The VMAs five most memorable moments
They don’t call her Queen Bey for nothing.
Beyonce not only stole the show at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday night, she used the moment to erase the cloud around her family with an adorable appearance by daughter Blue Ivy and one by doting husband Jay Z to finish off the night.
“MTV, welcome to my world,” Beyonce said.
Her performance was mesmerizing television, from the seemingly endless medley of hits to the public’s extended look at Blue Ivy, who wore a gold hair bow and clapped her hands saying “Yea, Mommy,” after Jay Z carried her onstage while presenting her mother with MTV’s Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award.
Here’s a close up on the night’s most interesting moments.
NICKI ALL NIGHT
Much of the focus prior to Beyonce’s arrival was on Nicki Minaj. She helped open the show with a snake-themed performance of “Anaconda” that included a lot of attention on Minaj’s most jiggly asset — her rear end. Then after a wardrobe malfunction during her subsequent team up with Ariana Grande and Jessie J — “We ran out of time getting the dress zipped up,” she said afterward — things got really booty-centric when she joined Usher on stage for “She Came to Give It to You.” Usher dropped to his knee while playing the bass then banged his head against her rear end in a new version of the bump.
THE FRONT ROW
You’ve got to feel bad for Riff Raff. The Houston rapper arrived on the red carpet in a Lamborghini with Katy Perry in the passenger seat. But it was clear she was way more into pop star Sam Smith, spending the night with his arm draped over his shoulder. Other unexpected pairs along the front row included Taylor Swift and Lorde, who celebrated their friendship by dancing the night away together. Lorde even introduced Swift’s performance of “Shake It Off.”
SAM SLAYS IT
Perry wasn’t the only attendee fixated on Smith. The VMAs have a reputation for over-the-top moments, and there were plenty. But the quiet, commanding performance of “Stay With Me” by the British singer drew the night’s first — and most sincere — standing ovation.
The VMAs aren’t known for political statements, but some of Sunday’s most memorable moments came with messages. Common asked for a moment of silence to remember 18-year-old Michael Brown, killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri: “The people in Ferguson and St. Louis and communities across the country have used their voices to call for justice and change to let everyone know that each and every one of our lives matters.” The camera showed members of the crowd with heads bowed, including Snoop Dogg. Later, Miley Cyrus engineered her own powerful statement when she sent a homeless youth named Jesse to the stage to accept her video of the year award. He gave an impassioned speech asking viewers to help as Cyrus tearfully looked on. MTV also paid tribute to late actor-comedian Robin Williams with a short photo montage.
WE ARE FAMILY
The tenor of the night changed when Beyonce took the stage. She led thousands in a sing-along on “XO” that included most everyone giddily dancing. And she didn’t waste the moment, batting away persistent rumors that her marriage is headed for divorce. “I am filled with so much gratitude,” Beyonce said as the crowd chanted her name. She turned to her family and said, “I just thank God for this moment. I love you all so much. Blue, I love you. My beloved, I love you.”
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