On August 30th in New York City, the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) brightened the lives of many in America. Prior to the event, Nessa Diab and Jamila Mustafa hosted the pre-show at 6:30pm ET featuring performances from Lewis Capaldi, Chloe X Halle, Jack Harlow, Machine Gun Kelly, and Tate McRae.
Once 8pm struck, Keke Palmer took over the reins to host the VMAs. The evening started out with an opening performance from The Weekend, displaying vibrant colors and bright lights at The Edge of Hudson Yards 50 feet above the ground.
Due to COVID-19, the whole event was virtual, containing a fake audience and clips of viewers on animated buildings waving from home. Adding on, Keke Palmer gets into the equality topic, explaining how music can help heal the world from racism.
There were several performances during the VMAs, featuring DaBaby, Miley Cyrus, J Balvin, Maluma, BTS, Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande, Julia Michaels and JP Saxe, Doja Cat, Keke Palmer, and CNCO. Doja Cat, CNCO, and BTS all performed at the VMAs for their very first time, making this an unforgettable experience for them.
Moving on to the first award of the night, Best Collaboration, was given to Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande for their hit Rain On Me, which also won Song Of The Year. Lady Gaga also earned the Artist of the Year award on top of that.
In addition to Gaga’s three big wins, MTV also gave her her own award this year, the MTV Tricon Award, presented by Bella Hadid. “This goes to a woman for her activism, style, passions, and overall personality. There is no way to define her, she is her own category,” says Hadid.
Gaga always wanted to be an artist her whole life, so when it came to getting signed with a label, she took everything seriously. “I never ate food with meetings with labels. They always asked why I’m not eating. It’s because I didn’t come here for the California rolls.”
For the next awards, Taylor Swift won Best Direction for The Man, Maluma earned Best Latin for Que Pena, Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande achieved Best Music Video From Home for Stuck With U, BTS won Best Pop for On, H.E.R. attained Video For Good with I Can’t Breathe, Megan Thee Stallion won Best Hip Hop with Savage, and Doja Cat won Push New Artist.
The Weekend won Best R&B and Video Of The Year, but he wasn’t in the mood for toasting. He kept both speeches brief, while saying the same two sentences. “Thank you, but it’s hard celebrating,” while ending it with, “Justice for Jacob Blake and Breonna Taylor.”
He isn’t the only one that wants to spread awareness. Pepsi sponsored the Video For Good category to let people know to “unmute” their opinions, persuading people to vote for the upcoming election. Keke Palmer also gave a speech to honor the frontline medical workers while showing videos of them singing, dancing, etc.
Further in the night, Travis Barker gave a tribute to the fallen this year, starting with Juice Wrld, Pop Smoke, Bushwick Bill, Dick Dale, Eddie Money, Ric Oseak, Neil Peart, Bill Withers, Adam Schlesinger, Chyna Rogers, Kenny Rogers, Florian Schneider, Andre Harrell, Little Richard, Huey, Naya Rivera, and most recently, Chadwick Boseman.
Ending the night, the Black Eyed Peas handed us a stellar performance displaying their new and old hits. With all the chaos going on in the world this year, the VMAs gave us a well deserved break from 2020.