This year's VMAs lead a historic premiere as the first big awards show to be held virtually amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Actress Keke Palmer hosted the evening which was filmed from multiple outdoor locations within New York City. Palmer began the night with a tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman whose passing was announced Saturday evening.
"We dedicate tonight's show to the man whose spirit touched so many. He is a true hero, not just on screen but in everything he did. His impact lives forever."
Watch the video tribute here:
Palmer also used the night to address current events, stating:
"As bought as it's been, there have been incredible moments of inspiration that have given my generation hope. I mean, we've seen heroes go above and beyond, whether they drive a delivery truck, work at a grocery store, or serve on the front lines in a hospital. And with the Black Lives Matter movement, we've seen our generation step up, take to the streets, and make sure our voices will be heard. Enough is enough."
The Weeknd kicked off the night of performances by taking the VMAs to new heights, performing his song Blinding Lights from the top of Hudson Yards in NYC. Spotlights, fireworks, and even a helicopter lit up the night around the singer who went on to win the VMA for best R&B Video and Video of the Year.
Still, it was Lady Gaga who owned the night both for accolades and in the fashion department.
Gaga won a total of five awards throughout the night including Artist of the Year. The singer further extended her record of most overall awards won by an artist at the VMAs. Gaga has a deep history with the VMAs as you may recall her iconic 'meat dress' which she wore to the 2010 Video Music Awards.
Her collaboration with Ariana Grande, titled "Rain On Me," grabbed the awards Song of the Year and Best Collaboration. The duo performed the song all while keeping their masks on, proving to be the highlight of the night.
Check out the full performance below:
Gaga was also awarded the first ever Tricon award, which according to Bustle, was made to honor her "multifaceted career as a musician, actress, philanthropist, fashion influence, and more."
In her acceptance speech, Gaga had this to say:
"I want you to know that you can do this too. Just because we're separated right now and culture may feel less alive in some ways, I know a renaissance is coming, and the wrath of pop culture will inspire you, and the rage of art will empower you as it responds to hardship with its generosity and love."
Cyrus received two awards: Best Editing & Best Art Direction for her project Mother's Daughter.
This year's awards show did note skate by without a bit of criticism from fans who were disappointed to see some of their favorite artists were missing. According to Cosmopolitan, both Harry Styles and Dua Lipa allegedly declined to perform at the awards show following a lack of nominations for the pair. Styles and Lipa were nominated in a few smaller categories including Best Direction and Best Visual Effects. Fans let out their frustrations for the major snubs on Twitter, as well as posting song lyrics from Harry's track Watermelon Sugar on the VMA's Instagram page.
Final highlights include Taylor Swift winning Best Direction for her first credit behind the camera on her song The Man, and musical couple Julia Michaels and JP Saxe delivering a touching performance relevant to the times:
You can check out the full list of winners courtesy of MTV!
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