While bootylicious Beyonce scooped a record-breaking six acolades at Sunday's event, rising stars Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga also came up trumps.
Beyonce - who lost out to a seventh award when husband Jay Z pipped her to the post in the rap category - also gave a heart-wrenching performance of If I Was A Boy.
"This has been such an amazing night for me," she said. "I'd like to thank my family including my husband, I love you."
Meanwhile, 20-year-old country star Taylor became the youngest artist in history to win best album of the year.
"Wow, thank you so much! I hope you know how much this means to me... This is the story we are going to be telling over and over again," she said as she excitedly accepted her award.
Lady Gaga got the show off to a sparkling start as she performed a duet with Elton John.
The Paparazzi singer, who picked up two awards, donned a green sequinned leotard as she and Elton merged their two hits, Poker Face and Your Song.
Sunday's show also saw a special 3D tribute to the late Michael Jackson who was recognised with a lifetime achievement award.
The King of Pop's children, 11-year-old Paris and Prince Michael,12, accepted the prize on behalf of their father.
"We are proud to be here to accept this award on behalf of our father, Michael Jackson. First of all we'd like to thank God for watching over us these last seven months and our grandma and grandpa for their love and support," Michael's son said.
"We'd also like to thank the fans, our father loved you so much because you were always there for him."
"Through all his songs, his message was simple: love. We will continue to spread his message and help the world."
Paris - who gave a tearful speech at her father's memorial service in June - added a few words of her own.
"Daddy was supposed to be here. Daddy was going to perform this year but couldn't. Thank you, we love you daddy."