BY Kristin Burnell
On Aug. 25, MTV presented the Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco hosted the 36th annual ceremony for the first time in the Garden State.
The show opened with Taylor Swift performing her new songs, “Lover” and “You Need to Calm Down,” from her latest album.
Cardi B won the first award of the night for Best Hip-Hop Video for “Money.” Other nominees included: 2 Chainz (featuring Ariana Grande) for “Rule 2 the World,” 21 Savage (featuring J. Cole) for “A Lot,” DJ Khaled, Nipsey Hussle and John Legend’s “Higher,” as well as Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode.”
Swift took home the Video of the Year award for her song, “You Need to Calm Down.” Other nominees for the category included: 21 Savage ft. J. Cole’s “A lot,” Billie Eilish for “Bad Guy,” Ariana Grande’s ”thank u, next,” Jonas Brothers for “Sucker,” and Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix).”
“You Need to Calm Down” also won the VMA for Video for Good, a new category announced this year.
Swift, Grande and newcomer Billie Eilish tied for the most wins with three apiece.
Grande won her first award of the night for Artist of the Year. The singer also took home Best Art Direction for her performance in “7 Rings,” as well as Song of the Summer alongside Social House for their collaboration “boyfriend”.
Eilish won for Best New Artist against fellow nominees, Ava Max, H.E.R., Lil Nas X, Lizzo, and ROSALÍA. Eilish also received Push Artist of the Year and Best Editing for her hit song, “Bad Guy.”
“Old Town Road” won the Video Music Award for Song of the Year. The category had some big competition with nominees “In My Feelings” (Drake), “thank u, next,” “Sucker” (The Jonas Brothers), “Shallow” (Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper) and “You Need to Calm Down.”
BTS and Halsey took the award home for Best K-Pop, a new category this year, for their performance of “Boy With Luv.” BTS also won the Best Group award.
The Jonas Brothers returned to the VMA screen after a Sunday night performance at The Stone Pony, a historic concert venue at the Jersey Shore after 11 years of absence. “Sucker” won a VMA for Best Pop Song.
Other performances included Shawn Mendes with Camila Cabello, Lizzo, and Miley Cyrus.
Mendes and Cabello won the awards for Best Collaboration and Best Cinematography for their song “Señorita.”
Other memorable winners from the ceremony were Normani featuring 6lack with “Waves” for Best Latin. The Chainsmokers featuring Bebe Rexha’s “Call You Mine” for Best Dance, and ROSALÍA & J Balvin ft. El Guincho with “Con Altura” for Best Choreography.
Panic! at the Disco took home the Best Rock Song award for “High Hopes.” Other nominees included “Love It If We Made It” by The 1975, “Bishops Knife Trick” by Fall Out Boy, “Natural” by Imagine Dragons, “Low” by Lenny Kravitz, and “My Blood” by Twenty One Pilots.
The night ended with a performance from Missy Elliot featuring her top songs through the years. The act showcased numerous artists and featured the original “Work It” music video dancer, Alyson Stoner.
Elliot became the first female rapper to win the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. The singer released a new album for the first time in 14 years. She is the 33rd recipient of the award.
Elliot joins fellow winners Britney Spears, Kayne West, Jennifer Lopez, Pink, Rihanna, Madonna, The Beatles, Justin Timberlake, Janet Jackson, David Bowie, and George Michael.
This year’s ceremony scored the lowest ratings in its history with 1.93 million viewers.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.