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VMAs 2023: How was the night of the Awards? Check out the highlights!

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

What a night! The MTV Video Music Awards happened last Tuesday (12) in New Jersey, and it was marked by stunning moments, since the presentations of the awards. 

The event began with two vibrant performances from the rapper Lil Wayne and the singer, Olivia Rodrigo. While the rapper did a more vocal show, the new pop-rock princess cheered up the people with “Vampire” and “get him back!”, her new songs from her new album, GUTS. She bet on a great production and played a trick on the audience, including Selena Gomez, who was startled by that.

First Awards

Soon after, the VMA’s host, Nicki Minaj, showed up and called the ex-group, ´N SYNC, to announce the winner of Best Pop. After ten years, the ex-boyband got onto a stage to give the prize to Taylor Swift, who won the category “Anti-hero”. That was only her first of the other nine awards that would come after.

Thereupon, after the first break, Cardi B appeared in a shiny globe and shook up the stage with Megan Thee Stallion, singing “Bongos”, their new collaboration. The following performance was from no one more and no one less than Demi Lovato. She sang a medley of “Heart Attack”, “Sorry Not Sorry” and, the iconic, “Cool for the Summer”. The songs were all in their rock version, to follow her in this new era.

The next category was Best K-pop and the winners were the boys from Stray Kids with their song “S-Class”. Their reaction after hearing their names was amazing, and they were really surprised with the award. 

A few surprises

Who also made a special (and red) appearance was Doja Cat. The artist got up on stage with a theatrical show and sang some tracks that will be in her new album, SCARLET. With a ballet covered in “blood”, Cat sang a mashup of “Attention”, “Paint The Town Red” and “Demons”. 

The other category presented was Best R&B and who took the prize home was SZA. The singer didn’t attend the Awards. VMA’s now has a brand-new category, Best Afrobeats and the first winners of it were Rema & Selena Gomez, with the song “Calm Down”. The ceremony also included presentations of Måneskin and Fall Out Boy.

Brazil was in the house

After a short time, the stage became a little piece of Brazil with Anitta’s presentation. The girl from Rio did an incredible show by singing her songs “Used to Be”, “Funk Rave” and “Grip”. She brought the funk to the awards with the choreography and different beats. Later, the Brazilian star won, for the second consecutive year, the award of Best Latin with “Funk Rave”. Brazil is undefeated in the category!! 

Thereafter, Anitta got up on the stage again beside Tomorrow X Together, the South Korean boy group. They performed, for the first, their new single “Back for More”. The show had a lot of dance moves and the song had a contagious beat. They know they shined!

Special Award

Shakira was the singer chosen to take the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, an honorary prize delivered to some important artists. On the stage, Shakira proved why she deserved it! 

With an epic performance, she sang some of her greatest hits, like “Hips Don’t Lie”; and” Whenever, Wherever”, and “Te Felicitó”. She started the 10-minute medley inside a “cave set” and then, danced some of her famous moves, played guitar, and finished this brilliant show in the audience’s arms. Yeah, “En Barranquilla Se Baila Así” and also in New Jersey.

Latins on the stage

Another Colombian singer that arose was Karol G (La Bichota). She started the presentation with “OKI DOKI” but, quickly, brought a piece of Brazil by singing her “Tá Ok” remix. This Brazilian funk song is a collaboration of Karol G, Kevin O Chris, Maluma, and Dennis Dj. The people enjoyed the moment a lot, and even Taylor Swift risked a few moves. The night wasn’t over for La Bichota because she and Shakira won the award for Best Collaboration with the song “TQG”. These Colombian women crushed the night! 

The Mexican singer, Peso Pluma, debuted in VMA’s, bringing a piece of your country. The nominee for Best New Artist sang some songs with a traditional sonority.

The Hip-Hop Moment

A genre that dominated the night was hip-hop! Firstly, the rapper Diddy, known as Puff Daddy, did an impressive set list to commemorate hip-hop. He sang some of his hits like “I’ll Be Missing You featuring Evan”; “It’s All About the Benjamins”; “Bad Boy for Life”; “I Need a Girl”; “Last Night” and also won the prize for Global Icon

The host did not stay out and did a beautiful and sexy presentation, with a stunning look. Minaj also took the prize for Best Hip-Hop with her success, “Super Freaky Girl”. After that, Metro Boomin took over the place and sang a medley of “Superhero” and “Calling” alongside Future, Swae Lee, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, and NAV

Moreover, one of the most expected prizes is the Best New Artist and, this year, the winner was the rapper Ice Spice. Another victory for hip-hop. 

Last but not least, hip-hop time finished with a commemoration for the 50 years of Hip-Hop. The tribute was made with a lot of rappers, like Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, LL Cool J, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Doug E. Fresh, Grandmaster Flash, and others. This spectacular show brought different songs from different times and cheered up the people.

Mother is Mothering

Taylor Swift fans had good reasons to celebrate the night. The artist made history and won nine out of 11 nominations, including the most expected category, Video of The Year. “Miss Americana” was the star of VMA’s and won also Best Pop; Song of the Year; Artist of the Year; Best Visual Effects; Best Cinematography; Best Direction; Album of the Year; Show of the Summer. 

After all, six of her nine awards derive from her success “Anti-Hero” and the singer celebrated since the beginning of the ceremony. During it, she danced, sang with the performances, and vibrated with her best friend’s winner, Selena Gomez. Yeah, Taylor, you made the whole place shimmer!


The article above was edited by Beatriz Gatz.

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Isabelle Bignardi

Casper Libero '26

Hi! I´m a journalism student at Cásper Líbero and I love to talk about movies, pop culture, music, astrology and books. By writing some texts for you, I hope to make a difference in the way you see these topics. Hope you like it! =)