Atlanta Music Scene

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Watch: Beyonce slays at MTV Video Music Awards, Britney backs off from kiss and 7 other show moments


DID YOU WATCH THE MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS LAST NIGHT?

DID YOU HAVE A HEADACHE WITHIN THE FIRST SEVEN MINUTES FROM BEING SCREAMED AT BY DJ KHALED, NICOLE BYER AND KEY AND PEELE IN PERHAPS THEIR UNFUNNIEST SKIT(S) EVER AS @THESHAMESTER AND @LIZARDSHEEPLE?

OK, good, so we’re on the same page.

Much like the screechy army of contestants who clutter ABC’s “Game Show Block,” the producers of the 33rd installment of the MTV VMAs confuse yelling for excitement. Not the same thing. Let’s all tone it down a notch, shall we?

If you quickly tuned out from Sunday night’s show – ostensibly an “awards show” though only a handful of artists actually showed up to claim a moonman trophy – you missed a lot of Beyonce, even more Rihanna, and a tribute to Kanye West, by Kanye West.

Also, for future reference, it’s suggested to refrain from gulping down mouthfuls of Chinese takeout from the restaurant in Concourse B at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport while watching a) Ariana Grande in a SoulCycle routine during her performance of “Side to Side” b) Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj posing with their male dancers’ faces shoved in their crotches and/or c) Teyana Taylor and her insane body going all “Flashdance 2016” in West’s new video for “Fade.”

Here are some other um, memorable (?) moments from Sunday night’s show, which took place for the first time from New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Also, if you care about any of the winners, scroll down to see the complete list (spoiler – Beyonce won eight), as well as video from the ceremony.

1. Who dressed Alicia Keys like a Christmas tree? Her face, without a speck of makeup, looked beautiful. But that outfit? Oy vey. At least she redeemed herself with a poignant reminder that Aug. 28 marked the 53rd anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and to commemorate, Keys unveiled her own poem, which she turned into an a capella song as well: “S o we can fear each other, hate each other, we can make these walls.

"We can build these walls between each other, baby, blow by blow and brick by brick. Keep yourself locked in, yourself locked. Or maybe we could love somebody. Maybe we could care a little more. Maybe we could love somebody instead of polishing the bombs of holy war.”

But, as one Twitter user aptly summarized, “Britney following Beyonce is like eating a steak and then soup.” Why, why, WHY would the MTV producers put Spears in such an unenviable position? She’s never been a commanding performer – her kewpie doll act wore thin around 2001 – and watching her writhe around during her new song, “Make Me,” was wince inducing. And really, the lip-syncing is laughable at this point. It’s not as if she’s trying to hit Streisand notes in her songs – any amateur singing in the car or shower can follow along with her aural paint-by-numbers material – yet she still has to fake it.

Poor G-Easy. Not only did the dude have, essentially, a cardboard cutout of a pop singer to play off of, but he looked as if he wanted to make a move and go in for a real kiss, only to be rebuffed on a rather public stage.

Now THAT’S a move out of the Beyonce playbook, Brit!

 

SONG OF THE SUMMER

  • Calvin Harris featuring Rihanna –- "This Is What You Came For"
  • The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey –- "Closer"
  • Drake featuring Kyla & Wizkid –- "One Dance"
  • WINNER: Fifth Harmony featuring Fetty Wap –- "All In My Head (Flex)"
  • Justin Timberlake –- "Can't Stop The Feeling"
  • Kent Jones –- "Don’t Mind"
  • Major Lazer featuring Justin Bieber MØ –- "Cold Water"
  • Nick Jonas featuring Ty Dolla $ign –- "Bacon"
  • Selena Gomez –- "Kill ‘Em With Kindness"
  • Sia – "Cheap Thrills"

BEST HIP-HOP VIDEO

  • WINNER: Drake -- “Hotline Bling”
  • Desiigner -- “Panda”
  • Bryson Tiller -- “Don’t”
  • Chance the Rapper featuring Saba -- “Angels”
  • 2 Chainz -- “Watch Out”

BEST MALE VIDEO

  • Drake -- “Hotline Bling”
  • Bryson Tiller -- “Don’t”
  • WINNER: Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna -- “This Is What You Came For”
  • Kanye West -- “Famous”
  • The Weeknd -- “Can’t Feel My Face”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • WINNER: Beyoncé – “Formation”
  • Adele – “Hello”
  • David Bowie – “Lazarus”
  • Alesso – “I Wanna Know”
  • Ariana Grande – “Into You”

BEST EDITING

  • WINNER: Beyoncé – “Formation"
  • Adele – “Hello”
  • Fergie – “M.I.L.F. $”
  • David Bowie – “Lazarus”
  • Ariana Grande – “Into You”

BEST DIRECTION

  • WINNER: Beyoncé – “Formation”
  • Coldplay – “Up&Up”
  • Adele – “Hello”
  • David Bowie – “Lazarus”
  • Tame Impala – “The Less I Know The Better”

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

  • WINNER: Beyoncé – “Formation”
  • Missy Elliott ft. Pharrell – “WTF (Where They From)”
  • Beyoncé – “Sorry”
  • FKA Twigs – “M3LL155X”
  • Florence + The Machine – “Delilah”

BEST ART DIRECTION

  • Beyoncé -- “Hold Up”
  • Fergie -- “M.I.L.F. $”
  • Drake -- “Hotline Bling”
  • WINNER: David Bowie -- “Blackstar”
  • Adele -- “Hello”

BEST COLLABORATION

  • Beyoncé ft. Kendrick Lamar -- “Freedom”
  • WINNER: Fifth Harmony ft. Ty Dolla $ign -- “Work From Home”
  • Ariana Grande ft. Lil Wayne -- “Let Me Love You”
  • Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna -- “This Is What You Came For”
  • Rihanna ft. Drake -- “Work” (short version)

BEST FEMALE VIDEO

  • Adele -- “Hello”
  • WINNER: Beyoncé -- “Hold Up”
  • Sia -- “Cheap Thrills”
  • Ariana Grande -- “Into You”
  • Rihanna ft. Drake -- “Work” (short version)

BEST NEW ARTIST

  • Bryson Tiller
  • Desiigner
  • Zara Larsson
  • Lukas Graham
  • WINNER: DNCE

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

  • Adele -- “Hello”
  • WINNER: Beyoncé -- “Formation”
  • Drake -- “Hotline Bling”
  • Justin Bieber -- “Sorry”
  • Kanye West -- “Famous”

 


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About the Author

Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Melissa Ruggieri covers the Atlanta Music Scene and entertainment news for print and online.