MTV VMAs recognizes standouts

By: Zenab Saeed ~Staff Writer~

Photo courtesy of | Rihanna received the 2016 Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, a lifetime achievement award renamed in 1991 from “Video Vanguard Award,” which celebrates an artist’s expansive influence.

MTV aired its Video Music Awards (VMAs) show on Aug. 28, which has taken place annually since 1984.

The awards show, held in Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden this year, included the presentation of many Moonman awards and several notable performances.

Although there was no single specific host, presenters were featured to introduce performances and announce awards throughout the show.

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps introduced rapper Future’s performance, and Olympic gymnasts Simone Biles, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian and Aly Raisman presented the award for Best Female Video to Beyoncé for her “Hold Up” video.

In addition to winning the Best Female Video award, Beyoncé, whose newest album Lemonade received great commercial and critical success, won seven other awards of the 11 it was nominated for, including Video of the Year and Best Pop Video for “Formation.” The singer also graced the stage with a 16-minute medley of songs from Lemonade, which was introduced by tennis player Serena Williams. Beyonce’s eight wins at this year’s awards shows brought her VMA award count to a total of 24, breaking Madonna’s previously-held record of 20 awards.

Singer Rihanna, who was the recipient of the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Lifetime Achievement Award, stole the show with her four-part performance, which was presented in installations throughout the show and included her hits “We Found Love,” “What’s My Name?,” “Work,” “Needed Me” and “Diamonds.”

Rapper Drake, who won the Best Hip-Hop Video Award for his chart-topping single “Hotline Bling” and who has been rumored to be romantically involved with Rihanna, praised her while he presented her with the Video Vanguard Award, publically revealing that he has been in love with the singer since he was 22 years old.

Most notably, however, Kanye West, who claimed last year at the award show that he wanted to run for president of the United States, took the stage this year to introduce the premiere for the music video for his song “Fade” off the album The Life of Pablo. In his speech, West referenced his controversial “Famous” music video and named himself in a list of artistic visionaries like Walt Disney and Steve Jobs.

Though the show included many exciting moments and equally exciting performances, ratings and viewership for this year’s show were down compared to previous years.