MTV VMA’s: List of Winners, Performances, And More

Courtesy: MTV

We might still be in the middle of a pandemic, but MTV still found a way to get creative, with the MTV VMAs. The VMAs premiered on Sunday, August 30th, at 8 PM EDT. The show took place in different locations, all across the five boroughs of Manhattan, and was hosted by KeKe Palmer.

KeKe Palmer opened the VMA’S with a tribute to Chadwick Boseman, and later on, MTV played a clip of Boseman’s speech during the 2018 VMA’s. He had won the category of “best superhero” and rather than taking the award for himself, he gave it to James Shaw Jr. In 2018, James Shaw Jr. managed to disarm a gunman, during the Nashville Waffle House shooting in Antioch, Tennessee.

Palmer also made a statement about police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement. She credited the current generation, for fighting against injustices and working to make a positive impact on today’s society. Then, she gave a shout out to the healthcare workers, who — although exhausted, fearful, and drained — are striving to restore the health of COVID-19 patients. Frontline workers by day, and musicians by night, some of these brave, talented healthcare workers were later featured on the VMAs.

The VMA performers made Sunday night’s series of events unforgettable. New York City was filled with passion, energy, and so much excitement.


  • The Weeknd started off the night with an exhilarating performance of his hit song, “Blinding Lights”.
  • DaBaby performed a mashup of his most popular hits: “PEEPHOLE”, “Blind”, and “Rockstar”. The rapper went all out during his performances, and even got into the back of a cop car to transition into his final song.
  • Miley Cyrus took the stage to recreate her iconic “Wrecking Ball” music video. While performing her latest release, “Midnight Sky”, Cyrus latched onto a chain and swung on a giant wrecking ball. 
  • Maluma performed his hit single, “Hawái” on a palm tree-themed stage in Brooklyn, New York. 
  • BTS performed their song, “Dynamite”, and their dance moves were incredibly catchy. Although this was BTS’s first time performing on the VMA’s, you never would’ve known it, due to their high level of confidence, energy, and overall professionalism.
  • Lady GaGa broke into a medley of songs from her “Chromatica” album, before transitioning to the iconic “Rain On Me” single. Ariana Grande and Lady GaGa absolutely bodied their performance. They both performed with masks on, as an extra level of safety. However, their masks were tailored to fit the aesthetic of their outfits.
  • JP Saxe and Julia Michaels performed a beautiful acoustic rendition of their hit song, “If The World Was Ending”. Their vocals blended together so naturally, and their emotional delivery was truly impactful. 
  • Doja Cat gave a performance that was out of this world, when she sang two of her most popular songs — “Like That” and “Say So”. Both songs were trending on TikTok earlier this year, after content creators posted original dances to “Say So” and “Like That”.
  • Tate McRae gave an emotional performance of her breakup hit, “You Broke Me First“. The song is currently trending on TikTok, with over 48 million views on videos that contain the song.
  • Lewis Capaldi gave a tearful performance of “Before You Go” — a song dedicated to his aunt, who took her life when Capaldi was just 6-years-old.
  • The MTV VMA’s also paid tribute to the talented entertainers that left this world far too soon: Juice Wrld, Pop Smoke, Dick Dale, Bushwick Bill, Eddie Money, Ric Ocasek, Neil Peart, Bill Withers, Adam Schlesinger, Chynna Rogers, Kenny Rogers, Florian Schneider, Andre Harrell, Little Richard, Huey, Naya Rivera, and Chadwick Boseman.
  • Machine Gun Kelly took the stage with blackbear and Travis Barker to perform a headbanger mashup of “My Ex’s Best Friend” and “Bloody Valentine”.
  • KeKe Palmer took a break from hosting the show, to join in on all of the fun. She graced the stage and performed a very neon version of her hit single, “Snack”.
  • Immediately following her performance, CNCO performed their Latin single, “Beso”, and wow. Their dance moves were full of passion and energy. 
  • The Black Eyed Peas, Nicky Jam, and Tyga closed out the VMA’s with an incredible performance of “VIDA LOCA“. They also threw it back to their 2009 bop, “I Gotta Feeling”.

