The Time Dublin hosted the MTV European Music Awards

While “music” may not be the focus of MTV these days, the annual Video Music Awards (VMA) and European Music Awards (EMA) are still a focal point of the year for the station. .

While EMAs are usually held in cities like London, Glasgow and Madrid, you’d be surprised to learn that once upon a time The Point in Dublin (yes, that was that long ago!) hosted the discount prices in 1999.

And when you look at who flew to the Emerald Isle for an award show that’s way below an Oscar or a Grammy in prestige, but just above a Teen’s Choice Award, you’ll wonder ‘how the hell did we get these names?’

Remember when the MTV European Music Awards took place at The Point in Dublin? Photo: Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images
Just as they were making a name for themselves. Who knew four of them would still be performing in stadiums two decades later? Photo: Brian Rasic/Getty Images
Bono, Mariah Carey, Mick Jagger
Some of the most important voices in music. And Bono. Photo: Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images
Ronan Keating
Right before Boyzone’s first breakup, Ronan Keating took over hosting duties. I wonder how the guys behaved that night? Photo: Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images

Hosted by Ronan Keating, this was the fifth awards show honoring Europe’s greatest artists (although a number of Americans have performed, been nominated and ended up winning awards) in the admittedly attempt success of MTV to penetrate the European market.

So, who performed at this prestigious event *ahem*? Well, some pretty massive names – a baby fronted Britney Spears performing her single “…Baby One More Time”, Mariah Carey performed alongside Missy Elliot and Da Brat, and none other than Whitney Houston also did. an appearance – playing My love is your love.

There were a few Irish acts, though – Westlife were kind of relegated to the pre-show to make room for…The Cardigans…while The Corrs rounded out the Irish contingent performing. Other Irishmen have just come forward — with names like U2 and Pierce Brosnan.

Do you remember Five? Keep On Movin’ is still a track 23 years later. Photo: Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images
whitney houston
The late great Whitney Houston performed on the show – which made us think all these years later “how the hell did we get those names?” Photo: Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images
Sean Combes
Bad Boy Records’ Sean Coombs/Diddy/Puff Daddy also performed at the show. Photo: Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images
Britney Spears, who won four awards, performed her first single that would catapult her into the stratosphere – Baby One More Time. Photo: Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images

As for who won what, there are a few usual suspects – a washed-out blonde rapper from Detroit named Eminem, fresh off his debut album The Slim Shady LP, won Best Hip-Hop, The Backstreet Boys won the Best Group award (a true testament to just how violent the 90s was), and Fatboy Slim walked away with Best Dance as a few of the awards.

However, there are some eyebrows there – host Ronan Keating’s band Boyzone won album of the year on some albums that still stand the test of time even 20 years later – you are you really going to tell me that ‘By Request’ was better than Californication by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers? Millennium by the Backstreet Boys? LAURYN HILL’S MSEDUCATION!?

In the end, Britney walked away with the most accolades – winning Best Female, Pop, Song and Breakthrough Artist gongs, while Boyzone scooped two awards, including Best Album and Best British Act and Irish.

Boyzone won album of the year, beating the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Backstreet Boys and Lauryn Hill. Photo: Dave Hogan/Getty Images
A fresh-faced Eminem also won best hip-hop against the Beastie Boys, Busta Rhymes and Will Smith (no prizes for guessing what gesture he’s doing in the photo…) Photo: Brenda Chase/Getty Images
Britney Spears
Britney won the most awards with four – after the year that would see her become a megastar. Photo: Joel Saget/Getty Images

A lot has changed since then – Eminem and Britney have continued to grow and the biggest stars of their respective genres, Kanye told Taylor Swift that Single Ladies was one of the best videos of all time (WAS HE WRONG! ?), and MTV shifted their focus from music to reality TV, then from reality TV to airing 23 hours of reruns of Ridiculousness.

And although the EMAs have lost some of their shine, they are still going strong – being hosted in Dusseldorf, Germany in November.

But looking at the pictures from when Ireland was home to some of the best bands of the day (minus the nu-metal bands like Limp Bizkit), it got me thinking — what do you say, guys ? 3 Arena next year?