Minaj, Grande winners at MTV’s EMAs

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Minaj, Grande winners at MTV’s EMAs

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Nicki Minaj with her award for best hip-hop artist at the MTV European Music Awards in Glasgow on Sunday.[AP/NEWSIS]

GLASGOW, Scotland - Nicki Minaj rapped about shortbread and Ariana Grande capped a breakthrough year with two trophies as the MTV Europe Music Awards celebrated its 20th anniversary Sunday with a Scottish-accented show in Glasgow.

Grande was named best female artist and also took the best-single prize for “Problem,’’ one of a string of hits she’s had this year. The 21-year-old American singer said she was doubly grateful to the EMAs - meeting Iggy Azalea at last year’s awards show led directly to working with the Australian rapper on “Problem.’’

“This is absolutely crazy,’’ Grande said after her second win of the night.

It was a good result for a performer who admitted she was too excited to sleep the night before the ceremony, and said was shaking after walking past a gaggle of photographers on the red carpet.

Minaj proved a confident if conventional host for the show at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro arena, and she also took home the prize for best hip-hop artist.

“I’ve been learning so much about your beautiful country and culture ... I’ve pretty much become Scottish,’’ Minaj said. She illustrated it by rapping about whiskey and shortbread and singing a snippet of The Proclaimers’ anthem “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles).’’

Minaj’s more provocative side was kept under tight control. There were writhing dancers during a performance of her bum-centric hit “Anaconda,’’ a putt into derriere-shaped mini-golf hole in tribute to Scotland’s love of golf, and a couple of F-bomb obscenities directed at - of all things - an animatronic dinosaur. But on the whole the event stuck to a standard awards-show script.

Beyonce did not appear as widely rumored, and Scottish DJ Calvin Harris had to pull out due to illness. But thousands of young Scottish music fans in the arena - and a global TV audience - saw a high-energy show featuring performances from acts including Ed Sheeran, Alicia Keys, Enrique Iglesias and U2, who brought their own string section.

Rising talent was represented by the likes of crunchy British rock duo Royal Blood and singer Charli XCX, while former “Baywatch’’ star David Hasselhoff got a rousing cheer when he took the stage in a kilt.

Winners of the awards are selected by fans across the continent. AP

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