The red carpets are back, and celebrities are offering top-notch beauty looks to make up for a year of sweatpants socially distanced award show of 2020 from the New York Fashion Week, the Met Gala, and the recently concluded MTV’s Video Music Awards (VMAs). The star-studded event was a big night for Grammy-Award winner Justin Bieber, Olivia Rodrigo, Lil Nas X, among several others.
Several A-list singers—including Chlöe, Lil Nas X, Machine Gun Kelly, Justin Bieber, Camila CabelloKacey Musgraves, Alicia Keys, Busta Rhymes, Ed Sheeran, Olivia Rodrigo, Shawn Mendes, Twenty One Pilots—marked the night with memorable performances. Other stars made their VMA debuts with new songs. R&B singer Chlöe Bailey (half of the sister R&B duo Chlöe x Halle) performing her jaw-dropping, hip-shaking debut solo single “Have Mercy” onstage for the first time. Kacey Musgraves also literally set the scenes ablaze with a candlelit stage and a hearty performance of “Star-Crossed,” the title track off her recently released studio album.
Some of the borough’s best also returned to the stage, such as the iconic rapper Busta Rhymes along with his hype man Spliff Star. Busta took the Barclays Center by storm, performing a collection of his biggest jams from “Look at Me Now,” “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See,” to the hit song “Pass the Courvoisier,” amplified by extremely memorable music videos. The legendary rapper finished the show by telling the audience, “Brooklyn, don’t ever forget that.”
Alicia Keys also made a special performance and honored the anniversary of 9/11 by ending her rendition with a piano version of “Empire State of Mind.” The night also included surprise appearances from Madonna and Jennifer Lopez and a special presentation from Fat Joe. Other notable acts include five-time VMA nominee Olivia Rodrigo bringing her prom concert film to life. The “Deja Vu” singer descended on stage in a poofy, iridescent cloud, lending her hearty energy to the party as she spiced up the night.
Doja Cat’s gravity-defying moment is not to be forgotten as she danced midair after being introduced by gymnast Simone Biles. The high-flying performer rendered her song “Been Like This” and “You Right” as she contorted midair surrounded by an orb of circling light.
Justin Bieber led the “moon person” award nomination with seven nominations, followed by Megan Thee Stallion with six nominations. Billie Eilish, BTS, Doja Cat, Drake, Lil Nas X, Olivia Rodrigo, and Giveon each got five nominations. The video of the year award was awarded to Lil Nas X for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).” The music video won best directions and best visual effects and gave his acceptance speech by thanking “the gay agenda.”
Justin Bieber took the award for artist of the year and shared “best pop” with Daniel Caesar and Giveon for “Peaches.” for the song of the year and best push performance. Doja Cat ft. SZA: “Kiss Me More” won the award for best collaborations.