MTV 2021 Video Music Awards: Lil Nas X, Olivia Rodrigo win big

Written by on September 15, 2021

Bryan Bedder/MTV VMAs 2021/Getty Images for MTV/ViacomCBS, Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

The MTV Video Music Awards are back!

The awards show celebrated MTV’s 40th anniversary on Sunday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn with an opening performance from none other than living pop icon Madonna, who ushered in a series of performances from The Kid LAROIJustin Bieber, and Olivia Rodrigo.

Between outlandish outfit changes by host Doja Cat — one of which included her wearing a chair on her head — the night was chock-full of star power. Stars taking the stage on Sunday included Kasey Musgraves, Lil Nas XTwenty One Pilots, Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes, Normani, Ozuna and Busta Rhymes.

The entertainment also included a few firsts, with Alicia Keys performing “La La,” her new duet with Swae LeeChlöe, of the sister duo Chlöe x Halle also served up a sultry production of her first single as a solo artist, “Have Mercy,” for her first ever VMA performance. 

While the flashy performances were plentiful, only a few awards were handed out during the show. Taking home the most Moonpeople was Lil Nas X, who snagged a total of four statues, which included Video of the Year for his over-the-top “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” visual.  

“Drivers License” singer Rodrigo took home the second-most Moonpeople on Sunday and collected the top honors: Best New Artist and Song of the Year.  She also won PUSH Performance of the Year. Bieber, who returned to the stage after six years, also took home two awards, including the coveted Artist of the Year.

This year, the VMAs introduced the Global Icon Award, which they honored the rock band Foo Fighters with. 

To bring the night to a close, Megan Fox and Kourtney Kardashian introduced to the stage their respective boyfriends and “future baby daddies,” Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker. Together, the duo performed MGK’s new single, “papercuts.”

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