In between dishing out moonman statuettes, the MTV VMAs 2019 served as a showcase for the cream of the crop in pop music right now. A packed bill boasted the likes of Lizzo, Taylor Swift, and Miley Cyrus, each bringing their own unique energy to the stage. Here are the best performances from the MTV VMAs 2019 in New Jersey.
Lizzo – ‘Truth Hurts’/’Good As Hell’
There were plenty of inflatables on show at this year’s VMAs but leave it to Lizzo to have the best of the lot – a giant, inflatable arse that jiggled away behind her and her dancers as they performed one of the best songs from her recent album ‘Cuz I Love You’ in ‘Truth Hurts’. It remained there, too, for 2016’s ‘Good As Hell’, which also served as a reminder that Lizzo has been this good for some time now.
Missy Elliott – ‘Get Ur Freak On’, ‘Lose Control’, ‘Throw It Back’ and more
Missy Elliott never had to prove she was worthy of being given the Video Vanguard award this year, but if anyone was doubting her credentials, her medley performance will have more than silenced her critics. From an all-silver performance of new single ‘Throw It Back’ and recreating her vinyl suit look from ‘The Rain’ video to a bouncy race through ‘Get Ur Freak On’ and a field-based ‘Pass That Dutch’, she gave a breakneck look back through a catalogue full of iconic moments. She even brought back former child star Alyson Stoner to help her perform ‘Work It’ in a sweet, stunning highlight.
Rosalía and Ozuna – ‘A Ningun Hombre’/’Yo x Ti, Tu x Mi’/’Aute Cuture’
There are many reasons why Spanish singer Rosalía is one of the hottest stars of the moment and she showed off some of them in her debut VMAs performance, with the help of Ozuna. In a three-song segment, she gave us drama, emotion, divine vocals, and the kind of killer dance moves that bewitch all who enter her live shows.
Normani – ‘Motivation’
Expect the video for Normani’s ‘Motivation’ to win all the awards at next year’s ceremony but, for now, the former Fifth Harmony singer had to make do with just performing the track instead. Recreating some of the clip’s most memorable scenes – dancing on chainlink fences, taking her moves to the court (but sadly not that basketball trick) – Ariana Grande’s tourmate put in one of the best performances of the night in what also happened to be her first-ever solo performance. Not a bad start.
Taylor Swift – ‘You Need To Calm Down’/’Lover’
As the show’s opening act, Taylor kicked things off in vibrant form, first joined by the cast of the ‘You Need To Calm Down’ video to wake up the Prudential Centre with a bang. Later, she strapped on a guitar and wandered off on her own to the end of the stage to play ‘Lover’, a softer, tender cut from the new album of the same name.
Miley Cyrus – ‘Slide Away’
She originally turned down the chance to perform at tonight’s ceremony but, for reasons unknown, Miley changed her mind at the last minute and found her way onto the bill to play new single ‘Slide Away’. Shot in black and white and surrounded by string players, the pop star gave an emotionally charged performance, complete with her trademark gravelly growl. Pain never sounded so good.