As we start to embrace the new normal, it appears the world of celebrity is returning in style by welcoming socially distanced events back onto the social calendar this year. The much anticipated MTV Video Music Awards in particular is one that was not to be missed.
Bringing the event to life and adhering to all current COVID-19 guidelines, the MTV VMA’s ceremony took place on Sunday 30th August and aired in homes across the world. Recorded in various outdoor settings over New York, each played host to its own, small audience.
The evening was presented by Keke Palmer and showcased performances from Lady GaGa, Ariana Grande and many more.
In light of the sad passing of Chadwick Boseman, the evening included a dedication to the actor. An emotional tribute was made by many to the Black Panther actor, with the host Keke honoring him as a ‘true hero’. They also looked back at the moment Chadwick won both best actor and best hero for his lead role as King T’Challa in the Black Panther film at the 2018 MTV Movie Awards.
With many uncertainties continuing throughout the world, the MTV VMA’s was a welcomed piece of normality led by Lady Gaga who brought the show to life with an array of elaborate outfits all featuring a customized facemask to showcase one very prominent message from the star, ‘wear a mask’. Noted to have 9 costume changes during the event, with each well thought out design were focalized by its own mask design.
As well as the icon making headlines for her outfits, Lady GaGa also reveled in success during the evening, accepting 5 awards including best Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Collaboration and Best Cinematography. She was also privileged to receive the first MTV Tricon Award as a tribute to her achievements throughout her career in not only music but acting and of course fashion.
A highly anticipated award of the evening was ‘Video of the Year’, which was received by The Weeknd for the release of their hit Blinding Lights, a song and dance that has also been recognized on social media platform TikTok during the course of the pandemic. The video also won the coveted title of ‘Best R&B’. Also, set to make a statement, the artist wore makeup to replicate the winning video. Again, the platform of his acceptance speech gave the artist a chance for his own voice to be heard, and he chose to highlight the police shooting of two African Americans. Later on in the evening, a special performance made later by Da baby also paid reference to this incident.
Taylor Swift won ‘Best Directing’, an achievement in itself as she became the first solo female artist to direct her own music video ‘The man’. Pleasing the crowd and audience alike Taylor said, “I was told that this was an industry-voted award. So I want to say thank you to everyone in the industry who voted for this video.But I also really want to thank the fans because you are the only reason why the industry cares about anything that I do.”
Another highly anticipated favorite of the evening was Ariana Grande. The singer won three awards for her collaboration with Lady Gaga, entitled ‘Rain on Me’, these being Song Of The Year, Best Collaboration and Best Cinematography. She received a further award, ‘Best Music Video From Home’, for her collaboration with Justin Bieber with the song Stuck on U. Ariana also wowed crowds by performing alongside Lady GaGa, with both wearing coordinating masks in which was noted to be their first performance together.
BTS also proved successful across the course of the evening, accepting 4 awards for ‘Best Group’, ‘Best Pop’ ‘Best K-pop’ and ‘Best Choreography’ for their song ‘On’. The event also housed their first ever performance of their latest single ‘Dynamite’ which was broadcast live.
This year the awards had to pull a new category out of the bag, a timely award for many coming out of lockdown and the importance of keeping many of us at home entertained. In the ‘Best Quarantine Performance’ category, the ultimate winner was CNCO for Unplugged At Home.
Other winners of the exclusive moonman include Doja Cat as PUSH Best New Artist, Megan Thee Stallion – ‘Savage’ for Best Hip Hop, Coldplay for Best Rock, Machine Gun Kelly – ‘Bloody Valentine’ for Best Alternative, Maluma ft. J. Balvin – ‘Qué Pena’ for Best Latin, H.E.R. – ‘I Can’t Breathe’ for Video for Good and Dua Lipa – ‘Physical’ (EIGHTY4) for Best Visual Effects. Miley Cyrus took home two awards for ‘Mother’s Daughter’ including Best Editing (Alexandre Moors, Nuno Xico) and Best Art Direction (Christian Stone).
With many events and shows making a return to our screens, this year’s MTV VMA’s seemed more prominent, providing an avenue for entertainment and distraction for many during the continued uncertainty of the global pandemic. What is clear is that the artists we all know and love will continue to bring us their spectacularly creative offerings through the virtual lens for as long as we need them to.