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MTV-Euro awards focus on French nuclear testing

November 24, 1995
Web posted at: 10:05 a.m. EST

PARIS (CNN) -- French nuclear testing in the south Pacific got the most attention at Thursday's MTV European Music Awards -- winners and presenters alike roundly criticized the testing, and the organization that is leading protests against France won an award.


"What a bomb, what a mistake," said Bono, lead singer of the Irish band U2, which picked up the best group award.

"The only enemy is ignorance," said Jon Bon Jovi of the group Bon Jovi (best rock group). "Peace, people. Let's get rid of all this nuclear testing."

Greenpeace, the environmental group that has staged creative and controversial protests around the testing site at Mururoa Atoll, took the "Free Your Mind" award for its campaign against the underground nuclear blasts.

"Stop abusing the earth," urged Madonna in a videotaped segment before the designer Agnes B picked up the award for Greenpeace.

French officials did some complaining of their own about the awards. Marie-Agnes Beau, a spokeswoman for the French government's entertainment promotion arm groused that the show "helps promote MTV in France, but if it just gives the awards to Americans, there's no point in holding an MTV Europe awards."

The awards were dominated by U.S. and British artists; continental European artists were scarce. MTV countered the French complaints, saying the nominees were selected by European music industry officials, and the winners chosen by viewer vote.

Besides U2 and Bon Jovi, winners included Michael Jackson for best male artist, Iceland's former Sugar Cube vocalist Bjork for best female artist, and U.S. rappers Dog Eat Dog as best new act. Britain's Take That took best live act, and fellow Brits East 17 won best dance group. France's Michel Gondry took the honor for best video director for his work on "Protection" by the British group Massive Attack.


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