The best moments, performances and winners at the MTV VMAs 2017



By Su Fen Tan

The best moments, performances and winners at the MTV VMAs 2017

Best Moments

This year alone, the world has lost two rock revolutionaries and remarkable voices in Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington. Jared Leto, who knew both singers, took to the stage at the VMAs to pay a special tribute to them.


“Chester said of Chris, ‘Your voice was joy and pain and anger and forgiveness, love and heartache, all wrapped up into one,'” said Leto. “Chester was my friend, as he was to so many. And witnessing his life taught me important things, especially about working relentlessly, pursuing dreams, and being kind and caring while doing it.”

He ended his tribute with an important message: “If there is anyone out there who is watching this tonight, who feels like there is not hope, hear me now: You are not alone. There is always a way forward. Reach out, share your thoughts, do not give up.”


Taylor Swift did not show up at the VMAs this year, but she still managed to steal the limelight with the music video premiere for her angsty new single ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ (ICYMI, here are 16 references we picked up from the video). Love her or hate her, there’s no denying her star power—the video already has over 9 million views at the moment. 

Speaking about star power, the ever-effervescent Pink took home this year’s Vanguard Award and gave a quick yet moving speech about inclusion and acceptance while she was at it, giving us more reason to love her. 

Best Performances

Opening the awards evening was Kendrick Lamar, who did not disappoint with his medley of ‘DNA’ and ‘Humble’. The most-nominated artist of the year lit the stage with a fiery performance (literally) backed by ninja dancers—one of them was actually on fire. He later went on to win six awards.

Before receiving her award, Pink performed a career-spanning hits medley earlier that evening, getting the crowd on their feet with her infectious energy. She kicked off her performance with a string of upbeat tracks (‘Get the Party Started’, ‘Raise Your Glass’ and ‘So What’), before taking things down a notch with a couple of ballads (‘F*ckin’ Perfect’ and ‘Just Give Me a Reason’) and capping it with her new single ‘What About Us’. 

Echoing Leto’s “You are not alone” message from earlier in the evening, rapper Logic delivered a heart-warming performance of his single ‘1-800-273-8255’, which also doubles as the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, along with an orchestra and collaborators Alessia Cara and Khalid. Towards the end of the performance, a group of suicide survivors joined him on stage. They wore T-shirts that displayed the suicide hotline number on the front, and the “You are not alone” message to the back. 

The Winners

Video of the Year:
Kendrick Lamar, ‘Humble’

Artist of the Year:
Ed Sheeran

Best New Artist:

Best Collaboration:
Zayn and Taylor Swift, ‘I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker)’

Best Pop Video:
Fifty Harmony ft. Gucci Mane, ‘Down’

Best Hip Hop Video:
Kendrick Lamar, ‘Humble’

Best Dance Video:
Zedd and Alessia Cara, ‘Stay’

Best Rock Video:
Twenty One Pilots, ‘Heavydirtysoul’

Best Fight Against the System: All honoured
Logic ft Damian Lemar Hudson, ‘Black SpiderMan’
The Hamilton Mixtape ‘Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)’
Big Sean, ‘Light’
Alessa Cara, ‘Scars To Your Beautiful’
Taboo ft. Shailene Woodley, ‘Stand Up/Stand N Rock #NoDAPL’
John Legend, ‘Surefire’

Best Cinematography:
Kendrick Lamar, ‘Humble’

Best Direction:
Kendrick Lamar, ‘Humble’

Best Art Direction:
Kendrick Lamar, ‘Humble’

Best Visual Effects:
Kendrick Lamar, ‘Humble’

Best Choregraphy:
Kanye West, ‘Fade’

Best Editing:
Young Thug,’ Wyclef Jean’

Song of the Summer:
Lil Uzi Vert, ‘XO Tour Llif3’


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