LOS ANGELES -- One Direction had the girls screaming, Frank Ocean gave a soft, poignant performance, and Chris Brown and Drake were in the same venue with not a bottle thrown. Save for a saucy Rihanna number and a few off-color jokes, the MTV Video Music Awards were a rather tame affair this year.
Perhaps that's to be expected with a group of teenagers at the center of things.
Rihanna started the show with a sexy medley performance before capping it with a win for the night's top honor, video of the year.
One Direction owned the rest of the show. The heartthrob British boy band quickly changed the focus Thursday night, winning three awards and stealing the attention from Rihanna.
While there was no easily identifiable signature moment early on, there were a few interesting sights. Pink floated above the crowd on a pair of oversized lips as she performed her new song, "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)," before Ocean wowed with a somber, moonlit version of his song "Thinking About You." Then there was Olympic champion Gabby Douglas flipping on stage to a new Alicia Keys song.
Mr. Brown pulled off something of an upset in the best male video category. Rihanna's former boyfriend won for his self-directed video "Turn up the Music," beating out several top stars, including Drake, who tied Rihanna for most nominations. Mr. Brown also won for best cinematography. M.I.A. was the night's only other multiple winner, taking two off-camera awards for direction and cinematography.
Drake, though, won best hip-hop video for "HYFR," which featured Lil Wayne.
Host Kevin Hart opened up old wounds between Brown and Drake in his opening monologue, spoofing the two for the bar brawl that took place between their entourages in June.
Drake and friends Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne sat stone-faced as Hart joked: "Nip it in the bud, guys. I'm tired of it. Fix it tonight."
Minaj, dressed in a skintight full-body outfit, won best female video for "Starships." And Coldplay won best rock video for "Paradise."
MTV tried something new this year, unveiling a double-decker red carpet that featured two stories of stars and celebrities. Thousands of fans lined up outside the show's new home, the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The scorching sun was especially hot for Amber Rose, who accentuated her pregnant belly with a black lace gown as she and fiance Wiz Khalifa showed off a baby bump.
"I'm hot, and my feet hurt, but I look gorgeous," she said.