Justin Bieber, Lil Nas X and Olivia Rodrigo were among the stars honoured at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Lil Nas X won the the coveted video of the year award for ‘Montero (Call Me By Your Name)’. and gave a tongue-in-cheek thank you to the “gay agenda”.
Accepting the prize, the delighted rapper, 22, said: “First, I want to say thank you to the gay agenda! Let’s go, gay agenda!”
Lil Nas X is frequently criticised for performances unashamedly celebrating his sexuality, and has emerged as a vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ rights
The music video for ‘Montero (Call Me By Your Name)’ features the musician sliding down a pole into hell before giving the devil a lap dance.
But who else triumphed on the night, and what else happened at one of the biggest music awards shows of the year?
Here is everything you need to know about it.
Who were the main winners?
It was a night to remember for pop prodigy Olivia Rodrigo, who at her first VMAs was named best new artist and won song of the year for her megahit ‘Drivers License’.
Rodrigo, a Disney Channel actress whose debut album Sour topped the charts in the UK and US earlier this year, writes her own music.
Accepting song of the year, the 18-year old thanked her army of fans and said: “This has been the most magical year of my life and it’s all because of you.”
She added: “I want to dedicate this award to all the other girls who write songs on their bedroom floor.
“There are a lot of people who will try to dim your light but speaking your mind and sharing your heart are the most beautiful things in the world and here’s to that.”
Justin Bieber was named artist of the year, and taking to the stage, the Canadian superstar said “we are in unprecedented times” due to the pandemic.
He said: “Music is such an amazing opportunity and an amazing outlet to be able to reach people and to be able to bring us all together and that’s why we’re here right now. We’ve got a lot more in common than we don’t.”
Who else won?
Billie Eilish, 19, won the fan-voted video for good award for ‘Your Power’, a song about an older man abusing his position over a younger woman.
Accepting the prize, Eilish said: “We need to protect our young women at all costs, for real.”
Doja Cat and SZA won best collaboration for their sensual summer hit ‘Kiss Me More’, while superstars BTS were awarded best K-pop for ‘Butter’.
Rockers Foo Fighters performed a medley of songs and picked up the first-ever global icon award, and Alicia Keys delivered a tribute to New York City on the weekend marking the 20-year anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.
She performed her track ‘Empire State Of Mind’, a love letter to her hometown.
The evening took a political turn when presenter Cyndi Lauper referenced her song ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ while apparently taking aim at a controversial law in Texas banning most abortions.
As well as fun, Lauper said, women also want “control over our bodies … you know, fundamental rights”.
The statement was met with rapturous applause by the audience.
What happened with Conor McGregor?
One of the biggest talking points of the evening took place away from the music, when Irish UFC star Conor McGregor and rapper Machine Gun Kelly apparently had a “scuffle” on the awards show red carpet.
Pictures appeared to show McGregor, 33, and Machine Gun Kelly, 31, being kept apart by security.
The former UFC champion attended the ceremony with his partner Dee Devlin, while the US musician arrived with his Hollywood actress girlfriend Megan Fox.
Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Dublin-born McGregor said “nothing” happened.
He said: “Absolutely nothing. I don’t know. He showed up, and I don’t know. I don’t know the guy. Nothing happened with me, I only fight real fighters, people that actually fight, you know what I mean.
“I certainly don’t fight little vanilla boy rappers. I don’t even know the guy. I don’t know anything about him, except that he’s with Megan Fox.”
Machine Gun Kelly, whose real name is Colson Baker, was also asked about the alleged altercation but walked away without answering the question.
The full list of winners:
The full list of winners:
- Video of the year – Lil Nas X (’Montero (Call Me By Your Name)’)
- Artist of the year – Justin Bieber
- Best new artist – Olivia Rodrigo
- Song of the year – Olivia Rodrigo (’Drivers License’)
- Push performance artist of the year – Olivia Rodrigo
- Best pop – Justin Bieber, Giveon, Daniel Caesar (’Peaches’)
- Video for good – Billie Eilish (’Your Power’)
- Best hip hop – Travis Scott featuring M.I.A. and Young Thug (’Franchise’)
- Best collaboration – Doja Cat featuring SZA (’Kiss Me More’)
- Best K pop – BTS (’Butter’)
- Group of the year – BTS
- Song of summer – BTS (’Butter’)
- VMA global icon award – Foo Fighters
- Best alternative – Machine Gun Kelly featuring Blackbear (’My Ex’s Best Friend’)
- Best R&B – Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak (’Leave The Door Open’)
- Best rock – John Mayer (’Last Train Home’)
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