KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) — The Pussycat Dolls and British pop sensation Leona Lewis added a bit of glamour and sex appeal to MTV's Asia Awards show on Saturday, which showcased the best in global and regional music.
The Grammy-nominated Dolls, who shot to fame in 2005 with their worldwide hit "Don't Cha", strutted their stuff at Malaysia's hilltop Genting Highlands casino resort, packed with 3,000 fans and industry A-listers.
They were just one act in a star-studded line-up that included Lewis, OneRepublic, Panic at the Disco, South Korean boy band Super Junior, The Click Five and US dance crew Jabbawockeez.
Singing their latest hit "When I Grow Up", the Pussycat Dolls elicited screams from the hundreds of young fans in the mosh pit with their suggestive dance moves, but the girl group said they were not trying to be provocative.
"We are better prepared this time to perform in Malaysia and we have deep respect for the culture. It is about the music, not about sexy. We are going to respect the people of this country and the culture," said Jessica Sutta.
The group came under fire last year from Muslim authorities here for their raunchy performances and sexy attire, which earned concert promoters a 10,000 ringgit (2,700-dollar) fine.
Lewis, a former winner of the British reality show "X Factor", sang her international hit "Bleeding Love", before scooping the prize for Breakthrough Artist, beating out OneRepublic, pop singer Mika and US rockers Daughtry.
"I just have to thank everyone for helping me come so far. I've had such an amazing time in Asia," Lewis said.
Event host Jared Leto, a US actor who also fronts the band 30 Seconds to Mars, surprised the crowd by hinting that Lewis could be signing at the closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics later this month.
"I can't say anything about it yet, but there is a possibility that I will be singing there," she told a press conference after the show.
OneRepublic took home the Best Hook-up award for their collaboration with mega-producer Timbaland on "Apologize", which they performed for the shrieking crowd.
In the Asian categories, Super Junior won the honours for favourite Korean artist, while the "Knockout Award" for the artist with the most influence among Asian youth went to The Click Five.
Thailand's favourite artist was TorSaksit, while Leo Ku won for top Hong Kong artist, besting Canto-pop idol Andy Lau.
US rockers Linkin Park were named Asia's favourite international artist, while Chicosci was named the best Philippines artist. Nicholas Teo won for Malaysia and Yovie & Nuno were tops in Indonesia.
Singapore's top act was the petite Stefanie Sun, a five-time winner of the same award and Taiwan's top pick was Show Lo.
Spiky-haired songstress Li Yuchun was China's favourite artist.
Hong Kong actress-singer Karen Mok was given a special "Inspiration" award for her work as a social activist.
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