Jennifer Lopez took the stage at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 20 to execute a career-spanning medley of her most iconic hits for her first performance at the telecast since her 2001 VMAs debut. The singer also accepted this year’s Michael Jackson video vanguard award.
The 49-year-old kicked off her performance with a club-ready one-two punch of “Waiting For Tonight” and “On The Floor,” donning a flowing Versace caftan. The diva then stripped down into a shimmering gold bodysuit before knocking out a killer dance routine to a slew of hits including “Dance Again,” “I Ain’t Your Mama, “Love Don’t Cost A Thing,” and “Get It Right.” She closed the first portion of her performance in a fur coat, belting out her 2002 Hot 100 chart topper “All I Have” as snow sprinkled from the ceiling.
After a quick transition courtesy of her hunky backup dancers, Lopez broke through a LED brick wall and hopped on the front of a 6 train to perform “Jenny From The Block.” Then, Ja Rule joined the hitmaker for quick renditions of “I’m Real” and “Ain’t That Funny.” The diva closed out her set with her latest Hot 100 entry, “Dinero,” set in front of a ginormous vault, stamped with her initials. Collaborator DJ Khaled yelled over the crowd: “Standing ovation!”
After the performance, Shawn Mendes appeared onstage to present J.Lo with the video vanguard award, pointing out that the show was being filmed only 13 subway stops from Lopez’s home in the Bronx. Lopez graciously accepted the award, saying, “I grew up on MTV and this is really a tremendous honor for me. It has been an incredibly journey of dreaming my wildest dreams and watching them come true.”
In her speech, she thanked her children, Max and Elle, as well as boyfriend Alex Rodriguez: “You’re like my twin soul. We’re like mirror images of each other. You make me realize every day the sky is no the limit.”
Since being nominated for Best New Artist (and four other awards) at the VMAs way back in 1999, Lopez has won four moon person awards over the course of her career, including the video vanguard award. The pop star joins the esteemed company of recent video vanguard recipients P!nk, Rihanna, Kanye West and Beyonce.
Watch Lopez’s performance below.