In between performances, there were many talented artists that won awards from a multitude of categories. The list of winners is as follows:

Best Collaboration (Announced by Jaden Smith):

  • Life Is Good” by Future ft. Drake
  • “Stuck With U” by Ariana Grande with Justin Bieber
  •  “Tusa” by Karol G Ft. Nicki Minaj
  • “Rain On Me” by Lady GaGa with Ariana Grande
  • “Beautiful People” Ed Sheeran ft. Khalid
  • “RITMO (Bad Boys For Life)” Black Eyed Peas ft. J. Balvin

Best Direction (Announced by Drew Barrymore):

  • “Don’t Start Now” by Dua Lipa, directed by Nabil
  • “Adore You” by Harry Styles, directed by Dave Meyers
  • “Xanny” by Billie Eilish, directed by Billie Eilish
  • “Say So” by Doja Cat, directed by Hannah Lux Davis
  • “The Man” by Taylor Swift, directed by Taylor Swift
  • “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd, directed by Anton Tammi

Best Latin (Announced by Anthony Ramos):

  • “Yo Perreo Sola” by Bad Bunny
  • “Amarillo” by J Balvin
  • “Mamacita” by Black Eyed Peas ft. Ozuna & J. Rey Soul
  • “Que Pena” by Maluma ft. J Balvin
  • “China” by Anuel AA ft. Daddy Yankee, Ozuna, Karol G & J Balvin
  • “Tusa” by Karol G ft. Nicki Minaj

Song of The Year (Announced by Joey King):

  • “Say So” by Doja Cat
  • “The Box” by Roddy Ricch
  • “Everything I Wanted” by Billie Eilish
  • “Rain On Me” by Lady GaGa with Ariana Grande
  • “Savage” Megan Thee Stallion
  • “Circles” by Post Malone

Best Music Video From Home (Announced by Madison Beer):

  • “Stuck With U” by Ariana Grande with Justin Bieber
  • “Toosie Slide” by Drake
  • “Wildflower” by 5SOS
  • “Bigger Love” by John Legend
  • “Level of Concern” by Twenty One Pilots

Best Pop (Announced by Nicole Richie):

  • “Rain On Me” by Lady GaGa with Ariana Grande
  • “You Should Be Sad” by Halsey
  • “What A Man Gotta Do” by The Jonas Brothers
  • “Lover” by Taylor Swift
  • “Intentions” by Justin Bieber ft. Quavo
  • “On” by BTS

Best R&B (Announced by Nicole Richie):

  • “Underdog” by Alicia Keys
  • “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd
  • “Do It” by Chloe x Halle
  • “Eleven” Khalid ft. Summer Walker
  • “Slide” by H.E.R. ft. YG
  • “Cuz I Love You” by Lizzo

Artist of The Year (Announced by Kelly Clarkson):

  • Lady GaGa
  • Post Malone
  • DaBaby
  • The Weeknd
  • Megan Thee Stallion
  • Justin Bieber

Video For Good (Announced by Sofia Carson):

  • “The Bigger Picture” by Lil Baby
  • “I Can’t Breathe” by H.E.R.
  • “Love Me” by Demi Lovato
  • “The Man” by Taylor Swift
  • “All The Good Girls Go To Hell” by Billie Eilish
  • “Lockdown” by Anderson Paak

MTV Tricon (Announced by Bella Hadid):

Lady GaGa was honored for her being a global superstar, award winning activist, a philanthropist, a mental health advocate, and for her unique sense of fashion. Throughout the years, GaGa has impressed us all with her meat dress, three-layer MET Gala attire, egg yolk surprise, and more. According to MTV, GaGa has won 13 VMAs, 11 Grammies, 6 number one albums, one Oscar for “Best Original Song”, one golden globe for her first television acting role, and one academy award nomination for “Best Actress” in the 2018 romance film, “A Star Is Born”.

Best Hip-Hop (Announced by Travis Barker):

  • “Highest In The Room” by Travis Scott
  • “Godzilla” Eminem ft. Juice Wrld
  • “Savage” Megan Thee Stallion
  • “Bop” by DaBaby
  • “Life Is Good” Future ft. Drake
  • “The Box” by Roddy Ricch

Push New Artist (Announced by Machine Gun Kelly):

  • Lewis Capaldi
  • Doja Cat
  • Yungblud

Best Choreography, Best K-Pop & Best Group:

“On” by BTS

Best Visual Effects:

“Physical” by Dua Lipa

Best Cinematography:

“Rain On Me” by Lady GaGa with Ariana Grande

Best Rock:

“Orphans” by Coldplay

Best Art Direction & Best Editing

“Mother’s Daughter” by Miley Cyrus

Best Alternative

“Bloody Valentine” by Machine Gun Kelly

Best Quarantine Performance:

“MTV Unplugged At Home” by CNCO

Video of The Year (Announced by Bebe Rexha):

  • “Godzilla” by Eminem ft. Juice Wrld
  • “Rain On Me” by Lady GaGa with Ariana Grande
  • “Everything I Wanted” by Billie Eilish
  • “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd
  • “The Man” by Taylor Swift
  • “Life Is Good” by Future ft. Drake

Published by Monica Ring

Screenwriter/Journalist with a passion for storytelling

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