NEW YORK, NY—It’s the music award show where anything can happen. Yep, the time has come for the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards and it was plenty of fun people. I mean when you have performances from pop icons like Britney Spears, Rihanna and wait for it, Beyoncé, what more can you ask for?
The ceremony kicked off with an opening number by the one and only Rihanna, full of epic dance sequences and theatrics. She performed a medley of her hits including, “Please Don’t Stop the Music,” “Only Girl in the World,” and “We Found Love” to name a few. To be honest it might have been one of the most entertaining performances I’ve seen from Rihanna ever.
“Key and Peele” stars Michael Keegan-Key and Jordan Peele took over temporary hosting duties to provide some comedy to the vent. It looks like MTV might have overplayed things with the excessive hosts or semi-hosts if that’s what you want to call it. The first award of the night Best Hip-Hop Video went to Drake for “Hotline Bling,” who was not able to come to the stage to accept his trophy.
Another big performance of the night came from Ariana Grande, who continues to prove that her voice is a powerhouse, with a little assistance from Nicki Minaj. To be honest if one more singer or rapper comes out with a song that has any inclination of the word ‘Work’ in it I’m going to go crazy. Alicia Keys performed an impromptu poem and did an acapella performance before presenting the award for Best Male Video to Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna for “This Is What You Came For.” A bit of surprise people, I thought that either Drake or Kanye West had that award locked.
A moment that had all of us on edge was the arrival of Kanye West on stage during the big ceremony. What would he say? Would it be something that would have everyone talking Monday morning? Absolutely, because West wanted to present his newest video, but before doing so, he decided to have a bit of a rant. Where he talked about the controversy over his “Fame” video, and his feud with Taylor Swift, seriously, WHY are we still talking about this?
His conversation then turned to the state of violence in America, yet the conversation continues to harken back to himself and his gargantuan ego. His newest video ‘Fade’ seemed to be a play on the popular “Flashdance” movie. More like a concept video than anything and I’m not quite sure what West was aiming for here, but then out of nowhere the video gets super steamy in the shower and then we transition to lambs.
Rihanna took to the stage a second time to perform another medley of her hits including the inescapable “Work” that had the entire audience chanting along with the lyrics. Nick Jonas kicked off a big performance on 34th Street inside a diner of all places people. Yes, very risky, which means things had to be perfectly choreographed. There were plenty of celebrity cameos including Fabulous, Joe Jonas, Ashley Graham and Ty Dolla $ign; definitely a performance worth talking about the next day because it was quite creative to say the least.
The moment many people were waiting for, Queen Bee aka Beyoncé took to the stage to perform several hits from her album “Lemonade.” Cue the theatrics because there were plenty on the stage, as she donned a large white robe, with smoke surrounding her. The performance was much softer than what we’ve seen from Beyoncé in the past, well that was until a futuristic theme took over the stage and Beyoncé transitioned into her hit “Hold Up” and the energy was on full blast and continued from there as she transitioned into her hit “Sorry.” Wow, I swear this woman puts every other artist to shame when it comes to delivering one hell of a performance on the stage. She ended the performance with her club thumping hit “Formation” that was just epic people. That is what you call a PERFORMANCE, bow down people, bow down.
Finally, we get some more awards handed out. The VMA for Best Collaboration went to Fifth Harmony feat. Ty Dolla $ign for “Work From Home.” Britney Spears returned to the VMA stage, but whether she could live up to what Beyoncé just delivered was up in the air. The performance, while not as theatrical did give Britney the opportunity to showcase she still has plenty of dance moves and knows how to entertain the crowd like no other.
The USA female gymnastics team presented the award for Best Female Video to Beyoncé for “Hold Up.” Rihanna took to the stage for the third time to continue the festive energy that she kicked the show off with “You Needed Me,” “Pour It Up,” and “B**** Better Have My Money.” Best Rock Video was awarded to Twenty One Pilot for “Heathens.”
Beyoncé proved to be the big winner of the night, taking home a total of 7 VMA including Video of the Year for “Formation.” She also won Best Pop Video for “Formation.” Drake made his long awaited trek to the VMA stage as he presented the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award to Rihanna who took to the stage for the fourth time of the night to perform more of her hits. Still not certain if these two are dating or not, but after Sunday night I think its clear these two are indeed an item.
Joe Jonas and his band DNCE took home the VMA for Best New Artist, must say this year the pickings were quite slim in this category and I expect a completely different shake-up when the Grammys announce their contenders for that coveted category.
I can definitely make the argument that this may have been the most entertaining MTV Video Music Awards ceremonies in years. It lasted a bit longer than I expected, but the level of entertainment and fun factor was phenomenal.