A Recap of Everything That Happened at the 2016 MTV VMAs
It was the 33rd annual Video Music Awards for MTV this year, and the event was set to celebrate all things Rihanna after it was announced she’d be receiving The Video Vangard Award. This meant the show had arranged her to perform four times throughout the evening to showcase the best of her long standing career. Sadly, it seemed the organisation of the event meant that Rihanna’s performances were slightly lost among the other acts and it didn’t really seem like she’d been given much time to perform. The show was well and truly stolen by guess who… Beyonce (Not much a surprise). Queen B lit up the awards with her crew by performing an epic medley from her latest album Lemonade, leaving everyone stunned.
Other than Beyonce once again amazing guests and viewers alike, the theme of the night appeared to be the amount of celebrities that weren’t actually there, and the amalgamation of ‘reinvented’ artists and divas grabbing as much of the spotlight as possible.
Rihanna’s Video Vangard Award
To kick the night off, Rihanna performed an all pink medley featuring a throwback RiRi’s biggest dance hits like “Please Don’t Stop” and “Only Girl (In the World).” A welcome reminder of the classic dance bangers she has produced over the years, as well as the development we’ve seen from her since her first hit singles. She divided her different medleys in to genres (not many others who could do that.) We saw the dance music side of Ri Ri, the hip grinding Caribbean side and the black-on-black trap music bad-gal Rihanna. But it was her unmistakeably live ballad performance that was by far the most breathtaking of the evening. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the huge voice that got her recognised in the first place, so she kindly reminded us. Clad in a beautiful white dress she performed hits like ‘Stay’ and ‘Diamonds’, she made it apparent that she feels no need to knit all her personas together, and instead offers something for everybody.
Watch Drake get emotional as he presents Rihanna with her award.
The Return of Britney
I think we all hoped it would be a success, and all of us feared it might turn in to a total disaster. But instead, Britney Spear’s hotly anticipated return to the VMA’s was just kind of OK. The outfits were exciting enough, with the performance starting with a silhouette of Britney performing some of her signature dance moves to her new single ‘Make Me’. She then appeared in the light in a sparkly yellow skimpy get up, the outfit was a strange choice but she was still looking pretty damn good. The problem with the performance was that she was sharing the stage with rapper G-Easy, and as ‘sexy’ as they were both trying to make it, unfortunately the performance came across as a bit forced. Admittedly, she did have to go on straight after Beyonce, a tough gig for anyone really.
It was announced a few days before the awards that MTV had gifted Kanye West with a four minute slot to do absolutely anything he wanted. The man has a slight reputation at these kind of events so it was an ambitious move by the VMAs, the same award show as when he notoriously told Taylor Swift ‘Imma let you finish’ before going off on one about the decision. This year fans really didn’t know what to expect, and Kanye did do something very Kanye and just decided to talk. But at least he didn’t go full Kanye. There was jokes in there but there was also more serious topics discussed such as the murders in Chicago. He took to the stage for 6 minutes, talking everything from his latest beef with Taylor Swift, discussed Donald Trump problems, his wife Kim and of course…himself. Following the speech, West debuted the new video for his single ‘Fade’ from his album ‘The Life Of Pablo’.
Check out Kanye’s moment in the video above
All the Rest
Surprisingly there was no mention of the late David Bowie, or Prince. Neither had any mention in the show which is disappointing. It’s pretty hard to imagine what modern pop music would be like if David Bowie and Prince had never existed. Another bad point about the VMAs is the lack of any clear host of the event. It makes the awards lack any sort of direction and just swirls around to the next act or award without any proper introduction or break. Comedians Key & Peele offered some rest-bite in many of their hilarious sketches but I think the awards would of been better off making them the actual hosts. The night was slightly mundane overall, with performances not really doing anything for the crowd. The stand out moments being Drakes heartfelt speech to Rihanna, and a few notable performances from the likes of Future, Alicia Keys poem and of course Beyonce.