MuchMusic Video Awards: Hedley, Drake Win Big (Update)

Hedley at the MuchMusic Video Awards
Hedley at the MuchMusic Video Awards
 Arthur Mola/Invision/AP

TORONTO – Hedley, a Vancouver rock band that headlines arenas in Canada and has just released its new album in the U.S., not only kicked off the 25th anniversary broadcast of the MuchMusic Video Awards Sunday with a performance of its latest single, “Crazy for You,” the band also took home the most trophies of the night, for Video of the Year, Pop Video of the Year and viewer-voted “Your Fave Video,” all for the song “Anything.”

Hip-hop star Drake, who was not in attendance, won Hip-Hop Video of the Year for “Worst Behavior” and International Video of the Year by a Canadian for “Hold On, We’re Going Home” feat. Majid Jordan. The rest of the winners had one apiece.

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The MMVAs are one of the most unusual awards show in the world, a giant street party in downtown Toronto, outside MuchMusic headquarters, where the block is filled with thousands of people who get to witness the two-hour concert-style event for free. A massive festival-worthy stage is built in the Queen Street parking lot and a smaller stage on an adjacent side street. A sea of people, mostly teens — who scored the free wristbands — surround them, screaming, holding signs, taking photos with cellphones, slapping hands of the performers and presenters — and even accepting doughnuts from famous actors (Jena Malone of Hunger Games had a special delivery, a la Ellen’s pizza at the Oscars).

Hosting this year were reality TV stars Kendall and Kylie Jenner, half-sisters to the Kardashian ladies, who now have their own clothing line. They seemed a little nervous or out of their element, but got help from a pro, MuchMusic VJ Lauren Toyota, who held down most of the show, allowing the Jenners to change outfits numerous times. Kendall did poke fun at herself, pretending to flub a cue-card read, a reference to the Billboard Music Awards when she introduced 5 Seconds of Summer as One…[Direction], then quipped, “Guys, I’m the worst reader!” Well, she bravely took on a whole lotta cue-card reading on this evening and got an A-plus.

Performers were a mix of international and homegrown talent, including Lorde, Imagine Dragons, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, and Canadians Kiesza, Sam Roberts Band, MAGIC! and Virginia to Vegas, featuring Alyssa Reid.  

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Sheeran immediately followed starters Hedley with a stunning vocal of “Sing,” and Kiesza danced and sang her way through an '80s acid-washed flashback for her infectious soul-pop hit, “Hideaway.” The striking Lorde — who won International Video of the Year - Artist for “Royals” — was as cool as ever in a wickedly wide brimmed hat and loose-fitting suit for “Tennis Court” and “Team” — choosing a floor lamp as a prop. Imagine Dragons — awarded 
International Video of the Year - Group 
for “Demons” — performed  that song and “Radioactive” and got one more song in there: a crowd rendition of “Happy Birthday” for guitarist Wayne Sermon. Ariana Grande closed the whole shebang with her hit “Problem.”

Presenters included actors Malone, Kellan Lutz (Twilight, The Expendables 3), Chloe Grace Moretz (Carrie, Dark Shadows, Hugo), Teen Wolf’s Colton HaynesMad Men’s Kiernan Shipka, and Bitten’s Laura Vandervoort, alongside such Canadian musicians as The Weeknd, Serena Ryder, Fefe Dobson, Down with Webster, Marianas Trench, Mia Martina, Victoria Duffield, Nikki Yanofsky and NHLer P.K. Subban.

Shipka, the 14-year-old who plays surly Sally Draper on Mad Men, works in isolation on set as an actor and was blown away by such a unique awards show. “It’s fun to experience this side of things,” she told Billboard.

“This is awesome. It was so fun. The crowd has so much energy. I had a really good time. I really did.” All she was told before she got on the plane was that it was “super big and super fun … I had seen photos online, but when I got here it was even more than I expected.  I knew it was huge, but then you see people arriving on beds and trucks and stuff,” she says of the musicians’ red carpet arrivals. “I arrived in a limo, a black car. I would’ve rollerbladed in … no, I wouldn’t have, but I would have wanted to.”

Although neither one traveled to Toronto to accept the honor, Justin Bieber won the viewer-voted “Your Fave Artist” and Selena Gomez was awarded “Your Fave International Artist.” Sam Roberts Band nabbed Rock/Alternative Video of the Year for “Shapeshifters,” and Dance Video of the Year went to Autoerotique’s “Asphyxiation.” Other wins went to Amos LeBlanc and Ohji Inoue for Director of the Year for Thugli’s “Run This”; City and Colour’s “Thirst” for the Post-Production of the Year; and SonReal’s “Everywhere We Go” for MuchFACT Video of the Year.

Twitter: @karen_bliss

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