The MTV’s 33rd annual Video Music Awards were all about female power, equality and badass performances, including Rihanna, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé.
Rihanna opened the 2016 VMAs with a bang in popping baby pink chaps bringing sweet to street. She showed the world exactly where she stands at the young age of 28.
We watched Alicia Keys bring the audience to tears with her poem in memory of Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. She stood proudly in front of the audience, makeup-free, and told the crowd it’s time we stand up and love each other equally, no matter what the skin color, gender or ethnicity, we must embrace each other.
Kanye West got his screen time 30 minutes into the night as so-called future ‘President of the United States’. As he walked on stage to a roaring audience in an oversized white t-shirt, he began his four-minute speech. He spoke about gun violence in Chicago and recalled speaking with a young teen whose three friends had been killed, saying he didn’t know if he would be next. Kanye talked about how keeping certain people poor was eating away at their role models, self esteem and resources and that this has to stop. At the end of these 4 minutes he premiered his music video ‘Fade’, involving the stunning Teyana Taylor showing off her incredible dance moves in an old school gym, reminding us of the best of the 90s.
Beyoncé was a last minute addition to the VMA performance list but we are so grateful that Queen Bey decided to grace us with her presence. She opened up with ‘Pray you can catch me’ followed by ‘Hold Up’, ‘Sorry’ and ended with ‘Formation’ from her latest album Lemonade; a great track list that worked harmoniously with the stage atmosphere. Her last few minutes on stage were vibrant, surrounded by clouds of fire which showcased her fierceness and on-stage persona. The performance gave us a combination of violence, honesty and modern female power. Beyoncé was met with a massive standing ovation and 7 awards, earning her the title of most decorated music artist at the VMAs, putting Madonna in second place.
Beyoncé was met with a massive standing ovation and 7 awards, earning her the title of most decorated music artist at the VMAs, putting Madonna in second place.
The end of the show continued to keep everyone on their toes, thanks to Rihanna taking to the stage again in a gold Alexander Vauthier couture gown. In her fourth performance of the night she did a short collection of her new songs, most notably ‘Love on the Brain’, which had the audience captivated by the emotional and soulful performance.
She was then joined on stage by Drake to receive the 2016 Vanguard Award, and to the world’s joy, Drake confessed his love to her while she rolled her eyes and gave a smile, a moment that nearly broke the internet. He even went a step further and tried to kiss her, but was only given her cheek. Rihanna is a woman of her own.
The VMAs 2016 will be difficult to forget. We were presented female power, equality, badass performances from some strong independent female artists, Barbados vibes and love confessions; a wonderful way to end the summer.
Writen by Isabelle Stillman