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'Happy 40th, MTV': VMAs 2021 winners, highlights

Kathleen A. Llemit - Philstar.com
'Happy 40th, MTV': VMAs 2021 winners, highlights
Giveon and Justin Bieber accept the Best Pop award for "Peaches"; BTS performing from South Korea during the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards; Madonna, Doja Cat and SZA accept the Best Collaboration award for "Kiss Me More" onstage during the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards at Barclays Center on September 12, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
Getty Images / AFP Michael loccisano; Getty Images for MTV / ViacomCBS / AFP / Theo Wargo, Bennett Raglin

MANILA, Philippines — A stacked slate of artists lit up MTV's 40th annual Video Music Awards earlier today, returning in full force to Brooklyn's Barclays Center after last year's scaled-back pandemic show.

The 2021 VMAs -- a show known more for ostentatious performances, made-for-Twitter moments and wild costumes than the actual awards -- was back with its signature elaborate performances before a masked full audience after a 2020 show that saw many celebrities accept prizes via video stream.

The show opened with a pre-taped clip from none other than Madonna, who made VMA history at the 1984 inaugural show with a show-stopping performance of "Like A Virgin," which kicked off the show's reign as a platform for headline-grabbing antics.

"They said we wouldn't last, but we're still here," she said after strutting onto the stage, dropping an expletive while wearing a dominatrix-esque black leather thong corset.

"Happy 40th, MTV."

Lil Nas X scored the night's top award, Video of the Year, for "Montero (Call Me by Your Name)" not long after a sensual performance just days before his album is set for release September 17.

'Amazing outlet' of music 

Doja Cat hosted Sunday's show, also performing "Been Like This" and "You Right" while descending from the rafters in an aerial act.

But it was Normani's performance of "Wild Side" that stole the night. The R&B pop star stunned with her always-on-lock choreography before grinding on Teyana Taylor, with that performer strapped to a metal platform in an homage to past acts by Janet Jackson.

Lil Nas X also performed, debuting the live version of his single "Industry Baby" with co-performer Jack Harlow and a marching band, before launching into a revival of his music video's prison shower set.

And Billie Eilish introduced a head-banging performance from Foo Fighters, thanking them for "carrying the torch of rock and roll" before they received the show's Global Icon Award.

In addition to performing pop, sensation Olivia Rodrigo scored three awards, including Song of the Year for "Drivers License" and Best New Artist.

"I just feel so grateful that I get to make music and do stuff that I love and call it my job," said the 18-year-old whose debut album "Sour" soared to the top of charts.

Related: Filipino-Americans Bruno Mars, Olivia Rodrigo lead MTV VMAs 2021 winners, highlights

Justin Bieber, meanwhile, won Artist of the Year along with Best Pop for "Peaches."

"Music is such an amazing opportunity and an amazing outlet to reach people and to bring us all together," Bieber told the audience.

Korean heavyweight boy band BTS snagged Best K-pop for "Butter," as the decorated Eilish's "Your Power" won the award for Video For Good.

"We all have power and we must remember not to abuse it," Eilish told the cheering crowd.

The eligibility period for this year's videos ranged from July 2020 to June 2021. 

Sunday's show kicks off a packed month of cultural events slated to return to New York after the pandemic wreaked havoc on the entertainment calendar.

The glittery Met Gala, a star-studded event that raises money for the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Insitute, is set for Monday evening, with co-hosts to include Eilish. The three-day Governor's Ball music festival is meanwhile scheduled for the weekend of September 24 in Queens.


Here's the complete list of winners:

Video of the Year

WINNER: Lil Nas X: “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” – Columbia Records

Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion: “WAP” – Atlantic Records

DJ Khaled ft. Drake: “Popstar” (Starring Justin Bieber) – OVO / We The Best / Epic Records

Doja Cat ft. SZA: “Kiss Me More” – Kemosabe Records / RCA Records

Ed Sheeran: “Bad Habits” – Atlantic Records

The Weeknd: “Save Your Tears” – XO / Republic Records

Artist of the Year

WINNER: Justin Bieber – Def Jam

Ariana Grande – Republic Records

Doja Cat – Kemosabe Records / RCA Records

Megan Thee Stallion – 300 Entertainment

Olivia Rodrigo – Geffen Records

Taylor Swift – Republic Records

Song of the Year

WINNER: Olivia Rodrigo: “Drivers License” – Geffen Records

24kGoldn ft. Iann Dior: “Mood” – Records LLC / Columbia Records

Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic: “Leave the Door Open” – Aftermath Entertainment / Atlantic Records

BTS: “Dynamite” – Bighit Music

Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion: “WAP” – Atlantic Records

