Talent tops Toronto's MuchMusic awards


TORONTO -- Toronto rock act Billy Talent was the big winner at the 18th annual MuchMusic Video Awards in Toronto on Sunday, taking home three trophies.

The band, which had led the nominations with five nods, won honors for top video, the MuchLoud top rock video for "Fallen Leaves" and the people's choice award for top Canadian band.

Avril Lavigne won the best international video by a Canadian for "Girlfriend" and the fan-voted favorite Canadian artist title, sparking tears from the often rambunctious Canadian pop star.

"This seriously means so much to me, I'm going to cry," said Lavigne before she closed the show with "Girlfriend" wearing a black sweat jacket with a Canadian flag on the back.

The MMVAs kicked off with Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas doing her solo hits "Big Girls Don't Cry" and "Fergalicious." The singer later picked up the best international video (artist) award for "Fergalicious."

An estimated crowed of 6,000 swarmed outside MuchMusic's headquarters in downtown Toronto to watch performances by Billy Talent, Hilary Duff, Alexisonfire, Maroon5, Belly, the Used and Finger Eleven. The latter christened the MMVA's new rooftop stage with a fireworks-accompanied rendition of "Paralyser."

Inside Much headquarters, and spilling outside to an adjacent parking lot, some 400 music industry revelers, including U.S. gossip blogger Perez Hilton, partied.

The two-hour awards show was broadcast nationally in Canada on the MuchMusic channel and for the first time on broadband on MuchAxs. Sirius Satellite Radio will broadcast an hourlong highlight special across North America on June 26.

The show began in typical chaotic fashion with celebrity guests spilling out of outrageous rides on a red carpet in front of MuchMusic lined by the fans.

Rising Ottawa-based rap star Belly arrived in an armored Brinks truck with a Paris Hilton impersonator and an entourage that tossed fake $20 bills to the fans. Sum 41 bounded out of its white Chevy Tahoe swigging beer.