The MTV Video Music Awards, one of the biggest nights in music, took place on Tuesday evening (September 12nd), live from Newark, N.J.’s Prudential Center, celebrating all genres from pop, to hip-hop, to latin music and beyond.
Nicki Minaj was the mistress of ceremony, although she only took a mic a few times, including to begin and close out the show. Nonetheless, the evening saw performances from Nicki, Lil Wayne, Anitta, Måneskin and a host of others.
Nicki kicked off her hosting duties, telling the audience that MTV was afraid of what she might say on the mic. Nicki said, “MTV is petrified because they got a couple calls yesterday and people were saying, ‘What if Nicki says this and what if Nicki says that?’ And I said, you know it’s OK, MTV, I can control myself. Because if you can’t control yourself you can’t control anything around you, right? But you know who can’t control themselves? Roman. Ruby Red Da Sleeze, Chun-Li. So I’ll think about it.”
She closed out the show, offering blessings to those in attendance, saying, “I am asking God to bless these people tonight because they are so beautiful and so perfect. I love you so much.”
Those were only a few moments from the jam-packed evening.
Prior to the show beginning, the pre-show/red carpet was hosted by Saweetie, Dometi Pongo, Nessa and Kevan Kenney. At one point, while the camera was on Dometi and Saweetie, she apparently forgot she was supposed to be hosting and stood at the camera blankly. She later addressed the moment during the show.
Nicki Minaj came onto the stage at the top of the show, wearing a long, pink, bride-like gown that she appeared to struggle to walk in. She then shared that her shoe wasn’t buckled.
N’SYNC reunited to give away the award for Best Pop award.
Justin Timberlake also had a viral moment backstage with Megan Thee Stallion, which people thought was a heated moment. Instead, an insider claimed that Megan actually told JT that they meeting backstage at the award show didn’t count and that they needed to have a proper meeting. For the record, Meg was excited and is a huge fan of JT.
French Montana showed love to Morocco amid their recent 4.5-magnitude earthquake and announced emergency fund with Global Citizens.
Shakira was honored with the Michael Jackson Vanguard award and was introduced by Wyclef Jean before performing a medley of songs.
Diddy received the Global Icon award and was presented the award by longtime friend and collaborator, Mary J. Blige.
The VMAs also honored the 50th anniversary of hip-hop with performances from Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five, Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, LL Cool and DMC from Run-DMC. Rev. Run wasn’t present.
Lil Wayne opened the show, performing his new single, “Kat Food.”
Olivia Rodrigo performed “Vampire.” She appeared to have tehnical difficulties, but it was all a part of her transition to “Get Him Back!” which features numerous Rodrigo lookalikes.
Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion took the audience to the tropics with their performance of their new single, “Bongos.”
Demi Lovato performed some throwback hits, including “Heart Attack,” “Sorry Not Sorry” and “Cool for the Summer.”
Kali performed “Area Codes.”
Anitta performed two of her tracks: “Used to Be” and “Funk Rave.”
Ice Spice introduced Dojo Cat, whom she’ll be touring with, who performed “Attention,” “Paint the Town Red” and “Demons.”
Shakira was performed eight of her greatest hits, such as “Objection (Tango)” “Whenever, Wherever” and “Hips Don’t Lie,” in her first VMAs performance in 18 years.
Nicki Minaj performed her new single, “Last Time I saw You,” and an exclusive song from her upcoming Pink Friday 2 album.
Karol G performed “Oki Doki” and “Ta OK (Remix).”
Diddy performed some of his greatest hits: “I’ll Be Missing You,” “All About the Benjamins,” “Bad Boy for Life” with his son King Combs, “I Need a Girl,” “Gotta Move On (Remix)” with Yung Miami, “Last Night” featuring Keyshia Cole and “Mo Money Mo Problems” with King Combs. His daughters, Jessie and D’Lila, were backup dancers. He also debuted his new single, “A Dream Come True.”
