Kendrick Lamar. Picture: Bang Showbiz

Compton-born rap star Kendrick Lamar was the big winner at this year's MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, taking home six prizes in total.

The 30-year-old rap star won six prizes on the night, including Best Video of the Year, Best Art Direction and Best Hip-Hop, after opening the awards bash at The Forum - which was hosted by Katy Perry - with live performances of his hits 'DNA' and 'HUMBLE'.

Kendrick - whose on-stage performances featured news footage of police brutality - also claimed the prizes for Best Visual Effects, Best Direction and Best Cinematography, but he lost the award for Best Artist of the Year to Ed Sheeran.

Elsewhere, Taylor Swift won the Best Collaboration award for 'I Don't Wanna Live Forever', which also featured former One Direction star Zayn Malik.

But the blonde beauty did not attend the bash in person and her fans instead had to settle for the premiere of her new video 'Look What You Made Me Do'.

Pink claimed the Video Vanguard award on the night, and she also performed a medley of her biggest hits while flying through the crowd on a car.

WATCH: P!nk's empowering speech at MTV Video Music Awards

Girl group Fifth Harmony won the Best Pop Video prize and were presented with their gong by Paris Jackson - the daughter of pop legend Michael Jackson - who used the platform to send a message of unity.

Paris said: "If we were all able to stand up united as one, our impact would be huge. And that's not fake news."

Meanwhile, Thirty Seconds to Mars star Jared Leto delivered a heartfelt tribute to the Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, who died last month.

Jared explained: "Chester was my friend as he was to so many and witnessing his life taught me important things, especially about working relentlessly, pursuing dreams and being kind and caring while doing it."

As with MTV's movie and TV awards earlier this year, the bash scrapped the concept of gendered categories, meaning male and female performers competed for the same prizes.

MTV also invited transgender military members to the event following US President Donald Trump's announcement that they would no longer be allowed to serve.