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From Bey to Ye, Here’s Your MTV VMAs Roundup

Ah, the MTV VMAs, the music industry’s answer to a circus freak show – or was it? 2016 saw the award show celebrating its 31st anniversary, and the ceremony promised big, with a last-minute performance from Beyoncé, four minutes of whatever-the-fuck-he-wants allocated to Kanye, Britney Spears‘ reappearance and more. Although the show lacked some of its typical pizzazz and controversy, which has led many to deem it as underwhelming (indeed the show’s overall ratings dropped a massive 34% from last year), there’s still a lot to talk about – mostly the performances. In terms of awards, although Adele stacked up the most nominations, Beyoncé inevitably stole the show, not only delivering a stunning 15-minute Lemonade medley, but officially becoming the most awarded female in VMA history.

Rihanna was the main focus of the performances, who, as winner of the coveted Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, chose to split her performance into four separate slots, rather than one long set. Much like how this worked for the array of Prince tributes at the BET, this model worked really effectively for Rihanna, who split her time into four distinct parts: first, basking in pastel pink, she smashed through some of her biggest pop hits including Only Girl In The World, We Found Love and Where Have You Been. The next medley came in the form of a dance hall jam, where she brought a tonne of dancers up on stage to emanate a club feel for Rude Boy, What’s My Name, and Work. Next came a seductive medley of the raspy anthems Needed Me, Pour It Up and Bitch Better Have My Money. Finally, she delivered a powerful, emotive medley of the balladic Stay, Diamonds and Love on the Brain. As if it couldn’t get any better, her close *friend* and collaborator Drake presented her with the actual award, each delivering strong and humbling speeches. “Some artists need to play a character to achieve success,” Drake said. “She succeeds by doing something that no one in this music industry does, which is being herself.”

Among the other performances, pop stars Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj turned the stage into a giant gym, recreating the video for their tune Side By Side. Future killed his performance of Fuck Up Some Commas, and while auto-tune-free Future might be confusing for some, we found it a welcome surprise. Collabs were clearly in vogue this year, with more from Britney Spears and her triumphant, if a little awkward return with G-Eazy and their new single Make Me, Chainsmokers and Halsey’Closer and Nick Jonas and Ty Dolla $ign, who kept it cooking with their single Bacon.

It wouldn’t be an MTV VMA without Kanye West, and this year he excelled. Giving a social commentary on Chicago crime, his influences and more in a remarkably understated use of his four minutes of freedom, he then debutes the video to Fade, one of the standout tracks to his seventh album The Life Of Pablo. Check out Kanye’s speech and the clip for Fade here.

In the end it was really Beyoncé who stole the night. Beginning by making a statement in itself on the red carpet, she brought out the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, and Mike Brown, as well as cast members from her Lemonade visuals. Building upon this veracity, she went on to deliver what is easily the best performance of the awards – possibly ever – delivering a phenomenally powerful medley of Pray You Catch Me, Hold Up, Sorry, Don’t Hurt Yourself and the climactic Formation, leaving everybody absolutely blown away. In fact, the only awards performance that could possibly match this was her BET Awards performance earlier this year. Oh, and she also nabbed eight awards: Video of The Year, Best Female Video, Best Pop Video, Best Direction to name just a few. All hail the Queen!

2016 MTV Video Music Awards Winners:

Video of the Year:
Beyoncé – Formation

Best Female Video:
Beyoncé – Hold Up

Best Male Video:
Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna – This Is What You Came For

Best Collaboration:
Fifth Harmony ft. Ty Dolla $ign – Work From Home

Best Hip Hop Video:
Drake – Hotline Bling

Best Pop Video:
Beyoncé – Formation

Best Rock Video:
twenty one pilots – Heathens

Best Electronic Video:
Calvin Harris & Disciples – How Deep Is Your Love

Breakthrough Long Form Video:
Beyoncé – Lemonade

Best New Artist:

Song of Summer Presented by Verizon:
Fifth Harmony featuring Fetty Wap – All In My Head (Flex)

Professional Categories

Best Art Direction:
David Bowie – Blackstar

Best Choreography:
Beyoncé – Formation

Best Direction:
Beyoncé – Formation

Best Cinematography:
Beyoncé – Formation

Best Editing:
Beyoncé – Formation

Best Visual Effects:
Coldplay – Up&Up

Image: Facebook