Monday, September 13, 2021

Lil Nas X, Justin Bieber Big Winners At 2021 MTV VMAs

The MTV VMAs returned to Brooklyn with performances by some of the biggest stars both old and new, with Lil Nas X taking home the top prize of Video of the Year. Justin Bieber and Olivia Rodrigo were the other big winners of the night. 

Lil Nas X also had a standout performance, adopting a marching band motif for "Industry Baby" before segueing into "Montero: Call Me By Your Name."  

Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber took home the Moon Person for Artist of Year. The award is his second of the night, and celebrates his latest album "Justice" and his work during 2021.

Bieber addressed the COVID-19 pandemic before thanking his fans for voting. 

"Music is such an amazing opportunity and an amazing outlet to reach people and to bring us all together," he said. "I look around here and I see so many beautiful faces and I really do believe the best is yet to come."

Doja Cat hosted and performed "Been Like This" and "You Right," flying around the stage held up by wires in an aerial act.

To celebrate MTV's 40th anniversary, there were callbacks to the early days, with the iconic "Video Killed the Radio Star" — the first music video MTV ever showed — playing over the closing credits. Madonna opened the show with a voiceover about her arrival in New York City and the beginning of MTV. "That's why there's only one place to be tonight," she said.

Justin Bieber and The Kid Laori took the stage to perform, followed by Rodrigo, who then won Best New Artist.

Cyndi Lauper, who reminded the crowd that she won a Moon Person at the very first VMAs, said "girls still want to have fun, but we also want to have funds, equal pay and control over our bodies — you know, fundamental rights." 

The Foo Fighters won the Global Icon Award, with Dave Grohl reminiscing on 26 years as a band. "Here's to another 26 years," Grohl said.

Alicia Keys performed "Lala" with Swae Lee, and then honored the location with a few bars of "Empire State of Mind." 


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