The Video Music Awards (VMAS) were held on Sunday evening. Produced by MTV, they are intended to be competitive with the Grammy’s, though focusing on pop music videos. The VMAS are known to trend towards the avant guard (think Lady Gaga wearing her notorious meat dress.) The audience enjoyed performances by Rihanna, Beyoncé, Kanye West, and Justin Timberlake, and an appearance by members of the U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastics Team.
Britney Spears performed on the awards show for the first time since 2007, and danced with a snake, delighting some and repelling others. And this year Rihanna won the much coveted lifetime achievement video vanguard award, but surprisingly didn’t have much air time to sing as one might expect.
Beyoncé got plenty of airtime (over 15 minutes) and won a spectacular eight awards, including the award for “Best female video.” Some critics found the show surprisingly thin on star powered performances, though Beyoncé knocked it out of the park, by all accounts, performing selections from her album Lemonade. Some go so far as to say that her passionate presentation saved an otherwise lackluster program. And building upon recent political activism, she brought four women to the awards who lost their sons to police or gun violence. This gesture has earned her praise from many, but criticism from conservatives, like former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Some top music industry stars were noticeably absent, including Adele, who had been nominated for eight awards, and Justin Bieber. There’s some speculation that social media marketing campaigns and related promotional venues may render the awards less of a marketing necessity for top artists than in years past.
Watch the 2016 VMAS Awards (Youtube)
Photo: MTV / Wikipedia (Fair use)