So much happened at the MTV Music Video Awards. From Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus unsurprisingly snatching Song of the Year and Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello getting the Best Collab award to Billie Eilish heralded as Best New Artist and BTS winning Best Group, there were so many well-deserved awards given out.
But we best know the VMAs for never shying away from giving us the most unforgettable moments in pop culture, like Kanye West crashing Taylor Swift’s monologue in 2009 and Miley Cyrus swinging on a wrecking ball. And it doesn’t even matter whether it’s good or bad and whether intended or not.
This year, we felt like the world missed so many good opportunities to give us more of those iconic pop culture moments (*cough* where’s the first ever live of Old Town Road *cough*) and just great moments for music in general (*cough* not putting non-Western artists in new and very specific categories *cough*).
But while this year was less eventful than the other years, we still found a lot of moments we loved in the 2019 VMAs.
Taylor Swift getting political and calling out the White House
But our favorite TSwift moment was when she got a tad political while giving her thank-you speech for her Video of the Year win for “You Need to Calm Down” (despite the fiasco of John Travolta mistaking drag queen Jade Jolie dressed as Swift for the actual popstar). Taylor’s already got five hundred thousand signatures (five times what she needed!) and still counting for her Equality Act petition, so the ball’s in the White House’s court now. Chop chop, Trump!
That sizzling hot tension between Shawn and Camila
Uhm. Were we supposed to see that? Was that even legal? It felt like the whole world was witnessing a very intimate moment between two lovers, and we’re still not even sure if Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello are really dating or not (the Internet’s still split between true lovers and PR stunt). The whole “Señorita” performance was just steamy—maybe even steamier than the actual almost-NSFW music video. And the couple were saying they were nervous?
But we definitely went aww at the soft look they shared at the end, with Camila adorably scrunching her nose at Shawn.
We’re always a ‘Sucker’ for you, Jonas Brothers
2019 has been such a big year for these three brothers—from making their long-awaited comeback to two-thirds getting recently hitched (Nick got married December last year, but the wedding was so long that it felt like it was already 2019). And when they took the VMAs stage after 11 long years to sing “Sucker” and “Only Human,” the crowd went absolutely wild.
There was apparently some lip syncing going on (why is everyone lip syncing these days…), but whatever, we’re still suckers for the Jonas Brothers.
Normani is taking the music industry by storm
Everyone and their mom was waiting for the solo debut performance of Normani, and she definitely didn’t disappoint. There was no shortage of “Motivation” with all the twerks and cartwheels going around. How do we sign up for Normani’s basketball team?
Lizzo’s got everyone on their feet dancing and loving themselves
Breakout artist Lizzo has been telling you and everyone else all summer: “Love yourself in a world that doesn’t love you back. You deserve to feel good as hell.” So listen to her! The whole VMAs did and they got up and danced around just having fun and giving love to themselves and everyone around them. Even Queen Latifah.
An emotional and heartbreaking performance by Miley Cyrus
Miley was most recently at the center of one of the saddest breakups of the year, and she surprised the VMAs crowd by taking the stage and belting out a new song that appears to be about the couple’s separation. “Slide Away” definitely just made tears slide down our cheeks.
New Jersey hip-hop legends ending the show with a bang
New Jersey natives closed the show by bringing down the house with a medley of classic hip-hop songs. MTV rightly paid tribute to the city where they held the year’s awards show with Naughty by Nature, Redman, Fetty Wap, Wyclef Jean, and even Queen Latifah ending the spectacular night on a high note.
Everyone, bow down to Missy Elliott
There were a lot of things that happened, but we think everyone agrees when we say that hip-hop legend Missy Elliott owned the VMAs night, where she received the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award and was given tribute. She performed a medley of her hits—“The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly),” “Get Ur Freak On,” “Work It,” “Pass That Dutch,” “Lose Control,” and her new single “Throw It Back”—to standing ovation and the loudest cheers of the night. (And OMG, Alyson Stoner recreated her “Work It” dance all the way from 2002!)
Everyone get to bowing!
What was your favorite moment from this year’s VMAs? Share them with us below!