The MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) were nothing short of inspirational this year, as countless celebrities stunned on the red carpet and brought down the house when showcasing their talent on the main stage.
The event took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City. It kicked off with pre-show performances by Alessia Cara and Nigerian-American singer Jidenna.
The biggest performers of the night were Rihanna, Ariana Grande featuring Nicki Minaj, Future, Nick Jonas featuring Ty Dolla Sign, Britney Spears featuring G-Eazy, Beyoncé and The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey.
Winners included Drake with “Hotline Bling” for Best Hip Hop Video, Fifth Harmony with “Work from Home” for Song of the Summer, and DNCE for the highly anticipated Best New Artist award.
Rihanna opened the show with a montage of her old songs, electrifying the crowd with iconic beats and dynamic choreography.
She performed throwback hits like “Please Don’t Stop the Music,” “We Found Love” and “Where Have You Been,” receiving a standing ovation from the audience.
The VMAs also featured a commendable amount of inspirational pieces.
Progressive demonstrations were given by powerful figures like Alicia Keys and Kanye West.
Keys used a snippet of a new song to make a social statement advocating for gender equality and peace.
“I still believe in that dream that one day our nation is going to rise up and finally, finally be completely about the true meaning of this creed, that all women and men are created equal,” Keys said.
West emphasized the importance of role models influencing the success of younger generations. He even justified his reaction to the controversial situation surrounding his song “Famous” and Taylor Swift.
“I love all y’all,” West said. “That’s why I called her.”
The infamous Mr. West even called out former adversaries, like his ex, Amber Rose, and Ray-J in an attempt to make light of the previous bad blood he had with the celebrities.
“This is fame bro,” West said. “I see you, Amber.”
Aside from touching on uncomfortable subjects, West was without a doubt adored by the crowd. His fans encouraged him with their screams and didn’t hesitate to aggressively chant his nickname, “Yeezy.”
After an interesting year of marital controversy following her husband Jay-Z’s cheating scandal, Beyoncé gave an emotional and empowering performance. She played songs from her latest album, “Lemonade,” and captured the audience with intense passion and honesty.
However, the star of the night was undeniably Rihanna.
Rihanna was praised throughout the show as the people that introduced her performances showered her with compliments.
“She is unapologetic and unifying … my friend, sister and extraordinary woman,” said supermodel Naomi Campbell.
“She was a little girl from a small island whose dreams came true,” said famous R&B singer Mary J. Blige.
Towards the end of the show, it was clear that Rihanna had become the main focus.
After an impressive speech by Drake in which he called her an “iconic being,” Rihanna was awarded the Michael Jackson Vanguard Award. It was the last Moonman of the night.
“She succeeds by doing something that no one in this music industry does, which is being herself,” Drake said. “She is a living, breathing legend.”
Feature image courtesy Pixabay user MIH83