Kendrick Lamar’s opening performance
Can you think of a crazier way to open an awards show than by setting a dude on fire? That’s probably the question Kendrick and VMA producers asked themselves as they plotted out Kendrick’s show-opening performance, which included a flawless medley of his DAMN. hits and, yes, a guy on fire.
Cardi B’s response to Lil Uzi Vert coming out during Ed Sheeran’s performance
Surely no one saw Lil Uzi Vert’s appearance coming as Sheeran was singing his hit “Shape of You,” but it seemed “Bodak Yellow” rapper Cardi B was the most surprised, at least judging by her face.
DJ Khaled's son Asahd making yet another precious appearance
After Katy Perry jokingly talked about having a baby that already has a sponsored Instagram account — while having a fake baby strapped to her chest — DJ Khaled came out with his real (and very famous) baby boy to show her what a true baby superstars are made of. "Asahd is an icon. Asahd is a mogul. Asahd has a platinum album!"
Chester Bennington tribute
Although Jared Leto was in attendance at this year’s VMAs for his band Thirty Seconds to Mars’ performance of their new single “Walk On Water,” he first came to the stage to honor Chester Bennington with a heartfelt speech that also addressed those who are struggling with similar issues the late Linkin Park frontman dealt with. And to top it off, they showed a clip of a Linkin Park VMAs performance from 2010, likely not leaving a dry eye in the room.
P!nk’s story about her daughter
After delivering a rousing medley performance of some of her biggest hits, P!nk accepted her Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award with a touching, bittersweet story about her adorable 6-year-old daughter, who was watching from the crowd. She explained that her daughter worried she was ugly, to which P!nk responded by making a PowerPoint presentation of androgynous rock stars like Prince and David Bowie. The story was cute enough in itself, but then P!nk closed out her speech with an empowering message of her own. "We don’t change, we take the gravel in the shell and make a pearl, and we help other people change so they can see more kinds of beauty."
Logic including suicide attempt survivors in his performance
Logic’s suicide hotline song "1-800-273-8255” sends a touching message to those struggling with mental health issues, but the reality of the heartbreakingly meaningful track came to fruition when he took the VMAs stage to perform it alongside Alessia Cara and Khalid. The stage was outlined with people who are survivors of suicide attempts, making for a moving and unforgettable moment.
Katy Perry’s opening monologue
Katy Perry’s music videos are enough to tell that she has a sense of humor and doesn’t take herself too seriously, but for some reason, her jokes in her opening monologue -- referring to the current not-so-great state of the country -- fell flat.
Fyre Festival jokes
Yes, it’s pretty standard for awards show hosts to poke fun at current events. And yes, the fiasco that was Fyre Festival was pretty easy to poke fun at, between the cheese sandwiches and the fact that the shows never actually happened. But that was almost four months ago at this point — it may not be fake news, but it’s definitely old news.
Lorde’s uncomfortable dancing-only performance
According to Lorde’s Twitter, the poor girl was sick with the flu on the night of the VMAs ("you can't tell in these pictures but i have the flu so bad i needed an IV #showgoeson,” she wrote). But as her hashtag insinuates, she wasn’t going to let her illness hold her back from performing at the show, so she opted for a silent performance of “Homemade Dynamite.” As much as we love Lorde for still taking the stage sick, it’s kind of hard to deny that her performance was rather… awkward.
Cutting off Julia Michaels and Kyle’s performances
We understand that Michaels and Kyle are still up-and-coming artists, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get as much performance time as anyone else on the VMAs bill. Unfortunately that’s what happened with Michaels and Kyle while they were singing their hits “Issues” and “iSpy,” each getting maybe 2 minutes of camera time. And they both sounded so good, too!