- MTV VMAs Reduced Due to Coronavirus Pandemic
- Various performances were held in outdoor spaces
- Many celebrities accepted awards for video
Lady Gaga got cleaned up at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, an unorthodox show that paid a socially estranged tribute to New York City as the issues of voting and racial justice marked the night. The 2020 VMAs, a show known more for flashy performances, Twitter-made moments and wild costumes than actual awards, was cut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, with performances in open-air spaces and many celebrities accepting video awards.
Host Keke Palmer, known for her role in last year’s movie. Scammers, opened the show with an emotional tribute to actor Chadwick Boseman, who just died of cancer. “We dedicated tonight’s show to a man whose spirit touched so many,” he said of the artist who played James Brown and Jackie Robinson, and was the first black superhero in Black Panther.
Canadian R&B singer The Weeknd, whose victories included the coveted Video of the Year, then launched into a rendition of the hit. Blinding lights atop an observation deck jutting out of a Manhattan skyscraper, 300 meters high.
“It’s really hard for me to celebrate right now,” he said as he accepted his moon man trophy for Best R&B. “I’m just going to say justice for Jacob Blake and justice for Breonna Taylor,” he continued, referring to recent black victims of police violence.
It was one of many nods to the Black Lives Matter movement, acknowledging a year that has seen months of protests against racism.
Several stars also encouraged voting during the show where Joe Biden’s campaign bought a series of ads in an attempt to reach out to young people in their campaign against President Donald Trump.
Lady Gaga took home Artist of the Year and Song of the Year trophies for It rains on me, his collaboration with Ariana Grande.
The pair put on a futuristic performance atop the Empire State Building, both masked, with Gaga in a BDSM-style corseted outfit, one of her many eccentric costumes of the night.
The 34-year-old, who wore a handmade raw flank steak dress to the 2010 VMAs, also won the show’s inaugural “Tricon Award,” which recognizes an artist who has great achievements in three or more disciplines.
“This has not been an easy year for many people, but what I see in the world is a great triumph of courage,” he said. “Stay safe. Speak your mind and, it may sound like a broken record, but wear a mask. It’s a mark of respect.”
Exempt from quarantine
The show featured spacious pans from New York, a city devastated in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic and originally intended to host the VMAs at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
In addition to the Empire State Building, performances were also held at the Skyline Drive-in waterfront theater, with an audience watching from spaced cars.
Performers and crew at this year’s VMAs were exempt from the mandatory two-week New York state-wide quarantine imposed on travelers coming from areas with high rates of Covid-19.
The state Department of Health said those involved in the program had to self-quarantine when not working and undergo “rigorous testing.”
This year’s edition featured new awards recognizing the tumultuous year in music, with the pandemic paralyzing tours and festivals around the world in a devastating blow to the industry.
The program also honored healthcare workers with a tribute to doctors and nurses who sang and danced in collaborative videos.
Grande and fellow pop star Justin Bieber won Best Home Music Video for Stuck with you, while Latino boy band CNCO won Best Quarantine Performance for Unplugged at home.
And while American pop regulars – including Gaga, Grande, and Taylor Swift – took home trophies, they were upset in the top genre category by Korean megastars BTS, which won Best Pop for In.
The group put on a green screen performance that placed them in front of the Brooklyn Bridge in a shot reminiscent of the classic movie. Once upon a time in america which starred Robert DeNiro.
Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus acted Midnight sky as she balances on a disco ball, remembering her Wrecking ball music video.
Colombian singer Maluma won Best Latin Music for What a pity with J Balvin, as R&B prodigy H.E.R. won MTV’s Video For Good, which honors work with a social message, for I can’t breathe.
Rapper Megan Thee Stallion – currently enjoying the glow of her recent hit with Cardi B for her racy hit WAP – won Best Hip Hop for Wild. The star accepted her award from home, sipping champagne in spandex shorts and a T-shirt.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by GossipMantri staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)