The annual MTV Video Music Awards kicked off with Nicki Minaj “Anaconda” video being brought to life with a raunchy and wild performance, and some wardrobe malfunction while performing with Ariana Grande and Jessie J.
Grande opened the show with a rendition of her EDM hit, “Break Free” in a Beyoncé-inspired leotard. The 21-year-old singer returned to the stage later in the show when she won Best Pop video for her smash single “Problem.”
Then, one commercial break later, Taylor Swift came out for her debut live performance of “Shake It Off.” Other performances came from Maroon 5, Sam Smith, Usher and Azeala, who performed her single “Black Widow” with Rita Ora.
The top honor of the night went to Miley Cyrus for her “Wrecking Ball” video. Unlike last year’s VMAs, when she shocked everyone with her twerking performance, this time she was sitting quietly letting a young man accept her award to raise awareness for runaways and homeless youth.
He said: “I know because I’m one of those people Ive survived in hotels all over this city. Been an extra in movies, been an extra in life.”
“Los Angeles, the entertainment capital, has the largest population of homeless youth in America.He then told people they could make a change, saying, ‘a dream you dream alone is only a dream, but a dream you dream together is reality.”
The 17-year-old pop star from New Zealand won the MTV VMA Award for Best Rock Video, beating actual rock bands — Arctic Monkeys, The Black Keys, Linkin Park and Imagine Dragons. Lorde’s victory upset many rock fans, but she was as shocked as everybody else, becoming the first female artist in MTV VMA history to win the award.
Katy Perry, wearing an all-denim dress that resembled the one Britney Spears had for AMA in 2001, won the night’s first onstage award for Best Female video with “Dark Horse.”
“That’s a nice way to start out the night, getting a moon man!” said Perry, who had just rolled up on the show not 5 minutes before in a sparkling copper Lamborghini Aventador.
Beyoncé closed the MTV Video Music Award with an epic nearly 20-minute performance and was joined onstage by her husband and daughter, which brought her to tears. The family was onstage together as Beyonce accepted the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award. Jay Z called her the “greatest living entertainer.”
“I have nothing to say, but I am full of so much gratitude,” Beyoncé said. “Blue I love you, my beloved I love you, MTV I love you, my fans I love you … goodnight!”
The show featured a share of serious moments as well. Just hours before the show, MTV President Stephen Friedman said in a statement Sunday that the network would air a 15-second spot to remember the killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was unarmed when he was killed. Rapper Common held a moment of silence to honor the killed teen.
“Hip-hop has always been about truth and has been a powerful instrument of social change, from Melle Mel to Public Enemy to Kendrick Lamar,” Common said. “Hip-hop has always been presented a voice for the revolution.”
MTV also tried to pay tribute to actor Robin Williams, who tragically died in his California home on August 11. However, the tribute turned out brisk and awkward. The 20-second clip set to the Coldplay song “A Sky Full Of Stars” was definitely not enough to air during the ceremony and sparkled outrage among many viewers.