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The MTV Video Music Awards

The Video Music Awards took place Sunday, Aug. 28th.

The Video Music Awards took place Sunday, Aug. 28th.

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The 34th annual MTV Video Music Awards kicked off Sunday with Kendrick Lamar’s performance of “DNA” and “HUMBLE”, which included people dancing on fire — literally — and the host this year, Katy Perry, descending from a rocket and onto the stage.

Perry opened up her monologue wearing a glammed-up space suit, explaining how she was on planet Mars for the past year (this being the running joke of the night) and how she’s now out of touch with pop culture because of her absence. Though this year’s awards were not the most memorable VMAs, there were still many defining moments of the night that are worth mentioning.

“[I didn’t watch it] because Big Brother was on,” senior Tiffany Cackler said.

Other stars performed throughout the night. Fifth Harmony, who actually began with a fifth member falling off the stage, representing ex member Camila Cabello leaving the group, performed “Down” along with Gucci Mane. Ed Sheeran sang his single “Shape of You” with a surprise performance from Lil Uzi Vert, who also performed “XO Tour Llif3”, earning a reaction from Cardi B, which has now become a meme. Even Lorde, who had the flu and couldn’t sing, performed by dancing to her new song “Homemade Dynamite”.

Among other memorable moments during the night, Taylor Swift premiered the video for her new single.

“I did watch Taylor Swift’s new music video though,” Cackler added. “I didn’t like it.”

The song, “Look What You Made Me Do”, has since had a record number of views within the first 24 hours.

“‘Look What You Made Me Do’ has toppled, well, just about every record it could in a very short amount of time,” Madison Vain, writer for People Magazine, wrote.

This year, Pink was awarded with the Michael Jackson Vanguard Music Award for her defining music videos over the span of her career. She accepted the award and gave a powerful speech inspired by her six year old daughter, Willow Sage Hart, about beauty standards and adrogynous stars in Hollywood.

“We don’t change,” Pink said. “… we help other people to change so they can see more kinds of beauty.”

The award show also payed homage to singer Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell, both who committed suicide this year. Jared Leto from 30 Seconds to Mars gave a speech about Bennington and Cornell, while rapper Logic featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid performed the song “1-800-273-8255”, the number for the suicide prevention hotline, in order to bring awareness. It has even been said that Logic’s performance has encouraged many people to seek help, as a record number of individuals have called the hotline since Sunday night.

“If there is anyone out there who is watching this tonight, who feels like there is no hope, hear me now,” Leto said. “You are not alone.”

The VMAs brought awareness to discrimination and racism as well, by having Susan Bro, the mother of the woman who was killed during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Heather Heyer, announce the winners for Best Fight Against the System, songs that speak out against various social and political issues. Bro was accompanied by Robert Lee IV, a descendent of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, who condemned those who participated in the rally.

“We can find inspiration in the Black Lives Matter movement, the women who marched in the Women’s march in January, and, especially, Heather Heyer who died fighting for her beliefs in Charlottesville,” Lee addressed in his speech.

Bro has since created a foundation in honor of her daughter, and will award “individuals passionate about positive social change.” The scholarships will be for those who will “seek a degree or certification, but not limited to, law, paralegal studies, social work, social justice, and education.”

Bro stated that the foundation was “to help more people join Heather’s fight against hatred.”

The VMAs then ended with the song “swish Swish”, performed by none other than Perry and Nicki Minaj.

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The MTV Video Music Awards