The top 10 moments of the 2017 MTV VMAs
These artists dared to be great.
Body-shaming. Immigration. Diversity. Violence. Racism. Suicide. The 2017 MTV VMAs brought awareness to all of these as millions across the world tuned in to the awards show on Sunday night (August 27). This year, the show not only celebrated the success of today’s biggest stars in music, but also used its enormous platform to advocate for many social and political issues facing the country today.
Whether it was a powerful performance, a shady side-eye, or refreshingly candid commentary, here are the top 10 moments that artists decided to #DareGreatly at the 2017 MTV VMA awards.
1 | Kendrick Lamar’s high-energy opening performance. It included ninjas. Scaling walls. That were on fire. As he performed his breakout hits “DNA.” and “HUMBLE.” Need we say more?
2 | Logic’s touching performance of “1-800-273-8255” With Alessia Cara and Khalid, the trio brought out 50 suicide-attempt and loss survivors to join them. In the end, Logic called for a group hug and gave a short speech on equality for all, making for one of the night’s most powerful moments.
3 | Paris Jackson speaking out against hatred. While presenting the Best Pop Video award, Michael Jackson’s daughter advised the crowd, “So let’s leave here tonight remembering that we must show these Nazi, white supremacist jerks in Charlottesville and all over the country that a nation, with liberty as our slogan, has zero tolerance for their violence, their hatred, and their discrimination.”
4 | Susan Bro, mother of Heather Heyer, presenting the newly-added Best Fight Against the System Award. During her touching speech, she thanked everyone for their support during her difficult time saying, “Only 15 days ago, my daughter was killed as she protested racism. I miss her, but I know she’s here tonight. I’m deeply moved to see people across the world, all over the world, be inspired by her courage.” Bro also announced that her family has started the Heather Heyer Foundation to provide scholarships for students who have interest in social justice issues.
5 | The Cardi B takeover! Not only did Cardi deliver a high-energy performance during the pre-show, she also took the opportunity while introducing performer Demi Lovato to show love and support to a certain blacklisted NFL quarterback saying, “Colin Kaepernick, as long as you kneel with us, we’re gonna be standing for you, baby.”
6 | MTV’s subtle and shady jab. During a commercial break, ceremony organizers decided to broadcast YG’s “F Donald Trump” track to the audience.
7 | The Nicki Minaj vs. Remy Ma beef breathing new life. Before heading into a commercial break alongside Terrence J, Remy boldly took shots at her rival by asking “Nicki, what’s good?” straight into the camera; it was a direct reference to the threat Nicki made to Miley Cyrus back at the 2015 MTV VMAs.
8 | Kendrick Lamar winning big. He took home six awards including Best Hip-Hop Video and Video of the Year, both for “HUMBLE.”
9 | Pink giving a lesson in self-love. While accepting the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, singer Pink told a story to the crowd, recalling a moment in which she taught her daughter about self-acceptance. She revealed that her six-year-old once told her she felt like ugliest girl in the world and Pink reminded her, and us, that she (nor we) should ever conform to what other people wanted her to look like.
10 | Reverend Robert Lee IV, a descendant of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, condemning all that his ancestor represented. While presenting the Best Fight Against the System Award, he slammed white supremacy, privilege, and racism: “America’s original sin.”