Dua Lipa: “Levitating” – Warner Records

Best New Artist

WINNER: Olivia Rodrigo – Geffen Records

24kGoldn – Records LLC / Columbia Records

Giveon – Epic Records / Not So Fast

The Kid Laroi – Columbia Records

Polo G – Columbia Records

Saweetie – Warner Records

Push Performance of the Year

WINNER: Olivia Rodrigo: "Drivers License" – Geffen Records

Wallows: "Are You Bored Yet?" – Atlantic Records

Ashnikko: "Daisy" – Warner Records

Saint Jhn: "Gorgeous" – Godd Complexx / HITCO

24kGoldn: "Coco" – Records LLC / Columbia Records

JC Stewart: "Break My Heart" – Elektra Music Group

Latto: "Sex Lies" – RCA Records

Madison Beer: "Selfish" – Epic Records / Sing It Loud

The Kid Laroi: "Without You" – Columbia Records

Girl in Red: "Serotonin" – World in Red / AWAL

Fousheé: "My Slime" – RCA Records

Jxdn: “Think About Me” – DTA Records / Elektra Music Group

Best Collaboration

WINNER: Doja Cat ft. SZA: “Kiss Me More” – Kemosabe Records / RCA Records

24kGoldn ft. Iann Dior: “Mood” – Records LLC / Columbia Records

Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion: “WAP” – Atlantic Records

Drake ft. Lil Durk: “Laugh Now Cry Later” – OVO / Republic Records

Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar, Giveon: “Peaches” – Def Jam

Miley Cyrus ft. Dua Lipa: “Prisoner” – RCA Records

Best Pop

WINNER: Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar, Giveon: “Peaches” – Def Jam

Ariana Grande: “Positions” – Republic Records

Billie Eilish: “Therefore I Am” – Darkroom / Interscope Records

BTS: “Butter” – Bighit Music

Harry Styles: “Treat People With Kindness” – Columbia Records

Olivia Rodrigo: “Good 4 U” – Geffen Records

Shawn Mendes: “Wonder” – Island Records

Taylor Swift: “Willow” – Republic Records

Best Hip-Hop

WINNER: Travis Scott ft. Young Thug & M.I.A.: “Franchise” – Cactus Jack / Epic Records

Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion: “WAP” – Atlantic Records

Drake ft. Lil Durk: “Laugh Now Cry Later” – OVO / Republic Records

Lil Baby ft. Megan Thee Stallion: “On Me (remix)” – Quality Control / Motown

Moneybagg Yo – “Said Sum” – N-Less Entertainment / Interscope Records

Polo G: “Rapstar” – Columbia Records

Best Rock

WINNER: John Mayer: “Last Train Home” – Columbia Records

Evanescence: “Use My Voice” – BMG

Foo Fighters: “Shame Shame” – Roswell Records / RCA Records

The Killers: “My Own Soul's Warning” – Island

Kings Of Leon: “The Bandit” – RCA Records

Lenny Kravitz: “Raise Vibration” – Roxie Records / BMG

Best Alternative

WINNER: Machine Gun Kelly ft. Blackbear: “My Ex’s Best Friend” – Bad Boy / Interscope Records

Bleachers: “Stop Making This Hurt” – RCA Records

Glass Animals: “Heat Waves” – Republic Records

Imagine Dragons: “Follow You” – Kidinakorner / Interscope Records

Twenty One Pilots: “Shy Away” – Fueled By Ramen

Willow ft. Travis Barker: “Transparent Soul” – MSFTSMusic / Roc Nation

Best Latin

WINNER: Billie Eilish & Rosalía: “Lo Vas A Olvidar” – Darkroom / Interscope Records

Bad Bunny x Jhay Cortez: “Dákiti” – The Orchard

Black Eyed Peas and Shakira: “Girl Like Me” – Epic Records

Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny, Tainy: “Un Die (One Day)” – Universal Music Latino / Neon16

Karol G: “Bichota” – Universal Music Latino

Maluma: “Hawái” – Sony Music US Latin

Best R&B

WINNER: Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic: “Leave the Door Open” – Aftermath Entertainment / Atlantic Records

Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, Saint Jhn, WizKid: “Brown Skin Girl” – Parkwood Entertainment / Columbia Records

Chris Brown and Young Thug: “Go Crazy” – Chris Brown Entertainment/RCA Records

Giveon: “Heartbreak Anniversary” – Epic Records / Not So Fast

H.E.R. ft. Chris Brown: “Come Through” - MBK Entertainment / RCA Records

SZA: “Good Days” – Top Dawg Entertainment / RCA Records

Best K-pop

WINNER: BTS – “Butter” – Bighit Music

(G)I-DLE: “Dumdi Dumdi” – Republic Records

Blackpink and Selena Gomez: “Ice Cream” – YG Entertainment / Interscope Records

Monsta X: “Gambler” – Starship Entertainment

Seventeen: “Ready to love” – Pledis Entertainment

Twice: “Alcohol-Free” – JYP Entertainment Company

Video For Good

WINNER: Billie Eilish: “Your Power” – Darkroom / Interscope Records

Demi Lovato: “Dancing With the Devil” – Island

H.E.R.: “Fight For You” – MBK Entertainment / RCA Records

Kane Brown: “Worldwide Beautiful” – Sony Music Nashville / RCA Records

Lil Nas X: “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” – Columbia Records

