The VMA’s During Covid

Photo+Courtesy+of+Wikipedia

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

Tanasia Moss, The Scene Contributor

Despite the current pandemic, MTV somehow made a performance-driven award show happen. 

The awards show was initially planned to be held at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Each artist performed across a variety of stages in New York, Los Angeles, and South Korea. Each stage didn’t have a crowd, so it eliminated the chances of breaking any pandemic rules. 

Actress and TV host, KeKe Palmer was the first black woman to host MTV’s Video Music Awards since 1987 when Julie Brown and her VJs dominated the show. 

This is the first big thing in New York I think since COVID began. If you are planning on doing something like this, we have to be on strict guidelines,” Palmer told Forbes magazine. “I just want to do what we need to do to get it done, I’m willing to jump through hoops. I think we need entertainment right now. It’s what I do and what I love.” 

The executive producer, Jesse Ignjatovic, told Billboard magazine that each artist recognized each limitation and that everyone…  “really recognized the parameters and limitations and everyone worked within them. No one tried to push, like, ‘I have to have 50 dancers.”

During the two hour air time, a variety of artists performed their biggest hits of the year, and others used their platform to address social injustices. 

While performing, rapper DaBaby made a powerful statement about police brutality. His performance started with him wearing Laker colors as a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant. 

All of a sudden, he is arrested, handcuffed, and placed in the back of the police car. Eventually, he makes his way on top of the car, while world-famous dance crew the Jabbawockeez dance behind him. 

He also performed his hit songs, “Rockstar and “Blind.”  He also won awards for Best Hip Hop and Best Choreography. The Weeknd was another artist that made a powerful statement about the social injustices that are currently happening in America. He soulfully belted out his latest hit while making sure to honor Breonna Taylor’s life and the social injustices of African Americans

Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande danced on a multi-colored stage to “Rain on Me”. There were also several big performances from the boyband CNCO, Doja Cat, and Chloe x Halle.

Lady Gaga took home the most awards of the night. In addition to performing with Ariana Grande, she won Song of the Year, Artist of the Year, and she was the recipient of  MTV Video Music Awards’, inaugural, Tricon Award. The Tricon Award is given to an artist that is highly accomplished across three disciplines.

The popular boy band K-pop sensation, BTS performed their smash hit “Dynamite.” It was their debut performance which was streamed all the way from South Korea. They danced in front of iconic New York locations, via a green screen. Their 2018 album “Love Yourself” was the first Korean-language album to reach number 1.

Miley Cyrus performs her new single “Midnight Sky” live for the first time. At the end of her performance, Cyrus paid homage to her famous single “Wrecking Ball” by swinging from a sparkling disco ball. 

When asked how it felt to recreate such a controversial moment, Cyrus said to E-News

“That’s all the past now. Believe it or not that iconic performance actually boosted my career, and I just wanted to do something with that moment. I wanted to show people that I’m not ashamed of my decisions and that life is about having fun.”