MTV Video Music Awards: watch the essential highlights
Kanye West MTV VMAs

MTV’s annual Video Music Awards ceremony took place last night. Here’s what you need to see from it

The 33rd annual edition of the Video Music Awards took place at Madison Square Gardens in New York and was, as usual, a star-studded event.

There were performances from the likes of Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj and a whole lot of Rihanna (the singer performed three times across the night).

All in all, it was a pretty long night of award-collection and acceptance speeches, so here are the best highlights of this year’s ‘Moon Men’ awards:

Beyoncé brings the Lemonade

Queen Bey remains on a hot streak when it comes to live shows and her performance at this year’s VMAs was easily the night’s winner.

Beyoncé performed a medley of songs from her video concept album Lemonade, with a visual panache and flawless vocal performance. You can sometimes forget what a high level Beyoncé is operating on, because she does it so consistently.

It was also a good night for Knowles in terms of awards, picking up a whopping eight including Best Video, Best Choreography and Best Direction for her single ‘Formation’. The eight awards saw her pip Madonna to the post to become MTV’s most awarded artist ever.

Kanye does Kanye

West was reportedly given ‘free-reign’ by the show’s producers to do what he felt with his slot on this year’s show and he used to speak his mind:

“I came here to present my new video. But before I do that, I’mma talk.”

West went on to discuss his controversial video for ‘Famous’ in a slightly jokey tone, then straight into murders in Chicago. It was vintage Kanye, part-discussion on society’s ills, part-reference to his wife’s infamous sex-tape.

Britney’s VMA redemption

It’s easy to forget, but in the heady days of 2007 we were at the peak of Britney’s public meltdown and it all started with the VMA performance.

The popstar’s peformance of comeback single ‘Gimme More’ was a bizarre moment, with forgotten lines and general confusion. What followed in the next months was the infamous head-shaving and the birth of one of YouTube’s most famous videos.

Britney’s return, nine years on, feels like a watershed moment.

Drake remains the perfect gentleman

We’ve heard of emotional acceptance speeches, but Drake took things to a new level.

As previously mentioned, this was a big night for Rihanna who was receiving MTV’s prestigious Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. The singer performed three seperate medleys of her biggest hits as well as closing the show.

Drake was there to present the award to Rihanna, dressed in his best prom-night tuxedo and delivering a number of heartwarming platitudes about the Barbadian artist – remaining the smoothest man in mainstream music:

“They swarm in masses just to be in her presence…she’s someone I’ve been in love with since I was 22 years old.”

Steady on, Drake.

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