Eminem, who opened the show by unveiling his new single Walk On Water – ahead of the release on Friday of his latest album Revival – won the best hip hop artist gong.
Cuban-American singer Camila Cabello was honoured with the best pop prize, French DJ David Guetta won for best electronic act, while US rapper Kendrick Lamar claimed best video.
There were a number of British wins, with Ed Sheeran scooping the best live category, Dua Lipa collecting the best new artist prize, and Chris Martin-fronted Coldplay named best rock act.
Irish band U2 collected the Global Icon gong, previously awarded to Queen, Whitney Houston and Eminem.
Taylor Swift, who was expected to be one of the big winners of the night with six nominations, failed to win any awards.