2020 VMAs Recap

2020 VMAs Recap

Picture by Brandon Kim

By Evelyn Paulino, Staff Writer

MTV’s Video Music Awards (VMAs) is an annual award show, not to be confused with the Grammy Awards. The VMAs are nominated and voted on by the fans instead of music professionals. The annual VMAs ceremonies are held at the end of the summer to honor the best music videos of the year. The winners of the categories are awarded a silver statue of an astronaut on the Moon, aka the “Moon Person.”


This year was the 37th annual VMAs ceremony, held on August 30. This year’s ceremony was hosted by American actress and singer Lauren Keyana “Keke” Palmer in New York City.


Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s virtual VMAs ceremony was different from previous years. For starters, Keke Palmer had all of her segments recorded on a virtual stage with a digitally generated audience. All of the music performances for the award show were held in various places in New York City. There were no live audiences at any of the artists’ performances, meaning that all of the viewers watched from home. Two new award categories were also added because of the coronavirus: Best Quarantine Performance, won by CNCO’s “MTV Unplugged at Home” video, and Best Music Video from Home, won by Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber’s song “Stuck with U.”


The 2020 VMAs were dedicated to Chadwick Boseman, an American actor, who died from colon cancer only a couple of days before the awards. At the beginning of the VMAs, Keke Palmer presented a tribute video message honoring Boseman.


The award show started with The Weeknd performing his hit song, “Blinding Lights,” which won the VMAs Video of the Year and Best R&B. One of the most memorable moments of this year’s ceremony was The Weeknd’s acceptance speech for the Best R&B award: “It’s really hard for me to celebrate right now and enjoy this moment. So, I’m just going to say: Justice for Jacob Blake and Justice for Breonna Taylor.” Although it was brief, his speech showed his advocacy for racial equality.


Another notable performance at this year’s VMAs was BTS’ debut performance of their latest single “Dynamite.” BTS won a considerable amount of awards that night, including Best Group award. Their song, “On,” won in the Best Pop, Best K-pop, and Best Choreography categories.


The most nominated artists of the 2020 VMAs were Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande, who were both nominated nine times. At each nomination appearance, Lady Gaga wore a new extravagant outfit with a stylized mask to match.


Lady Gaga was the main winner of the 2020 VMAs, walking away with five awards, including the Artist of the Year and Tricon awards. Her song with Ariana Grande, “Rain On Me,” won Song of the Year, Best Collaboration, and Best Cinematography. During her career, Lady Gaga has earned a total of 18 VMA awards so far. This puts her right behind Madonna, with 20 awards, and Beyoncé, with 25 awards.