Rapper Machine Gun Kelly was the toast of American university students on Thursday (14Mar13) after landing the top prize at the 2013 mtvU Woodie Awards.

Youngsters across America voted for their favourite acts at the 9th annual ceremony in Austin, Texas hosted by mtvU, the college branch of MTV.

The La La La hitmaker took home the Woodie of the Year trophy, and told the audience, "As many dark times that we've had, the fans have always shown me the light and I'm ready to take on the world with them. F**king thank you!"

Rapper Earl Sweatshirt saw off competition from Alt-J and The Lumineers to land the Breaking Woodie honour, and MACklemore & Ryan Lews were awarded the Branching Out Woodie.

Hip-hop star T.I. stunned the crowds when he joined Travi$ Scott onstage for a surprise performance, and nominees Twenty One Pilots also performed at the ceremony.

The 2013 Woodie Awards will air in the U.S. on Sunday (17Mar13).