Lil Nas X led the winners at the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) on Sunday (12.09.21).
The ‘Old Town Road’ hitmaker scooped three prizes at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, including the evening’s biggest honour, Video of the Year for ‘Montero (Call Me By Your Name)’, as well as Best Visual Effects and Best Direction for the same track’s promo clip, which was helmed by Nas himself and Tanu Muino.
Accepting Video of the Year, Nas said: “Wow! Let’s go! Wow! Oh my god! OK, first I want to say thank you for the gay agenda. Let’s go gay agenda!
“Thank you to every single person on my team. Everybody go buy my album September 17.
“Montero, I love you guys so much. I do not take this for granted!”
The 22-year-old star was also joined on stage by Jack Harlow for a performance of ‘Industry Baby’.
Elsewhere, Olivia Rodrigo and BTS were also triple winners, with the 18-year-old singer taking home Song of the Year for ‘Drivers License’ and Push Performance of the Year for a May 2021 rendition of the song, as well as Best New Artist, and the K-Pop stars recognised as Group of the Year, and their track ‘Butter’ named Song of the Summer and triumphing in the Best K-Pop category.
Olivia received her Push Performance of the Year Moonperson on the red carpet before the ceremony and admitted she was stunned at how heavy the statuette was.
She said: “It’s so heavy. I have no upper body strength.”
The teenager dedicated the win to her fans.
She said: “I couldn’t be more grateful. All of this is because of you guys.”
And she repeated her gratitude when she picked up the Best New Artist accolade later in the evening, admitting it felt “crazy” to have won ahead of fellow nominees 24kGoldn, Giveon, The Kid Laroi, Polo G and Saweetie.
She said: “This is so crazy. Well, thank you to the fans again and everyone who has supported me, this is just so awesome. I want to thank Laroi also, who inspires me every day to be a better artist. I love him so much. I just feel so grateful that I get to write music and make stuff that I love and call it my job, so thank you guys again for letting me do that.”
Meanwhile, Justin Bieber won another of the night’s biggest awards, Artist of the Year, ahead of Ariana Grande, Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion, Olivia, and Taylor Swift, and thanked his wife, Hailey Bieber, and rapper Travis Scott, who went on to win the Best Hip-Hop accolade shortly afterwards.
Justin – who opened the show in a joint performance with The Kid Laroi – said: “I look over here and I see my beautiful wife, and I just wanna say I love you so much.
“Travis Scott, man, you inspire me so much. Thank you for being you.”
The 27-year-old star also reflected on the current state of the world and expressed his hope that music will bring people together.
He said: “As we know, there’s so much going on in the world as we speak. We’re in unprecedented times right now.
“Music is such an amazing opportunity and an amazing outlet to be able to reach people to be able to bring us all together. That’s why we’re here right now. We’re all here together. We got a lot more in common than we don’t. I look around here and I see so many beautiful faces. I really do believe the best is yet to come.”
Justin also won the Best Pop award for ‘Peaches’ at the ceremony, which was hosted by Doja Cat.
The host managed to get her hands on two awards of her own, taking Best Collaboration with SZA for ‘Kiss Me More’ and Best Art Direction for ‘Best Friend’ with Sawetee.
Foo Fighters were given the special Global Icon Award.
MTV Video Music Awards 2021 Full list of winners:
Video of the Year:
Lil Nas X – ‘Montero (Call Me By Your Name)’
Artist of the Year:
Song of the Year:
Olivia Rodrigo – ‘Drivers License’
Best New Artist, Presented by Facebook:
Push Performance of the Year:
May 2021: Olivia Rodrigo – ‘Drivers License’
Doja Cat ft. SZA – ‘Kiss Me More’
Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar, Giveon – ‘Peaches’
Travis Scott ft. Young Thug & M.I.A. – ‘Franchise’
John Mayer – ‘Last Train Home’
Machine Gun Kelly ft. Blackbear – ‘My Ex’s Best Friend’
Billie Eilish & ROSALÍA – ‘Lo Vas A Olvidar’
Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic – ‘Leave the Door Open’
BTS – ‘Butter’
Video for Good:
Billie Eilish – ‘Your Power’
Lil Nas X – ‘Montero (Call Me By Your Name)’ – Directed by: Lil Nas X and Tanu Muino
Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, SAINt JHN, WizKid – ‘Brown Skin Girl’ – Cinematography by: Benoit Soler, Malik H. Sayeed, Mohammed Atta Ahmed, Santiago Gonzalez, Ryan Helfant
Best Art Direction:
Saweetie ft. Doja Cat – ‘Best Friend’ – Art Direction by: Art Haynes
Best Visual Effects:
Lil Nas X – ‘Montero (Call Me By Your Name)’ – Visual Effects by: Mathematic
Harry Styles – ‘Treat People With Kindness’ – Choreography by: Paul Roberts
Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic – ‘Leave the Door Open’ – Editing by: Troy Charbonnet
Group of the Year:
Song of the Summer:
Global Icon Award: