MTV VMAs: Lady Gaga, The Weeknd, BTS Among Winners

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Keke Palmer hosted the show, which aired Sunday night.

The Weeknd won video of the year for “Blinding Lights” at Sunday’s 2020 MTV Video Music Awards.

Other winners Sunday night included Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande, BTS, Taylor Swift, H.E.R., Maluma, Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Thee Stallion.

Gaga’s other wins included artist of the year and song of the year for “Rain on Me,” her collaboration with Ariana Grande, while BTS was named best group, best K-pop and best pop, among others. The Weeknd also won best R&B.

Keke Palmer hosted the show, which aired on MTV along with 11 sister channels, as well as on broadcast (The CW) for the first time.

During the show, Lady Gaga also received the inaugural Tricon Award, which honored the star for being a “multidimensional artist” involved in music, acting and philanthropy.

“I want you to know I failed over and over again as an actress and a musician when I was young. Though I gave back to the community… philanthropy because a much bigger part of my life as a star,” Gaga said when accepting the award. “I want to share this award with everybody at home tonight. Everybody at home who is their own form of a tricon.”

The singer also acknowledged that though “this has not been an easy year for a lot of people,” she feels hope after seeing a “massive trial of courage” in the world. “Just because we are separated right now and culture may feel less alive in some ways, I know a renaissance is coming, and the wrath of pop culture will inspire you,” she said. At the end of her speech she reminded everyone to “stay safe,” “speak your mind” and “wear a mask” as a “sign of respect.”

Palmer brought the fun while also highlighting the year’s trials and tribulations. She opened the show with a brief message to the late Chadwick Boseman, who died on Friday at the age of 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer. Palmer said the night’s show would be dedicated to “a spirit who touched so many.” “His impact lives forever,” she said.

In her first opening, alongside a digitized crowd, Palmer quipped that she was the only star “brave enough” to host the show during COVID and acknowledged the rough time everyone has endured. “2020 has undoubtedly been a rough year for everybody,” she said, but noted that “as rough as it’s been there have been incredible moments” that have “given my generation hope.” “We’ve seen heroes go above and beyond whether they drive a delivery truck, work at a grocery store, or serve on the front lines at a hospital,” she said.

Later on in the show, Palmer showed off her comedic chops by portraying alter egos, including one she’s featured on her TikTok. While visiting different spots in New York, such as the Bronx Zoo where she could see the “cats from the WAP video,” Palmer encounters her Southern belle alter ego Lady Miss (played by Palmer). “You’re cattier than Carole Baskin,” she joked as she made reference to Netflix’s Tiger King. Palmer also poked fun at the “Karens” causing an uproar over abiding by the COVID-19 safety guidelines. “Shoutout to everyone actually named Karen who is not starting fights in parking lots. We see you,” she said.

Later on, Palmer also performed her new single “Snack,” in a neon-lit stage, from her recently released EP, Virgo Tendencies, Pt. 1.

Heading into the show, Lady Gaga and Grande had the most nominations. They also performed, along with The Weeknd, Maluma, BTS, Miley Cyrus, DaBaby, Doja Cat and more.

For the top prize of video of the year, The Weeknd faced off against Gaga and Grande’s “Rain on Me,” Swift’s “The Man,” Eilish’s “everything i wanted,” Eminem featuring Juice WRLD’s “Godzilla” and Future featuring Drake’s “Life Is Good.”

In light of the coronavirus pandemic that has kept musicians and their fans at home as people are encouraged to continue social distancing to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, MTV added the best music video from home and best quarantine performance categories to this year’s awards.

Additionally, the 2020 MTV VMAs honored “Everyday Heroes: Frontline Medical Workers,” which “celebrat[es] the best performances by COVID-19 first responders.” The honorees in that category are Dr. Elvis Francois and Dr. William Robinson for “Imagine,” Dr. Nate Wood for “Lean on Me,” Jefferson University Hospital’s Swab Squad for “Level Up,” Jason “Tik Tok Doc” Campbell, and  Lori Marie Key for “Amazing Grace.”

The 2020 VMAs took place in New York City, with performances from iconic locations across the five boroughs, designed “to honor the spirit and resilience” of the city hit particularly hard by the pandemic this spring.


A list of winners follows.

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights” – XO / Republic Records (WINNER) 
Billie Eilish – “everything i wanted” – Darkroom / Interscope Records
Eminem ft. Juice WRLD – “Godzilla” – Shady / Aftermath / Interscope Records
Future ft. Drake – “Life Is Good” – Epic Records / Freebandz
Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain On Me” – Streamline / Interscope Records
Taylor Swift – “The Man” – Republic Records

ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Lady Gaga – Streamline / Interscope Records (WINNER)
DaBaby – SCMG / Interscope Records
Justin Bieber – RBMG / Def Jam
Megan Thee Stallion – 300 Entertainment
Post Malone – Republic Records
The Weeknd – XO / Republic Records

SONG OF THE YEAR
Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain On Me” – Streamline / Interscope Records (WINNER)
Billie Eilish – “everything i wanted” – Darkroom / Interscope Records
Doja Cat – “Say So” – Kemosabe / RCA Records
Megan Thee Stallion – “Savage” – 300 Entertainment
Post Malone – “Circles” – Republic Records
Roddy Ricch – “The Box” – Atlantic Records

BEST COLLABORATION
Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain On Me” – Streamline / Interscope Records (WINNER)
Ariana Grande & Justin Bieber – “Stuck with U” – Republic Records / Def Jam
Black Eyed Peas ft. J Balvin – “RITMO (Bad Boys For Life)” – Epic Records / We The Best
Ed Sheeran ft. Khalid – “Beautiful People” – Atlantic Records
Future ft. Drake – “Life Is Good” – Epic Records / Freebandz
Karol G ft. Nicki Minaj – “Tusa” – Universal Music Latin Entertainment

PUSH BEST NEW ARTIST
Doja Cat – Kemosabe / RCA Records (WINNER)
Jack Harlow – Generation Now / Atlantic Records
Lewis Capaldi – Capitol Records
Roddy Ricch – Atlantic Records
Tate McRae – RCA Records
YUNGBLUD – Locomotion Recordings / Geffen Records / Interscope Records

BEST POP
BTS – “On” – Big Hit Entertainment (WINNER)
Halsey – “You should be sad” – Capitol Records
Jonas Brothers – “What a Man Gotta Do” – Republic Records
Justin Bieber ft. Quavo – “Intentions” – RBMG / Def Jam
Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain On Me” – Streamline / Interscope Records
Taylor Swift – “Lover” – Republic Records

BEST HIP-HOP
Megan Thee Stallion – “Savage” – 300 Entertainment (WINNER)
DaBaby – “BOP” – SCMG / Interscope Records
Eminem ft. Juice WRLD – “Godzilla” – Shady / Aftermath / Interscope Records
Future ft. Drake – “Life Is Good” – Epic Records / Freebandz
Roddy Ricch – “The Box” – Atlantic Records
Travis Scott – “HIGHEST IN THE ROOM” – Epic Records / Cactus Jack

BEST ROCK
Coldplay – “Orphans” – Atlantic Records (WINNER)
blink-182 – “Happy Days” – Columbia Records
Evanescence – “Wasted On You” – BMG
Fall Out Boy ft. Wyclef Jean – “Dear Future Self (Hands Up)” – Island Records
Green Day – “Oh Yeah!” – Reprise / Warner Records
The Killers – “Caution” – Island Records

BEST ALTERNATIVE
Machine Gun Kelly – “Bloody Valentine” – Bad Boy / Interscope Records (WINNER)
The 1975 – “If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know)” – Dirty Hit / Interscope Records
All Time Low – “Some Kind Of Disaster” – Fueled By Ramen
FINNEAS – “Let’s Fall in Love for the Night” – AWAL
Lana Del Rey – “Doin’ Time” – Interscope Records
twenty one pilots – “Level of Concern” – Elektra Music Group / Fueled By Ramen

BEST LATIN
Maluma ft. J Balvin – “Queì Pena” – Sony Music Latin (WINNER)
Anuel AA ft. Daddy Yankee, Ozuna, Karol G & J Balvin – “China” – Real Hasta La Muerte
Bad Bunny – “Yo Perreo Sola” – Rimas Entertainment
Black Eyed Peas ft. Ozuna & J. Rey Soul – “MAMACITA” – Epic Records
J Balvin – “Amarillo” – Universal Music Latin Entertainment
Karol G ft. Nicki Minaj – “Tusa” – Universal Music Latin Entertainment

BEST R&B
The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights” – XO / Republic Records (WINNER) 
Alicia Keys – “Underdog” – RCA Records
Chloe x Halle – “Do It” – Parkwood / Columbia Records
H.E.R. ft. YG – “Slide” – MBK / RCA Records
Khalid ft. Summer Walker – “Eleven” – Right Hand Music / RCA Records
Lizzo – “Cuz I Love You” – Atlantic Records

BEST K-POP
BTS – “On” – Big Hit Entertainment (WINNER)
(G)I-DLE – “Oh My God” – Republic Records
EXO – “Obsession” – SM Entertainment
Monsta X – “SOMEONE’S SOMEONE” – Epic Records
Tomorrow X Together – “9 and Three Quarters (Run Away)” Republic Records
Red Velvet – “Psycho” – SM Entertainment

BEST GROUP
BTS (WINNER)
5 Seconds of Summer
The 1975
BLACKPINK
Chloe x Halle
CNCO
Little Mix
MONSTA X
Now United
twenty one pilots

VIDEO FOR GOOD
H.E.R. – ”I Can’t Breathe” – MBK / RCA Records (WINNER)
Anderson .Paak – “Lockdown” – 12 Tone Music Group
Billie Eilish – “all the good girls go to hell” – Darkroom / Interscope Records
Demi Lovato – “I Love Me” – Island Records
Lil Baby – “The Bigger Picture” – Quality Control Music / Motown / Capitol Music Group
Taylor Swift – “The Man” – Republic Records

BEST MUSIC VIDEO FROM HOME
Ariana Grande & Justin Bieber – “Stuck with U” – Republic Records / Def Jam (WINNER)
5 Seconds of Summer – “Wildflower” – Interscope Records
blink-182 – “Happy Days” – Columbia Records
Drake – “Toosie Slide” – OVO/Republic Records
John Legend – “Bigger Love” – Columbia Records
twenty one pilots – “Level of Concern” – Elektra Music Group / Fueled By Ramen

BEST QUARANTINE PERFORMANCE
CNCO – Unplugged At Home (WINNER)
Chloe & Halle – “Do It” from MTV’s Prom-athon
DJ D-Nice – Club MTV presents #DanceTogether
John Legend – #togetherathome Concert Series
Lady Gaga – “Smile” from One World: Together At Home
Post Malone – Nirvana Tribute

SONG OF SUMMER
BLACKPINK “How You Like That” (WINNER)

Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion “WAP”
DaBaby ft. Roddy Ricch “Rockstar”
DJ Khaled ft. Drake “Popstar”
Doja Cat “Say So”
Dua Lipa “Break My Heart”
Harry Styles “Watermelon Sugar”
Jack Harlow “Whats Poppin”
Lil Baby ft. 42 Dugg “We Paid”
Megan Thee Stallion ft. Beyoncé “Savage (Remix)”
Miley Cyrus “Midnight SKYCHURP”
Pop Smoke ft. 50 Cent & Roddy Ricch “The Woo”
SAINt JHN “Roses”
Saweetie “Tap In”
Taylor Swift “cardigan”
The Weeknd “Blinding Lights”

BEST DIRECTION
Taylor Swift – “The Man” – Republic Records – Directed by Taylor Swift (WINNER)
Billie Eilish – “xanny” – Darkroom / Interscope Records – Directed by Billie Eilish
Doja Cat – “Say So” – Kemosabe / RCA Records – Directed by Hannah Lux Davis
Dua Lipa – “Don’t Start Now” – Warner Records – Directed by Nabil
Harry Styles – “Adore You” – Columbia Records – Directed by Dave Meyers
The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights” – XO / Republic Records – Directed by Anton Tammi

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain On Me” – Streamline / Interscope Records – Cinematography by Thomas Kloss (WINNER)
5 Seconds of Summer – “Old Me” – Interscope Records – Cinematography by Kieran Fowler
Camila Cabello ft. DaBaby – “My Oh My” – Syco Music / Epic Records – Cinematography by Dave Meyers
Billie Eilish – “all the good girls go to hell” – Darkroom / Interscope Records – Cinematography by Christopher Probst
Katy Perry – “Harleys In Hawaii” – Capitol Records – Cinematography by Arnau Valls
The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights” – XO / Republic Records – Cinematography by Oliver Millar

BEST ART DIRECTION
Miley Cyrus – “Mother’s Daughter” – RCA Records – Art Direction by Christian Stone (WINNER)
A$AP Rocky – “Babushka Boi” – Polo Grounds Music / RCA Records – Art Direction by A$AP Rocky & Nadia Lee Cohen
Dua Lipa – “Physical” – Warner Records – Art Direction by Anna Colomeì Nogu ì
Harry Styles – “Adore You” – Columbia Records – Art Direction by Laura Ellis Cricks
Selena Gomez – “Boyfriend” – Interscope Records – Art Direction by Tatiana Van Sauter
Taylor Swift – “Lover” – Republic Records – Art Direction by Ethan Tobman

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Dua Lipa – “Physical” – Warner Records – Visual Effects by EIGHTY4 (WINNER)
Billie Eilish – “all the good girls go to hell” – Darkroom / Interscope Records – Visual Effects by Drive Studios
Demi Lovato – “I Love Me” – Island Records – Visual Effects by Hoody FX
Harry Styles – “Adore You” – Columbia Records – Visual Effects by Mathematic
Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain On Me” – Streamline / Interscope Records – Visual Effects by Ingenuity Studios
Travis Scott – “HIGHEST IN THE ROOM” – Epic Records / Cactus Jack – Visual Effects by ARTJAIL, SCISSOR FILMS & FRENDER

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY
BTS – “On” – Big Hit Entertainment – Choreography by Son Sung Deuk, Lee Ga Hun, Lee Byung Eun (BTS)
CNCO & Natti Natasha – “Honey Boo” – Sony Music Latin / RCA Records – Choreography by Kyle Hanagami
DaBaby – “BOP” – SCMG / Interscope Records – Choreography by Dani Leigh and Cherry
Dua Lipa – “Physical” – Warner Records – Choreography by Charm La’Donna
Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain On Me” – Streamline / Interscope Records – Choreography by Richy Jackson
Normani – “Motivation” – Keep Cool / RCA Records – Choreography by Sean Bankhead

BEST EDITING
Miley Cyrus – “Mother’s Daughter” – RCA Records – Edited by Alexandre Moors, Nuno Xico (WINNER)
Halsey – “Graveyard” – Capitol Records – Edited by Emilie Aubry, Janne Vartia & Tim Montana
James Blake – “Can’t Believe the Way We Flow” – Republic Records – Edited by Frank Lebon
Lizzo – “Good As Hell” – Atlantic Records – Edited by Russell Santos & Sofia Kerpan
ROSALIìA – “A Paleì” – Columbia Records – Edited by Andre Jones
The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights” – XO / Republic Records – Edited by Janne Vartia & Tim Montana



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