This year’s MTV Video Music Awards belonged to Jennifer Lopez, whose booty-shaking extravaganza performance on Monday at Radio City Music Hall even had her boyfriend Alex Rodriguez reaching for his smart phone to capture the moment. She gave a stunning performance before accepting the award. Lopez returned to the stage applauded by a thundering standing ovation. She was visibly emotional while accepting the award as she went on to make her speech.
With help from DJ Khaled and Ja Rule and 12 mostly shirtless male dancers, Lopez ripped through two decades of flashy, well-choreographed videos, including this year’s “Dinero,” which was nominated for two awards and was named best collaboration.
Sharing the award with Lopez gave Cardi B three awards including breakthrough artist and song of the summer” for “I Like It.” Childish Gambino’s stunning video “This Is America” also won three awards, including video with a message.
“I grew up on MTV — this is really a tremendous honor for me,” said Lopez, who spent nearly a decade of her career living in Brookville. “It has been an incredible journey of dreaming my wildest dreams and watching them come true.”
Lopez, known as much as an actress and a dancer as she is a singer, said she has never followed rules. “This career has always been an obsession for me,” said Lopez, who paid tribute to her children and Rodriguez. “I was always a person who was like, ‘Why not?’ ”
Lopez became the first Latin artist to receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award from MTV and drew a lengthy standing ovation from the crowd.
Monday night’s show marked the VMAs’ return to Radio City Music Hall for the first time since 2009, when Kanye West infamously interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech to protest her win over Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies.” This year, the awards were once again upstaged.
Yes, Camila Cabello was named artist of the year and won video of the year, bowing to Madonna as she picked up the award. Post Malone won song of the year for “Rockstar” and closed out the show by performing the hit with 21 Savage (after being introduced by Lenny Kravitz). Then Malone went on to perform with rockers Aerosmith, who followed the hip-hop star and sang a medley of their hits including “Dream On.” And Nicki Minaj won best hip-hop video for “Chun-Li.”
But it was Minaj’s five-song medley at The Oculus in lower Manhattan that will have people talking, especially as she threw in a version of her controversial “Barbie Dreams,” where she takes many top male rappers to task.
That was the case for much of the night, as the performances generated all the buzz. Logic and Ryan Tedder staged their new collaboration “One Day,” as a play that reunited children separated from their parents at the border “We Are All Humans” T-shirts. Shawn Mendes made it rain inside Radio City Music Hall during “In My Blood.”
Cardi B came into the night with 10 nominations, followed by The Carters — aka Beyoncé and Jay-Z — who landed eight nominations, for their “Ape—” video filmed in The Louvre. Early in the evening, The Carters landed two technical awards, as did Childish Gambino’s “This Is America’.