Rapper Jack Harlow took flight to open the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, while Johnny Depp made a surprise by floating above the audience as the Moon Man.
Harlow began her performance inside a simulated airplane by walking down the aisle as she performed her hit song “First Class,” which was sampled by Fergie’s “Glamorous.” The rapper joined Fergie onstage, wearing a sparkly silver dress with the red words “First Class,” as she sang her 2006 jam.
“Thank you Fergie for coming with me tonight and cleaning up this song,” Harlow said after “First Class” won song of the summer later in the show. “The beauty of this song is that people don’t realize it’s so hip-hop because of the sample. Bringing Fergie into the mix like this means a lot to me. It is really a complete circle. ‘Glamorous’ was one of the most important songs of my childhood.”
During the show, Depp made a surprise appearance nearly three months after the verdict in his libel trial with his ex-wife Amber Heard. The 59-year-old actor floated from the ceiling while wearing the iconic astronaut suit with his face digitally inserted into the custom helmet.
“And you know what? I needed the job,” Depp told the audience at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Lizzo made Taylor Swift dance from her seat as she performed her new single “2 Be Loved (Am I Ready)”.
Harlow was called back onstage to collect the show’s top award for his guest appearance on Lil Nas X’s song “Industry Baby,” which won best collaboration. Both Harlow and Lil Nas X are tied for the top nominees with seven apiece.
“This one is for champions,” Lil Nas X said before Harlow thanked him for the collaboration on the chart-topping single. The song propelled their nominations, putting them in the competition for artist of the year along with Drake, Bad Bunny, Ed Sheeran, Harry Styles and Lizzo.
Kendrick Lamar entered the show with seven nominations, closely followed by Harry Styles and Doja Cat with six nominations each. Sheeran, Billie Eilish, Drake, Dua Lipa, Tayler Swift and The Weeknd each have five.
Swift accepted the award for best long-form video for her “All Too Well: The Short Film.” The singer discussed creating her first short film and thanked several of hers, including actors Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien, who starred in the project.
“We put our whole hearts into this,” Swift said.
Styles won album of the year for “Harry’s House.” He was unable to attend the awards due to his performance at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
On the other hand, Harlow pulled double duty, joining LL Cool J and Nicki Minaj as hosts of the show.
Minaj performed a mix of the biggest hits of her career from “Roman’s Revenge”, “Chun-Li”, “Moment 4 Life”, “Beez in the Trap”, “Anaconda” and “Super Bass”. Following her performance, the rapper accepted the show’s Video Vanguard Award, which MTV has said she will receive for her artistry, her barrier-breaking hip-hop and her status as a global superstar. The honor is named after Michael Jackson.
During her acceptance speech, Minaj paid tribute to other icons of the music like Jackson, Whitney Houston, Lil Wayne and Kanye West. He talked about the importance of mental health.
“I wish people would take mental health seriously, even when you think they have a perfect life,” said Minaj, who later won best hip-hop for her song “Do we have a problem?” with Lil Baby.
Eminem and Snoop Dogg brought the metaverse to the VMAs when the duo performed “From the D 2 The LBC,” which appeared on Eminem’s greatest hits album “Curtain Call 2.”
The Red Hot Chili Peppers took to the stage as the winners of the Global Icon award after being introduced by Cheech & Chong as their “favorite band of all time”. Consisting of Anthony Kiedis, Flea, Chad Smith, and John Frusciante, the band performed several songs, including their hit “Can’t Stop” from the group’s 2002 album “By the Way” and “Black Summer” from “Unlimited.” of this year. Love Album.
Flea gave a speech about her love for humans along with cockroaches, trees, and dirt. Smith, the band’s drummer, dedicated the award to Taylor Hawkins, the late Foo Fighters drummer who died earlier this year.
“I dedicate this to Taylor and her family,” he said. “I love and miss him every day.”
Madonna, who is the most awarded artist in MTV history with 20 wins, becomes the only artist to receive a nomination in each of the five decades of the VMAs. She got her 69th nomination for her 14th studio album “Madame X”.
Lamar returns to the VMAs as a nominee for the first time since 2018, with nominations for best hip-hop, directing, visual effects, editing and a category known as video forever, while his songs “family ties” and “N95” compete for the best photography.
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Jack Harlow and Nicki Minaj Fly at the MTV Video Music Awards