By MARIA SHERMAN (AP Music Author)
Taylor Swift took house the highest prize on the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards for her “Anti-Hero” music video on an evening filled with surprises.
“That is unbelievable. The truth that this can be a fan-voted award means a lot to me,” Swift mentioned in her acceptance speech. “I can’t imagine it was a yr in the past that I introduced the ‘Midnights’ album.”
The present, held on the Prudential Middle in Newark, New Jersey, was Swift’s from practically the start. The evening’s first presenters have been none aside from NSYNC, who reunited handy one of the best pop video award to Swift.
In coordinating fits, Justin Timberlake, Joey Fatone, Lance Bass, Chris Kirkpatrick and JC Chasez shared the stage with Swift. Bass handed her a friendship bracelet, simply as followers do on the famous person’s reveals. “You’re pop personified,” she instructed the group.
The evening’s high nominee later returned to the stage to select up the music of the yr trophy for “Anti-Hero” and in addition one of the best course award.
Swift took house 9 of the 11 awards she was up for, together with artist of the yr in a class made up totally of ladies nominees for the primary time in VMA historical past.
Her “Karma (Remix)” collaborator, Ice Spice, received greatest new artist. “Oh my God, that is so cool,” she mentioned. “I simply need to thank my munchkins.”
New music was ample all through the present. Host Nicki Minaj carried out her newest single, the dreamy “Final Time I Noticed You” earlier than leaping right into a brand-new tease of a fiery new entice minimize from her highly-anticipated “Pink Friday 2” album.
“I ain’t nothing such as you,” she raps, “I’m on an entire different degree.”
As a lot as Swift dominated, the VMAs centered on music’s world energy. Ok-pop boy band Tomorrow X Collectively and Brazilian famous person Anitta premiered their new collaboration, the shiny retro-pop of “Again for Extra.”
One other Ok-pop group, Stray Children, introduced “S-Class” to the stage, regional Mexicana star Peso Pluma carried out “Woman Gaga” and reggaetonera Karol G delivered “Oki Doki” and “Tá OK (remix),”
Comic Tiffany Haddish introduced the award for “Finest Afrobeats” within the class’s inaugural yr, given to Rema and Selena Gomez for his or her huge hit “Calm Down.”
“Africa in the home!” Rema began his acceptance speech. “Shout out to Fela (Kuti) who began Afrobeats within the first place…and I need to give a giant shout out to the subsequent technology of Afrobeats.”
Gomez stood a number of toes from the microphone however jumped in when Rema requested her to, telling the group: “I need to ship all of my like to Nigeria, thanks.”
Colombian icon Shakira acquired the Video Vanguard Award and carried out an unimaginable bilingual medley of her many years of hits — “She Wolf,” her collaboration with Rauw Alejandro “Te Felicito,” the viral, record-breaking “Shakira: Bzrp Music Periods, Vol. 53” with Bizarrap amongst them — in a set launched by her “Hips Don’t Lie” collaborator Wyclef Jean.
“MTV, thanks for being such a giant a part of my profession since I used to be solely 18 years outdated,” Shakira mentioned, additionally thanking her dad and mom and her kids, who she dropped at the present.
“That is for you my individuals, my Latin American individuals, inside and out of doors this nation,” she mentioned, switching to Spanish. “Thanks for uplifting me and for injecting me with a lot power and a lot need to maneuver ahead, I like you a lot.”
She additionally took house the award for greatest collaboration for “TQG,” her music with Karol G. The duo gave their acceptance speech totally in Spanish. “If collaborating with the legendary Shakira had been spectacular, having an award together with her is one thing from one other planet,” Karol G exclaimed.
Diddy acquired the World Icon Award from Mary J. Blige and his daughter Probability Combs. He’s third recipient of the award, following the Crimson Scorching Chili Peppers in 2022 and the Foo Fighters in 2021.
The legendary rapper additionally carried out on the VMAs for the primary time since 2005. It was an unimaginable assortment of a few of his greatest hits like “Dangerous Boy for Life” and “Mo Cash Mo Issues,” joined by a few of his biggest collaborators: Yung Miami, Keyshia Cole, and sweetest of all, his son, King Combs.
“Love wins, y’all, love wins,” he began his speech. “I began out as a paper boy, I didn’t know I used to be going to be right here.” He then led the viewers with a chant of “unhealthy boy.”
“That is for 30 years,” he continued. “I pray to God that you just get to do what you’re keen on for 30 years.”
Lil Wayne opened the present with a efficiency of his new single “Kat Meals.” Instantly afterward, Olivia Rodrigo introduced her “Vampire” music video set to the stage, earlier than launching into her cheeky pop-punk single “Get Him Again!”
Between the 2 tracks, snippets of her bought singles performed aloud – on the similar second, she was rushed from the staged in a pre-planned “malfunction,” additional mirroring the “Vampire” video and symbolizing a transfer from her first report to her second.
The stay units have been many: Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion introduced “Bongos” to life with huge choreography; Demi Lovato performed a rock ‘n’ roll medley of her greatest hits: “Coronary heart Assault,” into “Sorry Not Sorry,” “Cool for the Summer time” earlier than one of the best Ok-pop award was given to Stray Children.
Later, Anitta would win the “greatest Latin” award for the second yr in a row, delivering one of many extra endearing acceptance speeches of the evening — “I wanna thank myself,” she laughed. “As a result of I work so exhausting!”
French Montana used his place as greatest R&B presenter alongside Ashanti to attract consideration to Morocco earthquake aid, spotlighting a aid fund that he mentioned he would personally donate to. Montana grew up in Morocco.
Close to the tip of the present, the MTV Video Music Awards celebrated 50 years of hip-hop with a star-studded finale efficiency. Grandmaster Flash and the Livid 5 began with “The Message,” which led to Doug E. Recent and Slick Rick’s “The Present.” Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, LL Cool J and DMC of Run-DMC closed it out — an lively celebration of a multigenerational tradition.