Stirring Céline tribute
Céline Dion likely delivered the emotional highlight of the evening, paying tribute to the victims of the recent Paris attacks by singing Edith Piaf's Hymne a L'Amour in front of a string section and a montage of images of famous Paris sites. The Quebec music icon raised her hand triumphantly in the air at the song's conclusion, a photo of the Eiffel Tower behind her, as some audience members cried.
Jared Leto, who introduced Dion, said his band 30 Seconds to Mars recently performed at the Bataclan, the Paris concert hall where 89 people were killed in the Nov. 13 attack.
"Tonight we honour the victims of the unimaginable violence that has taken place in Paris and around the world," Leto said. "The entire world matters, and peace is possible."
One Direction, twice
One Direction managed the repeat as artist of the year and also won favourite duo or group — pop/rock in a year in which they saw one member depart.
"This is a testament to how incredible our fans are," Louis Tomlinson said onstage at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Toronto's The Weeknd walked away with two awards, and received the first one from Prince.
"Make some noise for Prince, ladies and gentlemen," the singer said after picking up favourite album — soul/R&B for Beauty Behind the Madness.
The Weeknd, also known as Abel Tesfaye, performed his hit song The Hills during the broadcast.