Video Music Awards sees the worlds biggest musicians attend another successful ceremony

The iconic 2021 Video Music Awards (VMAs) took place last night at Brooklyn’s Barclays Centre. Where many of the world’s most influential artists turned up in some of the wildest outfits to receive awards for their efforts over the past year.

Video Music Awards sees the worlds biggest musicians attend another successful ceremony

In a celebration of music, art and fashion, one of the biggest winners of the night was Lil Nas X, who won the award for Video of The Year with his track MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name). Nas X is lauded by the LGBT community, and saluted them in his acceptance speech, whilst also jokingly thanking “the gay agenda” saying: “First, I want to say thank you to the gay agenda! Let’s go, gay agenda! I love you guys so much, I do not take this for granted”. The comment alludes to the recent media controversy surrounding him and his sexually suggestive dance routines.

The ceremony was hosted by musical performer Doja Cat. Justin Bieber kicked off performances at the event, before winning his own VMA for Artist of The Year. His acceptance speech alluded to the struggles of performers over the span of the pandemic, and also stated: “I know you guys have probably heard it a lot, but we are in unprecedented times right now, with this COVID thing that’s happening. Music is such an amazing opportunity and outlet to be able to reach people and to bring us all together. And that’s why we’re all here, right? We are all here together. We’ve got more in common than we don’t. And I look around here and see so many beautiful faces. I believe the best is yet to come.”

VMA’s legend Madonna also rocked up to the ceremony, celebrating 40 years of the awards.  A staple at the show, her wild antics at the VMAs have become iconic over her long career, such as her sultry 1984 rendition of Like a Virgin and her three-way kiss with Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears in 2003 that made headlines.

Joining Justin Bieber in performing on stage was a myriad of artists from a range of genres, including: Busta Rhymes, Alicia Keys, Camila Cabello, Chlöe of Chloe x Halle, Jack Harlow, Kacey Musgraves, The Kid LAROI, Kim Petras, Lil Nas X, Machine Gun Kelly, Normani, Ozuna, Polo G, Shawn Mendes, Swae Lee, Swedish House Mafia, Tainy and Twenty One Pilots.

The calls for racial justice and tributes to the pandemic abundant in past years were gone this time around, however presenter and singer Cyndi Lauper made some gestures towards sexism and reproductive healthcare rights. She said: “Girls still wanna have fun, but we also want to have funds, equal pay, control over our bodies – you know, fundamental rights”. Billie Eilish won the award for Video for Good with her song, Your Power, mentioning in her speech: “We need to protect our young women at all costs.”

In a surprising turn, and possibly the biggest upset of the night, WAP, the track made infamous by Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B was snubbed by all of the awards that it had been nominated for. 

Foo Fighters, who were recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame won the prestigious Global Icon Award, having been introduced onto the stage by Billie Eilish, they also performed a medley of their best tracks on stage.

You can see a list of the night’s winners below

Video of the Year

Lil Nas X - MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)

Best Rock:

John Mayer - Last Train Home

Best R&B:

Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic - Leave The Door Open

Best Choreography

Harry Styles - Treat People with Kindness - Choreography by: Paul Roberts

Best New Artist

Olivia Rodrigo

Best Direction

Lil Nas X - MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) - Directed by Lil Nas X and Tanu Muino

Best Cinematography

Beyonce, Blue Ivy, SAINt JHN, WizKid - BROWN SKIN GIRL - Cinematography by: Benoit Soler, Malik H. Sayeed, MOHAMMAED ATTA AHMED, Santiago Gonzalez, Ryan Helfant

Best Art Direction:

Saweetie (feat. Doja Cat) - Best Friend - Art Direction: Art Haynes

Best Alternative:

Machine Gun Kelly (feat. blackbear) – my ex’s best friend

Best K-Pop

BTS – “Butter” – BIGHIT MUSIC Monsta X – Gambler

Best Collaboration

Doja Cat (feat. SZA) – Kiss Me More

Best Hip-Hop

Travis Scott (feat. Young Thug & M.I.A.) – FRANCHISE

Artist of The Year

Justin Bieber

Video for Good

Billie Eilish - Your Power

Best Pop

Justin Bieber (feat. Daniel Caesar, Giveon) – Peaches

Song of the Year

Olivia Rodrigo – drivers license

Group of The Year


Push performance of The Year

Olivia Rodrigo - drivers license

Best Latin

Billie Eilish & ROSALÍA - Lo Vas A Olvidar

Best Visual Effects

Lil Nas X – MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) – Visual Effects by: Mathematic

Best Editing

Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic – Leave The Door Open – Editing by: Troy Charbonnet

Header Image Credit: "File:Lil Nas X (cropped).jpg" by DiFronzo is licensed under CC BY 2.0


Ash Edmonds

Ash Edmonds Kickstart

A graduate of Music Journalism from BIMM Brighton – where he now lives – Ash has been writing about everything creative for the past few years. An avid audiophile, he spends a lot of his time searching streaming platforms, record stores and live shows trying to find his next musical obsession.

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