Grace Cockrell, Staff Writer
The 36th annual MTV Video Music Awards have come and gone, but viewers were left with some memorable highlights from the show that will stay in their minds for a very long time.
Kicking off the event was eight-nominee hip-hop sensation Kendrick Lamar with his recent hits “Humble” and “DNA.” His crowd-pleasing performance included rapping surrounded by lasers, smoke and even a back-up dancer on fire.
Following the “pyromaniac performances” of Lamar was host and pop music sensation, Katy Perry making her grand entrance in a full holographic astronaut suit. The suit—and Perry’s reference to herself as “the moon lady”—was a big risk, but not as risky as trying to launch her standup comic with fidget spinner joke that left both live and at home audiences uncomfortable.
The funniest joke of the night, however, came from deeply poetic singer and songwriter, Lorde, who, due to flu-like effects on her vocal chords, gave an interpretative dance to her song “Homemade Dynamite.” It was surprisingly very warm, direct, and much funny.
As brave as an interpretive dance might have been, nothing could top Fifth Harmony’s incredible performance of their song “Down.” On the stage were all four members and a stand in who represented former band member Camila Cabello. The stand in was pushed offstage in reference to Cabello’s split from the band. Fifth Harmony also received their first VMA for best pop song for “Down.”
Along with powerful musical performances, quite a few groundbreaking speeches were delivered that touched on serious issues happening in today’s society. Paris Jackson gave an inspiring speech about how America can overcome the hate with unity and love and show that “violence is intolerable.”
Tiffany Haddish spoke out about being a role model to foster kids while also completely dragging her exes into the ground. Hilarious, confident, and successful, Haddish left her mark on the night.
Rock star Pink delivered a speech after receiving the Video Vanguard award concerning her six-year-old daughter and the moving power of all “androgynous rock stars” such as Michael Jackson, David Bowie and Prince.
Kesha also gave a speech following Logic’s performance of “1-800-273-8255” which led to increased calls at the suicide prevention hotline: “We all have struggles and as long as you never give up on yourself, light will break through the darkness,” she added.
As for awards, Kendrick Lamar took home “Video of the Year,” “Best Hip Hop,” “Best Art Direction,” “Best Cinematography,” “Best Direction” and “Best Visual Effects.”
Ed Sheeran took home the award for “Best Artist of the Year,” and DJ Khalid took home the award for “Best New Artist.”
Fifth Harmony, Twenty One Pilots, and Zedd received the award for each of their genres of pop, rock and dance, respectively.
Jack Antonoff was very eager to take the credit for most of the songs he produced such as the majority of Lorde’s own “Melodrama” and for “Best Collaboration” Taylor Swift and Zayn Malik’s “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” from the “Fifty Shades Darker” soundtrack.
During the show, Taylor Swift fans premiered the music video for her new single “Look What You Made Me Do” from her upcoming album “Reputation.” The video broke viewing records in just the span of ten minutes. As of Wednesday morning, the video has been viewed over 75 million times on YouTube. Adele’s “Hello” video previously held the record for most views in a 24-hour period.
The show’s grand finale featured Katy Perry’s performance of her basketball-themed single song “Swish Swish” with an appearance by the queen of rap, Nicki Minaj.
The 2017 VMA Awards was an evening of surprises, one that the 2018 show will undoubtedly try to top.