Last night (September 6th) MTV hosted the 29th Video Music Awards (VMAs) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, featuring performances from Rihanna, P!nk, and Green Day, among others. One Direction, pictured, were the night’s biggest winners, scooping three of the coveted Moonmen statues.
Rihanna kicked off the main show, performing a remix of her single ‘Cockiness’ with A$AP Rocky, followed by ‘We Found Love’ with Calvin Harris. For the second song, the singer walked deep into the crowd for an ultra-intimate performance.
Nicki Minaj performing ‘Girl On Fire’ with Alicia Keys – featuring a short demonstration from Olympic gold gymnast Gabby Douglas. Minaj won the award for Best Female Video and was nominated for two others. The night was curiously uneventful, with no scandals or dresses made of meat.
Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day had to cancel a gig just six days ago, when he was hospitalised with a parasite-induced illness. That didn’t stop them performing last night, as they pounded out ‘Let Yourself Go’ from their upcoming album, ‘¡Uno!’ The group are VMA legends, having won 11 awards over the years.
The British-Irish girl group The Saturdays made their U.S. red carpet debut. Since 2007, the London-based group have released 3 albums, two of which reached top-10 status, and now they are looking towards making their first major moves into the American market.
Adriana Petty (left) was nominated for Best Direction for ‘Princess of China’ by Coldplay and Rihanna. Joining her, her father Tom Petty and wife Dana York. A classic rocker, Tom has sold over 60 million albums in a career spanning 5 decades.
Chris Brown picked up awards for Best Choreography and Best Male Video for ‘Turn Up The Music’, and made it through the whole 2 hour ceremony without punching a single woman in the face.
Ke$ha took the opportunity to announce a new single, ‘Die Young’, to be released later this month. The singer is preparing to launch a new album, to follow her 2010 debut Animal. “About 90 percent of the time, I don’t give a fuck, but I give so many fucks about this album.”
Lil Wayne was nominated for Best Video with a Message, but this was won by Demi Lovato for ‘Skyscraper’. In this pic he is performing ‘Yuck!’ with 2 Chainz, after stealing his shorts from a leopard.
Miley Cyrus (left) and sister Brandi. The former Disney Channel star got the honour of introducing P!nk, from one platinum-blonde mohawk to another.
Cooling down the pace a notch or ten, New Orleans singer Frank Ocean sings an emotional performance of ‘Thinkin’ Bout You’. His debut studio album was only released in July, but he was still able to notch 3 nominations for the video for ‘Swim Good’, from his first (unreleased) mixtape.
In a tumultuous year for Katy Perry following her divorce with Russell Brand, she was still able to receive 4 nominations, and win Best Art Direction. This is down on her excellent 2011 ceremony, where she was nominated in 10 categories and won 3. When an interviewer asked “If you could do something different, what would it be?” Perry answered, “Nothing!”
P!nk, sitting in a pair of floating lips, performs ‘Blow Me (One Last Kiss)’ live for the first time, accompanied by a dancing troupe of high-heeled lips. It is one of the more surreal events of the evening.
Calvin Harris won Best Electronic Music Video for ‘Feel So Close’, and also played a part in Rihanna’s ‘We Found Love’ that scooped Video of the Year. The Scot is gearing up to release his third album in October.
Alicia Keys performed ‘Girl On Fire’ with Nicki Minaj. (And if you’ve been reading carefully, you’ll already know this included a demonstration by Olympian Gabby Douglas!) This is the first single from her album of the same name – which the singer assures us is not a reference to The Hunger Games. Keys has said the title refers to “that powerful feeling.”
After weeks of uncertainty about whether she was just putting on weight, hip-hop couple Amber Rose and Wiz Khalifa finally confirmed they are expecting a baby boy. Wiz also got on stage to present Best New Artist alongside Ke$ha.
Heading the ceremonies with joint-most nominations (with Rihanna), statistically Drake pretty much had to win something. And he did! Picking up the Moonman for Best Hip-Hop Video, for his track ‘HYFR’.
Rihanna became the first female artist, and only the second artist ever (after Eminem) to win the overall Video of the Year award twice, with ‘We Found Love’. She also received 5 nominations – or 11 if you include all the records where she was “feat.” with Drake on ‘Take Care’ and Coldplay on ‘Princess of China’.
Closing the 2012 VMAs, Taylor Swift performed ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ to a cheering house. This is the first single from her forthcoming album, and she finished the show with a modest stage-dive.