VMAs Round-Up: Lil Nas X, Silk Sonic, Doja Cat rock MTV’s stage

MTV’s VMAs is a huge event every year, packed with a plethora of moments that inevitably go viral. This year’s show was no different, as it was finally back to an in-person format filled with red carpet poses, interviews and even an altercation between MGK and Conor McGregor.

Performances from Alicia Keys, Swae Lee, Busta Rhymes, Doja Cat, Lil Nas X, Jack Harlow, The Kid LAROI, Justin Bieber, Polo G and more graced the stage as awards were presented. With all these stars in one building, there were bound to be some memorable moments.

Polo G took the stage for a pre-show performance of his hit single “RAPSTAR.” Einer Bankz joined him as he sang the vulnerable song before the festivities began.

Apart from being an absolutely extravagant host for the night’s festivities, Doja Cat hopped on stage for a performance of her own. She crooned “Been Like This” suspended in midair surrounded by a ring of LEDs before landing to perform “You Right.”

After recently dropping a revamped version of her 2001 debut album, “Songs in A Minor,” Alicia Keys opened her performance with a brand new single, “LALA (Unlocked)” featuring Swae Lee. Dressed in an elegant gold dress, she followed up with a rendition of her hook from “Empire State Of Mind.”

Busta Rhymes brought out his original hype man Spliff Star for a medley of his hits. The pair performed “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See,” “Scenario,” “Touch It,” “Pass The Courvoisier,” and “Look At Me Now” dressed in all-red leather suits and backed by an army of dancers.

Lil Nas X was the star of the night, winning multiple awards for his controversial visuals for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).” In his classic Lil Nas fashion, he had the stage swarmed with dancers in all pink as he performed “Industry Baby” with Jack Harlow and “Montero.”

Justin Bieber‘s award acceptance speech may have left a little to be desired but his performance was one to remember. Flying onto stage alongside the Kid Laroi for “Stay” and his own single “Ghost“, his vocals were characteristically on point as he belted sweet melodies.


View a list of Hip-Hop / R&B winners and nominees at the 2021 VMAs below:

Video of the year:

Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion – “WAP”
DJ Khaled ft. Drake – “Popstar” (starring Justin Bieber)
Doja Cat ft. SZA – “Kiss Me More”
Ed Sheeran – “Bad Habits”
WINNER: Lil Nas X – “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”
The Weeknd – “Save Your Tears”

Artist of the year:

Ariana Grande
Doja Cat
WINNER: Justin Bieber
Megan Thee Stallion
Olivia Rodrigo
Taylor Swift

Song of the year:

24kGoldn ft. Iann Dior – “Mood”
Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic – “Leave the Door Open”
BTS – “Dynamite”
Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion – “WAP”
Dua Lipa – “Levitating”
WINNER: Olivia Rodrigo – “Drivers License”

Best new artist:

24kGoldn
Giveon
The Kid LAROI
WINNER: Olivia Rodrigo
Polo G
Saweetie

Best collaboration:

24kGoldn ft. Iann Dior – “Mood”
Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion – “WAP”
WINNER: Doja Cat ft. SZA – “Kiss Me More”
Drake ft. Lil Durk – “Laugh Now Cry Later”
Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar, Giveon – “Peaches”
Miley Cyrus ft. Dua Lipa – “Prisoner”

Best hip-hop:

Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion – “WAP”
Drake ft. Lil Durk – “Laugh Now Cry Later”
Lil Baby ft. Megan Thee Stallion – “On Me (remix)”
Moneybagg Yo – “Said Sum”
Polo G – “RAPSTAR”
WINNER: Travis Scott ft. Young Thug & M.I.A. – “Franchise”

Best R&B:

Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, SAINt JHN, WizKid – “Brown Skin Girl”
WINNER: Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic – “Leave the Door Open”
Chris Brown and Young Thug – “Go Crazy”
Giveon – “Heartbreak Anniversary”
H.E.R. ft. Chris Brown – “Come Through”
SZA – “Good Days”

Video for good:


WINNER:
Billie Eilish – “Your Power”
Demi Lovato – “Dancing With the Devil”
H.E.R. – “Fight For You”
Kane Brown – “Worldwide Beautiful”
Lil Nas X – “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”
Pharrell Williams ft. Jay-Z – “Entrepreneur”

Best direction:

