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Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Pink: What Happened At The 2017 VMAs?
Did you catch MTV's Video Music Awards on Aug. 27? We sure did, and it was a blast with a killer lineup of presenters, performers and moon person winners.
In case you missed the reveal of Taylor Swift's new single, Kendrick Lamar's standout solo performance or Pink's Video Vanguard Award speech, among other standout moments, we've rounded up the 13 highlights you'll want to know about from this year's Katy Perry-hosted VMAs extravaganza.
Kendrick Lamar's Opening Performance
Talk about opening a show with a bang. GRAMMY winner Kendrick Lamar took the stage first tonight. Decked out in red, Lamar delivered his charged rhymes from "DNA" and "Humble." from his latest album DAMN. in front of a wall of flames, setting the stakes high for the evening's subsequent performers.
Taylor Swift's Premiere Of "Look What You Made Me Do"
In an exclusive world premiere, the video for "Look What You Made Me Do" packed a dark punch. It starts out with Swift digging a grave, followed by a royal throne, a solid gold car and the GRAMMY winner sporting a much edgier look to coincide with the single's declaration that the old Taylor Swift is dead. The kicker? An unexpected ending with a series of Swift clones. (Also, did you spot the GRAMMY statue cameo?)
Lorde Takes Center Stage With Her Dance Moves
This GRAMMY winner took a unique approach to her performance, turning on a boom-box version of "Homemade Dynamite" while delivering an interpretive dance — sans vocals. But it wasn't disappointing in the slightest. She gyrated, jumped and flew with an assist from a team of dancers in the way only Lorde can.
Fifth Harmony Break Loose
Fifth Harmony, who won Best Pop Video earlier in the show, gave a high-energy performance of their single "Down" featuring Gucci Mane. The quartet threw off their jackets and busted their way out of glass boxes before delivering slick vocals and an extended choreographed dance break. Also, a split to remember. The hot performance ended with rainfall and an exuberant ovation.
Linkin Park's Tribute To Chester Bennington
Jared Leto delivered a touching speech in honor of Chester Bennington, remembering his kindness, amazing voice and vivacious spirit. This served as the introduction to a surprise throwback to honor the late Linkin Park frontman. The screen showed footage of the GRAMMY winners' 2010 VMAs performance live atop of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, a fitting touch to remember a beloved musician.
Miley Cyrus' "Younger Now"
Who could forget Cyrus' famous twerking performance at the VMAs in 2013? But this year, the GRAMMY nominee showed a different side with the debut of "Younger Now." The country-infused track conveyed a subtler tone for the "Wrecking Ball" singer who let her natural vocals shine. Cyrus engaged line dancers to finish out the performance to the chorus of, "What goes up, must come down."
Demi Lovato Is #SorryNotSorry
Piped in live from Las Vegas, Lovato slayed with a sultry version of "Sorry Not Sorry" at Palms Casino. Backed by a cadre of dancers, the GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter showcased her considerable pipes while the crowd clapped along in the surrounding pool with smoke pouring in. Only in Vegas. Only at the VMAs.
Pink's Hit Medley
A hitmaker of epic proportions, GRAMMY winner Pink took an opportunity to run us through a medley of her hits "Raise Your Glass," "So What" and "Perfect." There were cars, tractors, retro music videos and a whole lot of soul. She then delivered a memorable rendition of her latest single, "What About Us," which ended with all hands raised in solidarity.
Pink Wins The Vanguard Award
During the VMA pre-show, Pink admitted she was grounded as a kid for watching MTV. She then revealed that receiving the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award was a "full circle" moment. Former GRAMMY host Ellen DeGeneres did the honors of handing off the award before Pink recounted a story about her daughter that celebrated diverse identities and the notion of not changing for other people. "We don't change," she said. "We take the gravel in the shell and make a pearl."
Suicide Prevention Takes Center Stage
Following an intro by Kesha, Logic, Alessia Cara and Khalid teamed for a poignant performance of "1-800-273-8255," the number of the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. The trio was joined onstage by suicide survivors wearing T-shirts printed with the hotline's phone number and "You are not alone" on them. Logic capped the performance with a powerful monologue on peace, love, positivity, and equality for all.
30 Seconds To Mars Get Trippy
30 Seconds To Mars gave a heat-sensitive performance of "Walk On Water," featuring Travis Scott, which created a trippy yet colorful visual effect the band told hosts during the pre-show utilizes a technology that has never been used before. The song asks, "Do you believe you can walk on water?" And with a visual performance like this, we have to think the answer — at least for 30 Seconds To Mars — might be yes.
Heather Heyer Foundation Established
Artists didn't shy away from politics at the VMAs, but arguably the most powerful moment came when The Rev. Robert W. Lee IV spoke out about racism, calling it "America's original sin," before introducing Heather Heyer's mother. Heyer passed away at the University of Virginia on Aug. 12 protesting racism. Not only did Heyer's mother announce the Heather Heyer Foundation, which will offer scholarships in her daughter's memory, she also announced all six Best Fight Against The System Video nominees would be honored as winners this year.
— MTV (@MTV) August 28, 2017
Katy Perry Closes With A Slam Dunk
After a long night of hosting duties, Perry took the stage to close the show with "Swish Swish" alongside Nicki Minaj. Backed by a giant basketball that later revealed referee Minaj, the hoops-themed performance was not only fun but had the audience dancing — an appropriate slam dunk to an evening celebrating the unify power of music.
— MTV (@MTV) August 28, 2017