Peso Pluma made his VMAs debut performing “Lady Gaga.”
K-Pop group Stray Kids performed “S-Class.”
Metro Boomin’ performed “Superhero” with Future and “Calling” with Swae Lee, Nav and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie.
Tomorrow x Together performed “Back for More” with Anitta.
Måneskin performed “Honey (Are U Coming)?”
Kelsi Ballerini gave an emotional performance of “Penthouse.”
A 50th anniversary of hip-hop celebration also took place and consisted of: Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five “The Message,” Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh “The Show,” Nicki Minaj “Itty Bitty Piggy,” “Red Ruby Da Sleeze,” Lil Wayne “A Milli,” LL Cool J “I’m Bad,” “Mama Said Knock You Out,” Run-DMC “Rock Box” with LL Cool J in Run’s place and “Walk This Way.”
VIDEO OF THE YEAR: Taylor Swift – “Anti-Hero”
ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Taylor Swift
SONG OF THE YEAR: Taylor Swift – “Anti-Hero”
BEST NEW ARTIST: Ice Spice
PUSH PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR: April 2023: Tomorrow x Together – “Sugar Rush Ride”
BEST COLLABORATION: Karol G, Shakira – “TQG”
BEST POP: Taylor Swift – “Anti-Hero”
BEST HIP-HOP: Nicki Minaj – “Super Freaky Girl”
BEST R&B: SZA – “Shirt”
BEST ALTERNATIVE: Lana Del Rey ft. Jon Batiste – “Candy Necklace”
BEST ROCK: Måneskin – “THE LONELIEST”
BEST LATIN: Anitta – “Funk Rave”
BEST K-POP: Stray Kids – “S-Class”
BEST AFROBEATS: Rema and Selena Gomez – “Calm Down”
VIDEO FOR GOOD: Dove Cameron – “Breakfast”
BEST DIRECTION: Taylor Swift – “Anti-Hero” — Directed by Taylor Swift
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Taylor Swift – “Anti-Hero” – Cinematography by Rina Yang
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: Taylor Swift – “Anti-Hero” – Visual Effects by Parliament
BEST CHOREOGRAPHY: Blackpink – “Pink Venom” – Kiel Tutin, Sienna Lalau
BEST ART DIRECTION: Doja Cat – “Attention” – Art Direction by Spencer Graves
BEST EDITING: Olivia Rodrigo – “vampire” – Edited by Sofia Kerpan and David Checel
SHOW OF THE SUMMER: Taylor Swift – Republic Records
GROUP OF THE YEAR: Blackpink
SONG OF THE SUMMER: Jung Kook ft. Latto – “Seven”
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Taylor Swift – Midnights
NSync announces Best Pop award
“Hello, VMAs! Cheers and applause Over 20 years ago we were just kids won best video for “Bye-bye bye” it was our first VMA and it meant the world to us. That award validated our hard work and we might have won again for “Pop was quote — you guys remember that a lot has changed over the past few decades. But one thing remains constant is a creative boundary-pushing video leaves a lasting mark for decades. We just wanted to say thank you, mtv, and especially all of you guys. Thank you so much, each and each and every one of you! Thank you guys. Cheers and Applause” :57 OC…thank you guys
Taylor Swift wins Best Pop award for “Anti-Hero”
“I’m not doing well pivoting from this to this. I had your dolls. Are you doing something? What’s going to happen now? They’re going to do something and I need to know what it is. You guys are — you are pop personified so to receive this from your golden pop hands is — cheers and applause Really, it’s too much. Thank you for the friendship bracelets. I love making pop music, I love making pop music videos, I also love making country. I love slinking around different genres and the only reason I’m allowed to do that is because you, the fans, gave me the opportunity to do this. One big adventure and it’s all so much to challenge myself to make music that’s different than what I made last and I just love you for it. But I really love making pop music, so thank you so, so, so much. Cheers and applause” 1:12 OC…so so much Cheers and applause
Taylor Swift wins Song of the Year for “Anti-Hero