Billie Eilish – “Your Power” – Directed by Billie Eilish
DJ Khaled ft. Drake – “Popstar” (starring Justin Bieber) – Directed by Julien Christian Lutz aka Director X
WINNER: Lil Nas X – “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” – Directed by Lil Nas X and Tanu Muino
Taylor Swift – “Willow” – Directed by Taylor Swift
Travis Scott ft. Young Thug & M.I.A – “Franchise” – Directed by Travis Scott
Tyler, The Creator – “Lumberjack” – Directed by Wolf Haley

Best cinematography:

WINNER: Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, SAINt JHN, WizKid – “Brown Skin Girl” – Cinematography by Benoit Soler, Malik H. Sayeed, Mohammed Atta Ahmed, Santiago Gonzalez, Ryan Helfant
Billie Eilish – “Therefore I Am” – Cinematography by Rob Witt
Foo Fighters – “Shame Shame” – Cinematography by Santiago Gonzalez
Justin Bieber ft. Chance The Rapper – “Holy” –Cinematography by Elias Talbot
Lady Gaga – “911” – Cinematography by Jeff Cronenweth
Lorde – “Solar Power” – Cinematography by Andrew Stroud

Best art direction:

Beyoncé, Shatta Wale, Major Lazer – “Already” – Art Direction by Susan Linns, Gerard Santos
Ed Sheeran – “Bad Habits” – Art Direction by Alison Dominitz
Lady Gaga – “911” – Art Direction by Tom Foden, Peter Andrus
Lil Nas X – “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” – Art Direction by John Richoux
WINNER: Saweetie ft. Doja Cat – “Best Friend” – Art Direction by Art Haynes
Taylor Swift – “willow” – Art Direction by Ethan Tobman, Regina Fernandez

Best visual effects:

Bella Poarch – “Build a Bitch” – Visual Effects by Andrew Donoho, Denhov Visuals, Denis Strahhov, Rein Jakobson, Vahur Kuusk, Tatjana Pavlik, Yekaterina Vetrova
Coldplay – “Higher Power” – Visual Effects by Mathematic
Doja Cat & The Weeknd – “You Right” – Visual Effects by La Pac, Anthony Lestremau, Julien Missaire, Petr Shkolniy, Alexi Bailla, Micha Sher, Antoine Hache, Mikros MPC, Nicolas Huget, Guillaume Ho Tsong Fang, Benjamin Lenfant, Stephane Pivron, MPC Bangalore, Chanakya Chander, Raju Ganesh, David Rouxel
Glass Animals – “Tangerine” – Visual Effects by Ronan Fourreau
WINNER: Lil Nas X – “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” – Visual Effects by Mathematic
P!NK – “All I Know So Far” – Visual Effects by Dave Meyers, Freenjoy Inc

Best editing:

WINNER: Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic – “Leave tfsihe Door Open” – Editing by Troy Charbonnet
BTS – “Butter” – Editing by: Yong Seok Choi from Lumpens
Drake – “What’s Next” – Editing by Noah Kendal
Harry Styles – “Treat People With Kindness” – Editing by Claudia Wass
Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar, Giveon – “Peaches” – Editing by Mark Mayr, Vinnie Hobbs
Miley Cyrus ft. Dua Lipa – “Prisoner”

Group of the year:

Blackpink
WINNER: BTS
CNCO
Foo Fighters
Jonas Brothers
Maroon 5
Silk Sonic
Twenty One Pilots

Song of the summer:

Billie Eilish, “Happier Than Ever”
WINNER: BTS, “Butter”
Camila Cabello, “Don’t Go Yet”
DJ Khaled feat. Lil Baby and Lil Durk, “Every Chance I Get”
Doja Cat, “Need To Know”
Dua Lipa, “Levitating”
Ed Sheeran, “Bad Habits”
Giveon, “Heartbreak Anniversary”
Justin Bieber feat. Daniel Caesar and Giveon, “Peaches”
The Kid LAROI with Justin Bieber, “Stay”
Lil Nas X feat. Jack Harlow, “Industry Baby”
Lizzo feat. Cardi B, “Rumors”
Megan Thee Stallion, “Thot Shit”
Normani feat. Cardi B, “Wild Side”
Olivia Rodrigo, “Good 4 U”
Shawn Mendes and Tainy, “Summer Of Love”

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