Last night all the top names in music came together at the 2023 Video Music Awards to honor each other’s achievements, enjoy performances, and celebrate 50 years of hip-hop.
Hosted by hip-hop and rap queen, Nicki Minaj, the VMAs saw numerous hit performances including Nicki herself, Doja Cat, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, Diddy, Lil Wayne and more. Doja Cat performed her newest singles, “Attention,” “Paint The Town Red,” and “Demons” for the first time in front of a live audience, while Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion did the same with their new single, “Bongos.”
Two of the biggest awards of the night went to Diddy and Shakira. Diddy hit the stage to accept the Global Icon Award and perform a mix of his top hits with his son and twin daughters. Shakira accepted the MTV Video Vanguard Award and the Best Collaboration award for her latest “TQG” with Karol G followed by a mashup performance of her best hits.
Taylor Swift cleaned up quite nicely, receiving both the first and last awards of the night, as well as some in between. Throughout the night Swift accepted the awards for Best Pop, Best Direction, Song of the Year, and Video of the Year.
Rema and Selena Gomez won the newest award category of Best Afrobeats with their hit single “Calm Down,” while Anitta won Best Latin and SZA won Best R&B. Ice Spice took home the Best New Artist Award after a graciously tear-filled acceptance speech in which she rooted back to her hometown, she said: “Oh my god, this is so cool … shout out to the Bronx.”
Hostess Nicki Minaj accepted the Best Hip-Hop award for her latest single, “Super Freaky Girl” before performing as part of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop celebration. Lil Wayne opened the celebration of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary by performing a combination of his classic and new tracks. Wayne’s performance kept the TV production team on their toes as they attempted to censor out a significant amount of profanity classically included in Wayne’s lyrics. More hip- hop giants made appearances onstage, including Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Doug E. Fresh, LL Cool J, Slick Rick, and DMC, to celebrate the genre’s major anniversary.
The 2023 VMA’s included an incredible range of performers and award winners across the industry. With the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop playing a large part in many musical events this year, the bar is set pretty high for next year’s events.