“I’m sorry, I’m very millennial triggered by my choices of presenters tonight, this is rocking my world. You guys are going to do something, right? Oh, my go! So excited! I want to say, I’m really, really lucky that I get to write songs with one of my best friends in the world, his name is jack antonoff. Cheers and applause Is so talented talented, it’s incomprehensible and I’m so lucky I’ve been making music with him since we worked on an album called “1989.” Cheers and applause We will continue working together until 2089. Cheers and applause The math doesn’t math. Anyway, I am so, so happy because this is validating my favorite part of what I get to do. I started writing songs when I was 12 and it always starts with a very isolated emotion, a very specific type of insecurity or self-loathing that I feel like I’m the only one who is feeling in that moment but then when I go out on tour and I’ve got stadiums singing the words back to me… Cheers and applause It brings me to this very relaxing feeling of maybe we all have the same issues, so thank you so much to the fans, I love you so much, this means the world to me. Thank you! Cheers and applause” 1:32 OC…me thank you Cheers and applause
Shakira accepts Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award
“Thank you, MTV! Thank you for being such a big part of my career. Since I was only 18 years old. Cheers and applause Tonight I want to thank people who have played a key role in my visual history. Very dear friends, my creative partners. Who I can’t live without. De verdad, no sabía cómo sentirse. For always supporting my vision. And the amazing women who work with me for not only smart but always help me push through all my challenges while wearing so many hats. You girls are amazing, thank you so much! I want to thank my parents. Onto think my kids, Mila and Sasha who are here. Thank you so much for cheering the up and for making me feel that mama can do it all. Cheers and applause And I want to share this award with my fans. Cheers and applause Will always, always support me. Through thick and thin. Thank you so much for being my army and helping me fight all of my battles esto es para ustedes, MI gente, gente Latino americana, gracias por inspirarme, Y por darme tantas fuerzas Y por querer seguir acelante. Los quiero muchísimo! Cheers and Applause” 1:44 OC…los quiero muchismio
Diddy accepts Global Icon award
“This is what’s up! Love wins, y’all, love wins. Man, this is so surreal. I appreciate you all coming in just giving me my flowers and celebrating me. Cheers and applause Yeah. Of course I got to thank god, because that’s my secret weapon. You know. It don’t matter what religion you are, make sure you know there’s a higher power of love and I want to just say I give all glory to god, thank you so much. This is a dream come true. Cheers and applause This is a dream come true for me. I grew up watching mtv like “Man, I wish one day I could be up there.” I started out as a paperboy. I didn’t know I was going to be her, I was a paperboy at 12, and then I was going to be an NFL football player for the Pittsburgh steelers. The Pittsburgh steelers didn’t know this, but I planned on being a football player in my leg got broke last year. And I got depressed and I would be on the club dancing in New York, doing my diddy bop and people would see me and they would before videos. And that’s how I fell in the with the music industry, told executives zone to chase that dream so I want to think every executive, every producer, every songwriter. I got to thank — got to thank the bad boy family because without them I would not be up here, everybody from the bad boy. ♪♪♪♪ Bad boy ♪♪ ♪♪ bad boy” 1:49 OC…boy bad boy
Nicki Minaj Wins Best Hip-Hop Song for “Super Freaky Girl”
“Hey, you guys! You guys, thank you so much! You know what? So often I joke around and play around and stuff, but tonight, I don’t know why, but this morning when I woke up, I had this really strong sense of gratitude. And that’s the truth. And I just want to thank you guys, the people who go out and support, the people who never skip a beat on the internet, holding us down. The people who at the tours– you know, I want to just think you guys and mtv, thank you for showcasing rap and thank you for showing me love. And you know what? Should I be mean right now or should I be nice? Mean? Nice? It’s Barbie, beep! Cheers and applause” 1:33 OC…it’s barbie beep