About Last Night: The VMAs Got Woke
MTV’s Video Music Awards have a reputation of creating incredible, iconic live performance moments. Last night’s show proved to be different, though—in both it’s honoring and broadcasting. Full of pop, inclusion, girl-power, and positivity, the night was definitely lit, but more importantly, empowered.
Performance-wise, Kendrick Lamar opened the show with a blazing medley (literally fire everywhere) and walked away with six moon men for his incredible year in music. Lorde performed her rager of song, “Homemade Dynamite”, accompanied by a, what some may call, interpretive (but mostly just emotional), dance that gave us mad Robyn vibes in true pop fashion. Miley Cyrus took the stage with her newest hit “Younger Now” and reminded us all that girl can sing and this new Miley-era is going to be huge. Alessia Cara had a big night, winning Best Dance Video and later performed her beautifully raw track “Scars To Your Beautiful”, issuing a statement to all that none of this matters if you aren’t happy in your own skin. Towards the end of the night, newcomer and cute AF Khalid accepted the award for Best New Artist, excitedly and humbly thanking his mom which had us all beaming just as bright as his smile. Pink gave an incredible mashup performance of literally every hit she has ever had, performed her new inspirational single “What About Us?” and accepted the Video Vanguard Award with a powerful speech, aimed at her daughter (tbh all of us) saying, “We don’t change. We take the gravel and the shell and we make a pearl. We help other people to change so that they can see more kinds of beauty.” Word.
Speaking of change, many who had the mic during the live broadcasting of last night’s awards show spoke of, refreshingly so, something bigger than themselves. Within the first 15 minutes of the evening, Paris Jackson, slaying in Christian Dior, denounced Neo-Nazism and what happened in Charlottesville, proclaiming, “Let’s leave here tonight remembering that we must show these Nazi white supremacist jerks in Charlottesville and all over the country that as a nation with liberty as our slogan, we have zero tolerance for their violence, their hatred, and their discrimination. We must resist.” Katy Perry, halfway into the first hour, took a moment to recognize the horrific tragedy of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas, urging people to give whatever amount of support possible to the Red Cross. Kesha made her return to MTV by introducing Logic and his insanely inspirational performance and PSA of a song titled “1-800-273-8255”, promoting suicide prevention and progressive awareness. Finally, Susan Bro, mother of Heather Heyer who was killed protesting the rally in Charlottesville, made an appearance and announced the launch of the Heather Heyer Foundation, promoting scholarships and opportunities for people who are dedicating their lives to abolishing hate.
Void of unnecessary production drama and stunts, the MTV we saw last night feels different. It feels supportive and risky. It feels woke.
Featured image via PopSugar
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