Pharrell Williams ft. Jay-Z: “Entrepreneur” – Columbia Records

Best Direction

WINNER: Lil Nas X: “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” – Columbia Records – Directed by: Lil Nas X and Tanu Muino

Billie Eilish: “Your Power” – Darkroom / Interscope Records – Directed by: Billie Eilish

DJ Khaled ft. Drake: “Popstar (Starring Justin Bieber)” – OVO / We The Best / Epic Records – Directed by: Julien Christian Lutz aka Director X

Taylor Swift: “Willow” – Republic Records – Directed by: Taylor Swift

Travis Scott ft. Young Thug & M.I.A: “Franchise” – Cactus Jack / Epic Records – Directed by: Travis Scott

Tyler, The Creator: “Lumberjack” – Columbia Records – Directed by: Wolf Haley

Best Cinematography

WINNER: Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, SAINt JHN, WizKid: “Brown Skin Girl” – Parkwood Entertainment / Columbia Records – Cinematography by: Benoit Soler, Malik H. Sayeed, Mohammaed Atta Ahmed, Santiago Gonzalez, Ryan Helfant

Billie Eilish: “Therefore I Am” – Darkroom / Interscope Records – Cinematography by: Rob Witt

Foo Fighters: “Shame Shame” – Roswell Records / RCA Records – Cinematography by: Santiago Gonzalez

Justin Bieber ft. Chance The Rapper: “Holy” – RBMG / Def Jam – Cinematography by: Elias Talbot

Lady Gaga: “911” – Interscope Records – Cinematography by: Jeff Cronenweth

Lorde: “Solar Power” – Republic Records – Cinematography by: Andrew Stroud

Best Art Direction

WINNER: Saweetie ft. Doja Cat: “Best Friend” – Warner Records – Art Direction by: Alec Contestabile

Beyoncé, Shatta Wale, Major Lazer: “Already” – Parkwood Entertainment / Columbia Records – Art Direction by: Susan Linns, Gerard Santos

Ed Sheeran: “Bad Habits” – Atlantic Records – Art Direction by: Alison Dominitz

Lady Gaga: “911” – Interscope Records – Art Direction by: Tom Foden, Peter Andrus

Taylor Swift – “Willow” – Republic Records – Art Direction by: Ethan Tobman, Regina Fernandez

Best Visual Effects

WINNER: Lil Nas X: “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” – Columbia Records – Visual Effects by: Mathematic

Bella Poarch: “Build a Bitch” – Warner Records – Visual Effects by: Andrew Donoho, Denhov Visuals, Denis Strahhov, Rein Jakobson, Vahur Kuusk, Tatjana Pavlik, Yekaterina Vetrova

Coldplay: “Higher Power” – Atlantic Records – Visual Effects by: Mathematic

Doja Cat & The Weeknd – “You Right” – Kemosabe Records / RCA Records – Visual Effects by: La Pac, Anthony Lestremau, Julien Missaire, Petr Shkolniy, Alexi Bailla, Micha Sher, Antoine Hache, Mikros MPC, Nicolas Huget, Guillaume Ho Tsong Fang, Benjamin Lenfant, Stephane Pivron, MPC Bangalore, Chanakya Chander, Raju Ganesh, David Rouxel

Glass Animals: “Tangerine” – Republic Records – Visual Effects by: YSF Studio Paris

P!nk: “All I Know So Far” – RCA Records – Visual Effects by: BUF, VFX Supervisors: Dominique Vidal & Geoffrey Niquet, VFX Producers: Annabelle Zoellin & Camille Gibrat

Best Choreography

WINNER: Harry Styles – “Treat People With Kindness” – Columbia Records

Ariana Grande – “34+35” – Republic Records – Choreography by: Brian Nicholson & Scott Nicholson

BTS – “Butter” – Bighit Music – Choreography by: Son Sung with BHM Performance Directing Team

Ed Sheeran – “Bad Habits” – Atlantic Records – Choreography by: Natricia Bernard

Foo Fighters – “Shame Shame” – Roswell Records / RCA Records – Choreography by: Nina McNeely

Marshmello & Halsey – “Be Kind” – Astralwerks / Capitol Records – Choreography by: Dani Vitale

Best Editing

WINNER: Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic: “Leave the Door Open” – Aftermath Entertainment/Atlantic Records – Editing by: Troy Charbonnet

BTS: “Butter” – Bighit Music – Editing by: Yong Seok Choi from Lumpens

Drake: “What's Next” – OVO / Republic Records – Editing by: Noah Kendal

Harry Styles: “Treat People With Kindness” – Columbia Records

Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar, Giveon: “Peaches” – Def Jam

Miley Cyrus ft. Dua Lipa: “Prisoner” – RCA Records — Reports from AFP/Maggy Donaldson

MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS
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