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Robbie Williams, Jay Chou standout acts at MTV Asia Awards 2003

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SINGAPORE: Awesome. That was what British pop sensation Robbie Williams and Taiwanese heartthrob Jay Chou were at the MTV Asia Awards last night. Though it was Canadian singer/songwriter Avril Lavigne who walked away with the most hardware (three awards), it was these two guys who had some serious attitude written all over them who stole the show.

And what a show. The opening act by Missy Elliot was a brilliant piece of marketing for Adidas (who are not on the official sponsors list). The stage curtain was a made like an Adidas tracksuit top that zipped down to mark the start of the event to a bunch of scream-crazy teens who packed the Singapore Indoor Stadium full to the rafters. Missy Elliot and her troupe were also similarly dressed up (looks like some smart promo deal has been worked in here). Missys performance of her hip-hop hit "Work It" was great as well and ended with her leaving the stage on a local trishaw.

There were no surprise for favourite artist India in AR Rahman. Bollywood got a look-in as well with "Devdas" director Sanjay Leela Bhansali being presented the Asian Film Award.

The only Indian "act" of the evening was when beauty queen and "Devdas" heroine Aishwarya Rai was called to give the award of Favourite Male Artist to Robbie Williams and did a right perfect Bollywood performance - overacting, cheesy giggles and all.

Speaking of Robbie Williams, the superstar did not endear himself to the organizers at all when he handed over his award (a transparent cube with oil like jelly inside) to the clamouring groupies in the mosh pit immediately in front of the stage.

Having said that for sheer stage presence Robbie Williams performance of one of his hit numbers was most definitely without peer.

Executive producer David Flack, show producer Fiona Wang and Mishal Varma, the man who decided on the hosts, performers and "which artistes to invite" did an amazing job making sure that the whole evenings efforts went off smoothly.

Right from an brilliant stage that was done up in such a way as to give the feel that it was all happening in some very shallow water to the finale which saw streamers, balloons flying all around, there was hardly a break or stutter in the flow.

A total of 19 awards to recognise and pay homage to international and local music talents were given away. Winners were voted by viewers across the region from 1 November till 15 January. The show had a live audience of over 7000 and was broadcast to over 150 million homes in Asia, the official release says.

The official partner sponsors were MasterCard, Nokia, Panasonic and Toyota. The associate sponsor for the Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan markets was San Miguel Beer. Local sponsors included Shenzhen New Power Technology Limited in China, She in Indonesia, Korea Telecom Freetel in Korea, SMART Communications in the Philippines and StarHub in Singapore. The event was also supported by Singapore Tourism Board.

The winners of the 2003 MTV Asia Awards are:

10 Favourite Music Artist Awards from Asia:

Favourite Artist Mainland China Yu Quan
Favourite Artist Hong Kong Sammi Cheng
Favourite Artist India A.R. Rahman
Favourite Artist Indonesia Cokelat
Favourite Artist Korea j.t.L
Favourite Artist Malaysia Siti Nurhaliza
Favourite Artist Philippines Regine Velasquez
Favourite Artist Singapore Stefanie Sun
Favourite Artist Taiwan Jay Chou
Favourite Artist Thailand D2B

International Music Awards:
Favourite Male Artist Robbie Williams
Favourite Female Artist Avril Lavigne
Favourite Pop Act Blue
Favourite Rock Act Linkin Park
Favourite Video Linkin Park 'Pts of Authority' (Remix)
Favourite Breakthrough Artist Avril Lavigne
The Asian Film Award Devdas (Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali)
The Style Award Avril Lavigne
The Inspiration Award F4

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