Pre-taped green screens, recorded crowd reactions, and social distancing replaced the crowded high-profile celebrities and unpredictable live moments at this year’s 2020 MTV annual Video Music Awards show.
Hosted by Keke Palmer, the show honored the death of actor Chadwick Boseman, the health care workers of Covid-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement. Not only was the VMA’s virtual this year, but it also introduced new award categories to reflect the unique times of the pandemic. New awards being Best Music Video From Home, Video for Good, Best Quarantine Performance, and Everyday Heroes: Frontline Medical Workers.
Notably, the star of the award show was the infamous Lady Gaga, who did not let the pandemic stop her from bringing chic looks to the award show. While the singer and actress brought home five awards Sunday night, including the first MTV Tricon Award, what stood out more were her plethora of over-the-top face masks. From silver masks by Maison Met to tusked masks by Lance V. Moore, Gaga did not let the pandemic stop her from making a fashion statement. “I might sound like a broken record, but wear a mask,” said Gaga in her acceptance speech this year. We were even treated to a medley of Gaga songs, featuring a debut performance of “Rain on Me” with Ariana Grande.
Although the VMA’s weren’t able to host the award show at the planned Barclay Center location, some live performances were still held around New York City by The Weeknd and Maluma. We even saw performances by Miley Cyrus, who debuted her first live performance of her hit “Midnight Sky,” and K-pop group BTS, who debuted their single “Dynamite.” DaBaby also highlighted the night with a performance paying homage to Black Lives Matter and police brutality.
Best dressed attendees of the virtual award show were Machine Gun Kelly, who wore a hot pink Berluti set, and Jaden Smith, who wore a color-blocked jacket with a pair of light-washed jeans. Model Bella Hadid also wore a memorable sheer black outfit reminiscent of the 90’s goth era. Taylor Swift kept it casual with a button-up shirt from her home, which resembled the times of the pandemic.
While the VMA’s did not take their usual form with scandalous moments between celebrities, the award show did serve its purpose: sharing the year’s top music. Winner The Weeknd took home Video of the Year for “Blinding Lights.” Pop-stars Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande took home Song of the Year for single “Rain on Me.” Boy band BTS took home Best Group, Best KPOP, and Best POP video awards, and Best Choreography.