On Sept. 12, the 40th MTV Video Music Awards aired live at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The award show was hosted by pop artist Doja Cat, and included performances from Olivia Rodrigo, Lil Nas X, Shawn Mendes and Busta Rhymes.
The MTV Video Music Awards first aired in 1984 and featured a performance from Madonna. According to Biography.com, this performance is referred to as one of the most iconic moments in pop culture history.
“And they said we wouldn’t last. But we’re still here,” said Madonna, who opened the show with a video showcasing her work over the last few decades.
After performing her song “good 4 u,” Rodrigo won Song of the Year for “Driver’s License,” and later went on to win Best New Artist, one of the biggest awards of the night. Some Sacred Heart University students enjoyed watching the MTV Video Music
Awards because of the live performances. “My favorite performance of the night was Justin Bieber and The Kid Laroi. Even
though this was at the beginning of the show, I have been a huge fan of Justin Bieber my whole life so I love everything he sings,” said junior Calista Zahos.
“Doja Cat for me ruled the night,” said junior Matthew Monopoli. “Between her outfit choices, hosting abilities and performance, she was amazing.”
Doja Cat won Best Collaboration for “Kiss Me More” featuring SZA, as well as Best Art Direction for her song “Best Friend.”
When it was time for Cyndi Lauper to present, she reflected on her performance of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” from 1984. She also gave a political statement. Lauper said, “Girls want funds, equal pay and control over our bodies. Fundamental rights.”
Lauper is not the only artist to use their platform to discuss things outside of music. Bieber said, “There is a lot going on in the world… this Covid thing that’s happening… music is an amazing outlet that brings us all together.” Bieber went on to take home awards for Best Pop Video and Artist of the Year.
This year was the first time in nine years that the show was held in New York City. Some celebrities showed their appreciation and love for the city.
Professional Ultimate Fighter Championship fighter and presenter for the night Conor McGregor said, “New York is back.”
Alicia Keys sang her hit song “Empire State of Mind” at Brooklyn Bridge Park. A camera followed the skyline of New York City, acknowledging the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11, which occurred the day before.
The MTV Video Music Awards is one of few awards shows that allows the fans to vote for their favorite artists, many of whom thanked their fans in their speeches.
When accepting the Video for Good award for her song “Your Power,” Billie Eilish said, “I love you guys so dearly.” When accepting the award for Best Hip-Hop Video,
Travis Scott said, “I love all the amazing fans.” BTS took home Best K-pop Video for their song “Butter,” as well as Best Group. “It is a good thing that they added a K-pop category,” said junior Lauren Torres. “Their
fan bases are huge, so whenever they are nominated they dominate in the category. Now more American artists have a chance at winning.”
The biggest award of the night went to Lil Nas X, who won Video of the Year for his song “Call Me By Your Name.” This was followed by a performance from Machine Gun Kelly, who sang his song “Papercuts.”
Machine Gun Kelly also won Best Alternative Video for “my ex’s best friend.”