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Britney Spears: Best Female Singer in MTV Awards

American stars crossed the Atlantic to sweep up the big prizes at the MTV Europe Music Awards, with Hip Hop duo Outkast landing three awards and rhythm and blues crooner Usher taking two.

Britney Spears, whose Greatest Hits: My Prerogative album has had the biggest selling first week for a Greatest Hits by a female artist in British chart history, won the Best Female artist award.

Britney was up for two other MTV Europe Awards, Best Pop Artist and Best Song for "Toxic" at the awards ceremony, which were broadcast live on MTV Europe.

OutKast took the Best Song award for "Hey Ya" as well as Best Video and Best Group, while Usher took the Best Album prize for "Confessions" and a kiss on the cheeks from Naomi Campbell when she presented him with the award for Best Male artist.

"I hope you don't get tired of us. We only do what we do," Big Boi of OutKast said to their cheering fans as they received their award.

Los Angeles band Maroon 5, responsible for such catchy hits as "This Love" and "She Will Be Loved", took the Best New Act award, and were also nominated for Best Group and Best Song at the awards ceremony, broadcast live on MTV Europe.

Hosted by US rapper Xzibit and actress Sarah Michelle Gellar at a tented Hippodrome in the Rome suburb of Tor di Valle, the evening had the expected award-ceremony mix of profanity, inanity and punchy political attacks.

In keeping with the Roman theme, Xzibit was hauled onto the stage atop a chariot and drew applause when he used a rude Italian epithet to describe US President George W. Bush, saying there was a good chance that the programme was being seen in several countries he had no plans to invade.

Other performers at the music channel's 10th Europe Music awards included Scottish band Franz Ferdinand, the Beastie Boys, Gwen Stefani and Alicia Keys, who took the prize for Best Rhythm and Blues act.

Meanwhile, Anastacia punched out her hit "Left Outside Alone" live on stage outside Rome's ancient Colisseum in front of an estimated 100,000 people, in a concert that ran from late afternoon to give the awards greater public appeal.

Among the other major prizes doled out at the annual awards Thursday was Best Rock act, to Linkin Park, Best Alternative act to Muse and Best Hip Hop to D12.

List of winners at the 2004 MTV Europe Music Awards:
Best album: Usher, 'Confessions'
Best rock: Linkin Park
Best group: OutKast
Best alternative act: Muse
Best video: OutKast, 'Hey Ya!'
Best hip-hop: D12
Best R&B: Alicia Keys
Best new act: Maroon 5
Best pop: Black Eyed Peas
Best female: Britney Spears
Best male: Usher
Best song: Outkast, 'Hey Ya!'

Maroon 5 takes Best New Act Award

Los Angeles band Maroon 5 won the Best New Act award at the MTV Europe Music Awards at Tor Di Valle.

The band responsible for such catchy hits as "This Love" and "She Will Be Loved" were also nominated for Best Group and Best Song at the award ceremony, broadcast live on MTV Europe.●

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