This year’s MTV Music Video Awards look a little different due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped them from going ahead remotely. Nor has it stopped a bevy of powerhouse performances from the likes of Miley Cyrus, The Weekend, Lady Gaga and more. Here’s just some of the great performances that took place – see more over on MTV’s YouTube channel.
The Weeknd – ‘Blinding Lights’
The Weeknd kicked off this year’s main event with a thrilling rendition of the After Hours favourite on the rooftop of New York’s Edge building. Boasting a truly powerful vocal performance from Abel Tesfaye and a visually stunning backdrop, it all culminated with a huge fireworks display. Good shit.
Lady Gaga (ft. Ariana Grande)
Gaga performed a euphoric medley of Chromatica gems for her appearance. She kicked off with ‘911’ before being joined by Ariana Grande, with both (masked up) singers delivering their collab ‘Rain on Me’ for the first time. She closed out her performance with ‘Stupid Love’, initially alone on a brain-shaped piano. “Celebrate yourself, love who you are, mask up, be brave, and braver all the time,” she told fans before the song kicked back into full gear for a big finisher.
Miley Cyrus – ‘Midnight Sky’
Miley brought her latest single to the VMAs, absolutely rocking the synthpop-inflected gem in a large room on a circular stage, surrounded in a sea of red and blue lights. Towards the end of the performance, Miley walked up a flight of stairs before climbing onto a giant disco ball – obviously evoking huge ‘Wrecking Ball’ vibes.
BTS – ‘Dynamite’
The hyped K-pop group gave their latest single its live debut for their first ever VMAs appearance. Singing and dancing in front of a backdrop that showed the New York City skyline (a nod to this year’s theme), the suited-up boys gave a truly joyous performance that’ll presumably have racked up many thousand more views by the time you’re done reading this sentence.
Chloe x Halle – ‘Ungodly Hour’
Chloe x Halle were part of the awards’ pre-show entertainment, but wouldn’t have looked remotely out of place on the main bill. Delivering the title track from latest album Ungodly Hour, the Bailey sisters brought the goddamn house down with an energetic, captivating performance.
Machine Gun Kelly ft. Blackbear and Travis Barker
For his pre-show performance, MGK teamed up with Blackbear to perform their collab ‘My Ex’s Best Friend’ from a rooftop, before being joined by none other than Travis Barker on drums for ‘Bloody Valentine’. Both tracks lean a little more heavily towards a pop-punk sound, giving them a live energy that works well here. They’ll feature on the singer’s forthcoming fifth album Tickets to My Downfall.