2021 VMAs

Emma McGrath '22

The VMA’s–or the MTV Video Music Award–were held on Sunday, September 12, at Barclays Center in New York City.

It was hosted live at 8 p.m. Eastern Time by Doja Cat, an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and nominee. It was the first time in history a Video of the Year nominee hosted the ceremony in the same year.

Main show performances included Ed Sheeran, Camilla Cabello, Chloe, Doja Cat, Justin Bieber, Kasey Musgraves, Lil Nas X & Jack Harlow, Machine Gun Kelly & Travis Barker, Shawn Mendes & Tainy, Olivia Rodrigo, Normani, Foo Fighters, Twenty One Pilots, The Kid Laroi, Ozuna, Saint Jhn, Anitta, Latto, Alicia Keys & Swae Lee and Busta Rhymes & Spliff Star.

Olivia Rodrigo, BTS, and Lil Nas X each earned three awards, and were the most awarded artists of the night. They were followed up by Billie Eilish, Doja Cat, Silk Sonic, and Justin Bieber who were each awarded two. In addition, Bieber was the most nominated artist with nine nominations. 

Beyoncé held her streak as the most-awarded artist in the show’s history, after collecting her 29th trophy this year. And her daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, became the youngest winner in the show’s history, with the track “Brown Skin Girl” winning Best Cinematography.

Olivia won her first, second and third ever VMA awards, the three of which being the Best New Artist Award, as well as the Song of the Year and Push Performance of the Year Awards for her song “Driver’s License”.

BTS won the Best K-Pop Award and the Group of the year Award, and also won the Song of the Summer Award for their song “Butter”.

Lil Nas X won three awards for his song “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)”. This included the Video of the Year Award, the Best Direction Award with direction done by Lil Nas X and Tanu Muino, and the Best Visuals Award with visual effects done by Mathematics. 

Some other people who were notably awarded included Justin Bieber, who won the Artist of the Year Award.

Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, and Silk Sonic won two awards for their collaborative song “Leave the Door Open”, the Best R&B Award and the Best Editing Award, with their editor Troy Charbonnet.

Billie Eilish and Rosalía won the Best Latin Award for their song “Lo Vas a Olvidar”, and Billie Eilish additionally won an individual award known as the Video for Good Award.