Ed Sheeran leads red carpet arrivals for 2021 MTV EMAs

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Ed Sheeran made a colourful splash as he arrived on the red carpet for MTV’s Europe Music Awards (EMAs).

The singer and songwriter, 30, is nominated for five awards at the event – which is being held in Budapest, Hungary.

He opted for a multicoloured suit splashed with yellow, orange, green and more for the occasion.

The 2021 MTV EMA awards – Budapest
Ed Sheeran attending the 2021 MTV EMA awards (Ian West/PA)

After seeing one journalist wearing a neon pink sparkly suit, Sheeran said on the red carpet: “I like your jacket.”

The atmosphere on the red carpet was built up with a pre-recorded message from Madonna, encouraging those in attendance to make some noise.

Hundreds of people lined up on one side of the carpet as they awaited the arrivals for the annual music event.

It’s A Sin star Olly Alexander said he was “a bit overwhelmed” by the red carpet, and that he was looking forward to seeing Columbian singer Maluma.

The 2021 MTV EMA awards – Budapest
Olly Alexander (Ian West/PA)

On Budapest as the choice of venue, the Years And Years singer told the PA news agency: “Well, queer people, we’re absolutely everywhere so you can’t silence us or get rid of us – no matter what.

“And if you’re going to put on a pop music event then you need to have the queers there, we’re going to be there. I’m really happy I can be here and be myself so that’s the message.”

OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, on Budapest as a venue given the Hungarian government’s approach to the LGBT community, told the PA news agency: “It sends a huge message.

“I’m from an extremely conservative, right-wing city and family and religious community so until I was 20 I had the same kind of thoughts of like ‘Oh, that’s bad, this is good’.

“And now I’m sitting here going it’s absurd we even have to make these statements that everyone is equal and showing love and equality.

“These are things that should have been the absolute bedrock of constitutions and humanity for the last 100 years but, you know, it takes a minute for humans to catch up and I think we’ve finally caught up.”

Doncaster-born star Yungblud hailed the return to performing live at the ceremony, saying: “There’s going to be more pyro and more leather than you’ve seen since a f****** Motley Crue show so let’s go.”

“It’s all just been a simmering pan that I’m ready to get out. We’re here for a good cause, we’re here in a country that we have to make a big f****** statement at and we will be loud tonight, proud and I can’t f****** wait.”

DJ Joel Corry, who played a set in Heroes’ Square on the eve of the ceremony, said: “Playing the world stage here in Budapest was honestly a dream come true.

“An amazing stage, amazing surroundings, it felt really special.”

Northern Irish singer JC Stewart said it was a “dream come true” to attend the EMAs, having busked outside the event a decade ago.

He told the PA news agency: “It’s pretty crazy, it’s a dream come true for me – I busked outside the EMAs 10 years ago in Belfast so I never thought I’d be here today. It’s all a bit much in a lovely way.”

Asked about Hungary as a venue choice given legislation said to be anti-LGBT, Stewart said: “It’s amazing to be able to come together with a group of people and say so much by doing something like this.

“It’s a beautiful country with beautiful people.”

The 2021 MTV EMA awards – Budapest
Rita Ora and Taika Waititi (Ian West/PA)

On his message, he said: “The unity is here, you can feel it on the streets, you hope the people upstairs listen a bit more.

“You can see tonight there’s unity and it’s about loving each other as much as possible.”

Sheeran, Yungblud and Maneskin are among the musical acts who will take to the stage during the ceremony as it brings together stars from around the globe.

The event returns to a live in-person show after last year’s ceremony had to be held virtually for the first time ever due to the coronavirus pandemic.

American rapper Saweetie is hosting and performing at the awards show, as well as being nominated for best new artist alongside Olivia Rodrigo, Griff, Giveon, Rauw Alejandro and The Kid Laroi.

Justin Bieber leads the way in nominations with eight, including top gongs of best artist and best video.

The 2021 MTV EMA awards – Budapest
Montana Brown (Ian West/PA)

US artists Lil Nas X and Doja Cat both have six nominations each and are going up against each other for best artist, best song, best video and best collaboration.

American singer Olivia Rodrigo, Australian artist The Kid Laroi and chart-topping singer Sheeran are all tied with five nominations each.

Presenters during the awards show include Rita Ora, DJ Joel Corry and model Winnie Harlow.

The 2021 MTV EMA awards – Budapest
Becca D (Ian West/PA)

The winners of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest, Italian rock band Maneskin, are also set to perform at the ceremony.

German-born pop star Kim Petras will be the first transgender performer at the awards show in Budapest.

MTV recently stood by the location of the awards show despite the country’s recent passage of legislation widely condemned as anti-LGBT.

The 2021 MTV EMAs will air on November 14 at 9pm GMT on MTV UK.

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