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Saturday, February 4, 2023

VMAs: Taylor, Harry win big as Depp surprises

Date:

Taylor Swift took home the night’s biggest prize 2022 MTV Video Music Awards.

She also announced a new album amid what is being called chaotic, bleep-heavy show that hailed music phenomena both past and present, and featured a surprise appearance by Hollywood star Johnny Depp, the Guardian reported.

The spectre of virality hung over the ceremony in Newark, New Jersey which, after two relatively buttoned-up (and Covid-straitened) years, swerved into raunchy, unpredictable, self-consciously forward-thinking territory, said the Guardian in its description.

Snoop Dogg and Eminem performed their new song From the D 2 the LBC mostly in the metaverse, alongside Bored Ape NFTs.

Ads for sponsor Doritos appeared on stage far more than LL Cool J, one of three “emcees” along with rappers Jack Harlow and Nicki Minaj. Several performances, including Minaj’s and J Balvin’s, included holographic elements, the Guradian report added.

Swift, who won best longform video and video of the year for All Too Well (10 Minute Version) for her 2021 re-recorded album “Red”, was the only artist to double-up on televised awards.

Harry Styles, who was nominated for a ton of awards at the 2022 VMAs, made a virtual appearance on winning Artist of the Year. He said he was performing for “all my friends who got tickets to his show at Madison Square Garden in NYC”.

In the pre-recoded tape, the singer thanked all for the award, as well as frequent collaborators Tom and Tyler for working on Harry’s House with him.

Across three hours, MTV moonmen statues went to industry veterans such as Nicki Minaj (best hip-hop) and the Red Hot Chili Peppers (best rock); non-English superstars such as Puerto Rican singer Bad Bunny (artist of the year) and Blackpink’s Lisa (best K-pop).

Dove Cameron, a former Disney child star turned actor, who surprised some to win best new artist.

Swift noted that the final category of the evening, video of the year, was historic, as “for the first time in VMA history, four of the directors nominated in the video of the year category are women”.

The pop star said her fans had “emboldened” her to re-record her first five albums, as part of a dispute with her former record label, and used the speech to announce a “brand new album” that will be released on October 21.

Swift is the only artist to win a third video of the year trophy, and the first to win for a video she directed herself. She won previously in 2015 for Bad Blood and 2019 for You Need to Calm Down.

In a controversial move seemingly targeted at generating internet chatter, Johnny Depp made several surprise cameos, his head digitally superimposed on the helmet of MTV’s floating astronaut mascot, the Guardian report said.

Depp’s appearance came nearly three months after his victory in a highly public defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard that generated coverage some criticised as encouraging “an orgy of misogyny”.

The 59-year-old actor, who joked to the crowd outside the Prudential Center on Sunday that he “needed the work”, appeared later in the telecast to say he’s “available for birthdays, barmitzvahs, batmitzvahs, weddings, wakes, any old thing you need”.

The bleep-heavy telecast offered plenty of risque moments — Lizzo, accepting the video for good award for her song About Damn Time, shouted down “all the bitches who got something to say about me in the press” with “bitch I’m winning, hoe!”

The camera panned out to generic stadium shots for seconds at a time during Måneskin’s performance.

While Red Hot Chili Pepper bassist Flea’s thank you to drummer Chad Smith was almost entirely censored.

Harlow opened the show with his song First Class, an interpolation of Fergie’s 2006 hit Glamorous alongside the former Black Eyed Peas member herself. There were not one but two lifetime achievement awards, given to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Minaj.

The band performed their new single Black Summer and their 2002 hit Can’t Stop before accepting the Global Icon award, celebrating their almost 40-year career.

Lead singer Anthony Kiedis thanked “the sassy mistress known as MTV for supporting us for 1,000 years or more” while Flea added an effusive and curse-laden addition.

In a fittingly hot pink-themed medley, Minaj sang over a decade of hits

It was followed by her acceptance speech in which the 39-year-old Trinidadian-American rapper, clearly nervous, at one point walked away from the podium to retrieve her phone from an assistant.

“I wish that Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson were here,” Minaj said in her speech. “I wish that people had understood what they meant and what they were going through. I wish people took mental health seriously, even for the people that you think have the perfect lives.”

The Guardian described her closing as “she brought the show home with ‘stay super freaky, have great vagina, I love you'” as “fitting end to a strange, profane evening”.

Complete Winners List:

Video of the year

Taylor Swift – “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version)” – Republic Records

Album of the year

Harry Styles – Harry’s House

Group of the year

BTS

Artist of the year

Bad Bunny – Rimas Entertainment

Song of the year

Dove Cameron – Disruptor Records / Columbia Records

Best visual effects

Lil Nas X, Jack Harlow – “INDUSTRY BABY” – Columbia Records

Best choreography

Doja Cat – “Woman” – Kemosabe Records / RCA Records

Best editing

ROSALÍA – “SAOKO” – Columbia Records

Song of the summer

Jack Harlow – “First Class”

Push performance of the year

December 2021: SEVENTEEN – “Rock With You” – PLEDIS Entertainment / Geffen Records

Best collaborationLil Nas X, Jack Harlow – “INDUSTRY BABY” – Columbia Records

Best pop

Harry Styles – “As It Was” – Columbia Records

Best hip-hop

Nicki Minaj ft. Lil Baby – “Do We Have A Problem?” – Young Money / Cash

Best rock

Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Black Summer” – Warner Records

Best alternative

Måneskin – “I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE” – Arista Records

Best Latin

“Envolver” – Warner Records

Best R&B

The Weeknd – “Out of Time” – XO / Republic Records

Best K-pop

“LALISA” – YG Entertainment / Interscope Records

Video for good

Lizzo – “About Damn Time” – Atlantic Records

Best metaverse performance

BLACKPINK The Virtual | PUBG – YG Entertainment / Interscope Records

Best longform video

Taylor Swift – “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version)” – Republic Records

Best cinematography

Harry Styles – “As It Was” – Columbia Records

Best direction

Taylor Swift – “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version)” – Republic Records

Best art direction

Lil Nas X, Jack Harlow – “INDUSTRY BABY” – Columbia Records

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