It was November 2008 and Girls Aloud was riding high in the charts with The Promise, P!nk had just released So What and Alexandra Burke was on the cusp of winning X Factor.
There was a sense of real change in the air after the United States had just voted in their first-ever black president Barack Obama.
Gordon Brown was Prime Minister, a simpler time when Boris Johnson was busy declaring ‘whiff-whaff’ was “coming home” as Mayor London.
READ MORE: 200 girls fainted, fights and Mick Jagger in court when the Rolling Stones came to Merseyside
Mama Mia! and The Dark Knight – Joker actor Heath Ledger had died earlier that year – were top of the box office and artists like Katy Perry and The Kings of Leon were on the radio 24/7.
And Liverpool took centre stage for the MTV European Music Awards which saw pop royalty descend on the city as the ECHO Arena – now the M&S Bank Arena – provided the backdrop for the star-studded event.
Katy Perry who had just shot to fame that summer with her debut single ‘I Kissed a Girl’ hosted the show with a huge variety of costume changes including a sequinned dress with the face of Obama on it, entering on a giant banana and a skirt made of a replica carousel.
She also opened and close the show and Liverpool also saw performances from Queen Bey herself who sang If I Were a Boy, Take That who sang Greatest Day and Kanye West who performed Love Lockdown.
Craig David, The Sugababes and Kelly Rowland all presented awards and Warrington’s own, and former member of Atomic Kitten, Kerry Katona presented the best video award.
This was just a month after that now-infamous This Morning interview where the mum-of-five began slurring her words promoting concern from presenter Philip Schofield and viewers.
Album of the year went to Britney Spears – the year her controversial conservatorship began following her breakdown in 2007 – she was not in Liverpool to collect her award as she was busy on stage with Madonna in LA.
Other winners included the host herself, Katy Perry who took home Best New Act and Best Act Ever went to Rick Astley, yes, really.
But the night really belonged to Paul McCartney as he scooped the Ultimate Legend Award and where better to claim it than his home city.
U2 frontman Bono presented the accolade and said: “This is the man who invented my job.
“On the way here Paul McCartney, who was driving the car, was pointing out every place in Liverpool. It was like being in the Pope-mobile with the Pope driving. In the universe of rock and roll bands, the Beatles were the big bang.
“I saw tonight how much Liverpool means to Paul McCartney and you can feel how much Paul McCartney means to Liverpool.”
Accepting the award, McCartney said: “Many years ago four little boys were born here in Liverpool and we went on to do quite well.
“So thanks to all my family, to all of you for coming along to all of you in Liverpool, to everyone in Britain, to everyone in America for voting for Mr. Obama.”
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Winners (in italics) and nominees of all the awards on the night
Most Addictive Track
Coldplay — “Viva la Vida”
Duffy — “Mercy”
Katy Perry — “I Kissed a Girl”
Kid Rock — “All Summer Long”
- Thirty Seconds to Mars — “A Beautiful Lie”
Madonna (featuring Justin Timberlake and Timbaland) — “4 Minutes”
Santigold — “L.E.S. Artistes”
Snoop Dogg — “Sensual Seduction”
Weezer — “Pork and Beans”
Album of the Year
- Britney Spears — Blackout
Alicia Keys — As I Am
Coldplay — Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
Duffy — Rockferry
Leona Lewis — Spirit
Best New Act
Best European Act
Best Act of 2008
Best Act Ever
Ultimate Legend Award
Best UK & Ireland Act
The Ting Tings
You can purchase a copy here of the Echo’s 64 page Memory Lane special packed with nostalgic photos and articles.