michelle. [via]