What went down at the 2019 MTV VMAs: Best moments, performances and winners list

What went down at the 2019 MTV VMAs: Best moments, performances and winners list

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Text: Stephanie Boey

Image: Getty Images

The biggest winners of the night: Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and Billie Eilish

The MTV Video Music Awards turns 35 this year! First held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, it's seen many momentous and iconic events to go down in music history. In recent years, you may remember Lady Gaga's raw meat dress, Beyoncé's pregnancy announcement and probably the most notorious of all, Kanye West taking the microphone from Taylor Swift as she was accepting her award for 'Best Video by a Female Artist' in 2009. (Can you believe that was 10 years ago?!)

Fast forward to the present, this year's award show was hosted by comedian Sebastian Maniscalco and was held in Newark, New Jersey. Albeit the lesser known host and oddly-placed show location, the performances were nothing short of spectacular. Miley Cyrus performed her latest breakup anthem ‘Slide Away' which was released shortly after announcing her split from husband Liam Hemsworth.


On a lighter note, Taylor Swift who's been crushing the charts with the recent release of her latest album ‘Lover', performed ‘You Need to Calm Down' with a rainbow stage, and recreated the set of the song's music video...which won ‘Video of the Year'— the biggest award of the night.



Music's newest sweetheart Lizzo delivered a smashing performance of ‘Truth Hurts' and ‘Good as Hell', stopping mid-song to chug from her rhinestone-studded flask and delivering a heart-felt monologue about self-empowerment. Not to mention, her epic wardrobe change from a two-toned beige coat to a canary yellow one-piece.



After months of teasing fans with PDA-filled pictures, Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello took their chemistry on stage with ‘Señorita'. These two sure know how to put on a steamy show! The young pair won the best collaboration of the night. Next up, K-pop superstars BTS went on to win two awards, 'Best K-Pop' and 'Best Group' beating out fellow heavyweights Backstreet Boys, Jonas Brothers and 5 Seconds of Summer. Trail blazing Billie Eilish took home the 'Best New Artist', 'Push Artist of the Year' and 'Best Editing' for her latest hit, 'Bad Guy'. Ariana Grande snagged the 'Artist of the Year Award' and '7 Rings' was awarded for 'Best Art Direction'. Her latest song, 'Boyfriend' with Social House was voted the official 'Song of Summer'. Speaking of summer... Megan Thee Stallion's viral 'Hot Girl Summer' hit that's gone on to become a meme won 'Best Power Anthem'.



The best moment of the night goes to Missy Elliot who was honoured with the 2019 Video Vanguard Award for her groundbreaking visual work. Some of her most memorable videos include 'Get Ur Freak On', ‘Pass That Dutch' and ‘Work It' which have become iconic pieces of work and continue to inspire. Brb, gonna hit that Missy Elliot playlist!



View the full winners' list below:

Video of the Year
Taylor Swift, ‘You Need to Calm Down'

Artist of the Year
Ariana Grande

Song of the Year

Lil Nas X, ‘Old Town Road (Remix)' [ft. Billy Ray Cyrus]

Best New Artist
Billie Eilish

Best Collaboration
Shawn Mendes / Camila Cabello: ‘Señorita'

Push Artist of the Year
Billie Eilish

Best Pop
Jonas Brothers, 'Sucker'

Best Hip-Hop
Cardi B, ‘Money'

Best R&B
Normani, ‘Waves' [ft. 6LACK]

Best K-Pop
BTS, ‘Boy With Luv' [ft. Halsey]

Best Latin
Rosalía / J Balvin, ‘Con Altura' [ft. El Guincho]

Best Dance
The Chainsmokers, ‘Call You Mine' [ft. Bebe Rexha]

Best Rock

Panic! At the Disco, ‘High Hopes'

Video for Good
Taylor Swift, ‘You Need to Calm Down'

Best Group

Best Power Anthem
Megan Thee Stallion, ‘Hot Girl Summer' [ft. Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign]

Song of Summer
Ariana Grande and Social House ‘Boyfriend'

Best Direction
Lil Nas X, ‘Old Town Road (Remix)' [ft. Billy Ray Cyrus] (dir. Calmatic)

Best Visual Effects
Taylor Swift, ‘ME!' [ft. Brendon Urie] (visual effects: Loris Paillier & Lucas Salton for BUF VFX)

Best Editing
Billie Eilish, ‘bad guy' (editing: Billie Eilish)

Best Art Direction
Ariana Grande, ‘7 ring' (art direction: John Richoux)

Best Choreography

Rosalía/ J Balvin, ‘Con Altura' [ft. El Guincho] (choreography: Charm La'Donna)

Best Cinematography
Shawn Mendes / Camila Cabello, ‘Señorita' (cinematography: Scott Cunningham)