One of the most buzzworthy awards shows of the year is back — and we got you covered!
The 2021 MTV Video Music Awards had everyone talking on social media Sunday night, taking over the Twitter trends with each new performance.
Following last year’s socially-distanced ceremony featuring a whole lotta Lady Gaga, Sunday night’s awards show — hosted by Doja Cat — was held in person and aired live from the Barclays Center in NYC.
Performers in 2021 included Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes, Normani, Chlöe, Lil Nas X, Alicia Keys, Kacey Musgraves, Ed Sheeran, and Justin Bieber — while Machine Gun Kelly and Olivia Rodrigo made their VMA debuts. The Foo Fighters also performed, before being awarded the Global Icon Award.
These are the moments that had everyone talking:
Madonna Kicks Off the Show
Who better to get things started for MTV’s 40th birthday but Madonna, who’s been there since the very beginning?
In a pretaped video showing her driving in a taxi around New York City, the Queen of Pop talked about her four-decade long journey in the industry and how her rise coincided with the network’s. “We found each other and formed a bond that changed my life, changed music and created a whole new art form,” she declared, “That’s why there’s only one place to be tonight.”
The camera then cut inside the Barclays, where the 63-year-old pop star hit the stage in a black leather dominatrix getup and proudly proclaimed: “They said we wouldn’t last, but we’re still here motherf—ers. Happy 40th MTV!”
She then simply turned around and walked off, showing off her infamous behind as she left. With that, Justin Bieber and The Kid LAROI launched into the first performance of the night.
2021 was a huge year for “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” star Olivia Rodrigo, who who dropped three massive singles — “Drivers License,” “Deja Vu” and “Good 4 U” — before dropping her album “Sour.”
She went into the night with five nominations and picked up the first televised award of the night for Song of the Year for “Drivers License,” after her first performance at the VMAs ever. She already won Push artist during the pre-show and later picked up Best New Artist.
J.Lo Stuns … But Billie Eilish Seems Unimpressed
Jennifer Lopez was on hand to announce the first award of the night — getting a standing ovation from most of the audience when she hit the stage.
The camera cut to Billie Eilish in the audience, however, and while her brother Finneas was clapping for her, she had no reaction whatsoever.
During Twenty One Pilots’ performance of “Saturday,” singer Tyler Joseph announced some big news mid-song — he and his wife Jenna are expecting their second child together!
“My wife is pregnant with our second child,” he said during a musical break in the track. “I didn’t want to text everybody, so I thought I’d let you know right now.”
“Now you know. You can go to bed now!” he said, ending the song. Fans were thrilled!
Lil Nas X Brings Montero State Prison to Stage
After a proud introduction from Billy Porter, Lil Nas X hit the VMAs in his pink prison uniform from his infamous “Industry Baby” music video. Flanked by male backup dancers, he performed the whole song with Jack Harlow, who joined him on stage in a very form-fitting black pleather outfit.
The rapper then recreated the shower scene from the video — but swapped the censor blur for sparkly pink boxer briefs — surrounded by more half-naked men. It was joyous.
Chloe Bailey of Chloe x Halle broke free from her sister for her debut solo performance of her new single, “Have Mercy.”
The 23-year-old brought her incredible voice to the stage and worked some impressive choreo as well as she and her lingerie-clad backup dancers brought her recent music video to life.
Throughout the performance, she killed with her vocals, dance moves and, yes, boys.
No Love for Kylie Jenner?
They may be expecting their second child together right now, but Kylie Jenner got no love from Travis Scott when he picked up the Best Hop-Hip Moon Person on Sunday night.
“I first wanna thank God, my mom, Stormi,” he said while taking to the podium, getting screams from the audience. He then thanked the fans and his label, before telling everyone, “Love is the biggest thing that we can ever hold. Spread love and everything will be okay.”
He made no mention of Kylie or the baby they have on the way.
Normani’s Wild Side Comes Out
Every time Normani hits the stage, without fail, she rushes to the top of the Twitter trends — and tonight was no different.
The former Fifth Harmony star performed “Wild Side” more than midway through the show and she burned up the stage … or whatever was left of it after Chloe’s number before it.
Wearing a top sculpted to her chest and matching silver pants, Normani once again proved she’s one of the best dancers out there right now. But it’s how she ended the number that solidified it as one of the hottest of the night — as she pulled out a strapped down Teyana Taylor and proceeded to grind up on her. Straight fire!
Busta Rhymes Gives Video Vanguard-Worthy Performance
While the Foo Fighters were awarded the Global Icon Award on Sunday night, nobody was honored with the Video Vanguard Award — though one performer probably should have been.
Near the end of the show, legendary rapper Busta Rhymes hit the stage with Spliff Star for a medley of hits including “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See,” “Scenario” and “Touch It.” Busta proved he’s still one of the strongest rappers in the game, something that appeared to be lost on the extremely young audience.
Megan Fox and Kourtney Kardashian Stand By Their Men
The final performance of the night came from Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker — but it was their other halves that stole the spotlight.
The two were introduced by girlfriends Megan Fox and Kourtney Kardashian, with Fox kicking it off. “I’m a huge fan of this next performer,” she said, “I’ve watched him grow, not only as an artist but as a person.”
“I’m a fan too and I think this drummer is super hot,” added Kourtney — before Megan took it home by exclaiming, “New York, I need you to get extra loud for our future baby daddies!”
Watch more performances below: