Record-Setting Moments at the 2023 MTV VMAs: Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, and More

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Record-Setting Moments at the 2023 MTV VMAs: Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, and More
At the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards, Taylor Swift secured an impressive nine awards. The event took place at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on September 12. This achievement was only one award short of the single-night record held by Peter Gabriel, who won ten awards in 1987.

With these wins, Swift's total MTV VMA count now stands at 23, making her second only to Beyoncé on the all-time VMA leaderboard. Beyoncé boasts 30 VMA wins, including two with Destiny’s Child and two as part of The Carters.

One of Swift's standout moments was her video for "Anti-Hero," which spent eight weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100, marking a personal best for the superstar. This video claimed the coveted title of Video of the Year, marking Swift's fourth win in this category. Her previous victories in this category were for "Bad Blood" (with Kendrick Lamar, 2015), "You Need to Calm Down" (2019), and "All Too Well: The Short Film" (2022).

Taylor Swift's impressive VMA record continued to grow as she secured a multitude of awards at the 2023 VMAs. Notably, she extended her unparalleled streak by becoming the first artist in VMA history to claim consecutive wins in the same category.

Furthermore, Swift solidified her standing as the artist with the most Video of the Year wins for videos she directed or co-directed. Noteworthy examples include her co-direction of "You Need to Calm Down" with Drew Kirsch and her sole directorship of both "All Too Well: The Short Film" and "Anti-Hero."

In the realm of best direction, Swift clinched yet another victory for "Anti-Hero." This marked her third win in this category within the past four years, following her previous wins for "The Man" (2019) and "All Too Well: The Short Film" (2022). Swift joins an elite club of directors who have achieved this feat, including luminaries like David Fincher and Spike Jonze. Notably, Swift and Fincher remain the sole directors to have secured back-to-back wins in this category, with Fincher's back-to-back wins stemming from his work on Madonna's "Express Yourself" (1989) and "Vogue" (1990).

The triumph continued for Swift as she was awarded Song of the Year for "Anti-Hero." It's worth noting that none of the previous five winners in this category have gone on to secure a Grammy in the same category, but "Anti-Hero," co-written by Swift and Jack Antonoff, is well-positioned to break that pattern. Despite her numerous achievements, Swift has yet to secure a Grammy win in this category, prompting many to believe it's high time she does.

Adding to her accolades, Swift claimed Best Pop for "Anti-Hero," marking her second victory in this category, the previous win dating back eight years to "Blank Space." Only Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake have secured this award more times, each with three wins (including Timberlake's two awards with NSYNC). It was a poignant moment when NSYNC presented the award to Swift.

Swift's dominance at the 2023 VMAs extended beyond these categories, encompassing Artist of the Year, Album of the Year for "Midnights," Show of the Summer, Best Cinematography, and Best Visual Effects. It's worth noting that while Swift didn't personally contribute to the latter two aspects in her "Anti-Hero" video, the VMAs attribute all technical awards to the artists involved.

However, Taylor Swift wasn't the only artist breaking records at the 2023 VMAs; Nicki Minaj made history by securing her fifth Best Hip-Hop award for "Super Freaky Girl." Her previous wins in the category included "Super Bass" (2011), "Anaconda" (2015), "Chun-Li" (2018), and "Do We Have a Problem" (featuring Lil Baby, 2022). Furthermore, Minaj, who also hosted the show this year, has now established a significant lead over Drake, who follows with three wins in the category.

Ice Spice emerged as the victor in the Best New Artist category. It's worth noting her connection to Taylor Swift, having featured on a remix of Swift's "Karma," which reached the No. 2 spot on the Hot 100 chart. This marks the sixth consecutive year that a female artist has claimed this honor. Notable predecessors include Cardi B (2018), Billie Eilish (2019), Doja Cat (2019), Olivia Rodrigo (2021), and Dove Cameron (2022). Impressively, all except Cardi B and Cameron proceeded to earn Grammy nominations for Best New Artist, suggesting that Ice Spice may follow suit.

Shakira made a significant impact by securing two awards: the prestigious Video Vanguard Award and Best Collaboration for her work on "TQG" with Karol G. Remarkably, this marks the second consecutive year that the Video Vanguard recipient has also triumphed in a competitive category. In the prior year, Nicki Minaj achieved this feat by winning Best Hip-Hop for "Do We Have a Problem" featuring Lil Baby.

The Collaboration category has witnessed a trend of female pairings, with this being the third instance in the past four years. Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande's "Rain on Me" claimed victory in 2020, while Doja Cat and SZA's "Kiss Me More" secured the win in 2021. Additionally, two prior category winners featured collaborations between two women, exemplified by Beyoncé and Shakira's "Beautiful Liar" in 2007, followed by Lady Gaga and Beyoncé's "Telephone" in 2010.

The phenomenal K-pop group Blackpink had a stellar night, earning recognition in two categories: Group of the Year and Best Choreography for "Pink Venom."

"Seven" by Jungkook featuring Latto was celebrated as the Song of the Summer. Notably, Jungkook previously triumphed in the same category two years ago as a member of BTS for their smash hit "Butter," which both reached the No. 1 position on the Hot 100 chart.

The inaugural Best Afrobeats category saw "Calm Down" by Rema and Selena Gomez clinching the victory. Selena Gomez, known for her versatility, previously secured Best Pop a decade ago for "Come and Get It."

Anitta continued her winning streak by claiming Best Latin for the second consecutive year. This year, she was honored for "Funk Rave," following her victory for "Envolver" the previous year. Notably, J Balvin achieved a similar feat by winning three consecutive awards in this category from 2018 to 2020.

Stray Kids emerged victorious in the Best K-pop category for their song "S-Class," even though they were nominated the previous year but lost to Lisa for "Lalisa." Interestingly, Lisa was once again nominated this year as a member of Blackpink.

Tomorrow X Together won the Push Performance of the Year award, marking the second consecutive year that a South Korean band has secured this honor, with Seventeen achieving the feat last year.

Måneskin celebrated their victory in the Best Rock category for "The Loneliest." This comes one year after they won the award for Best Alternative with "I Wanna Be Your Slave." Impressively, they join the ranks of Green Day as the second act to secure victories in both categories. It's worth noting that the Rock category has been presented every year except one since 1989, while the Best Alternative category was introduced in 1991 and underwent a hiatus from 1999 to 2019.

Dove Cameron, last year's Best New Artist winner, continued her success by winning the Video for Good award for "Breakfast."

Furthermore, Lana Del Rey's "Candy Necklace" featuring Jon Batiste secured the award for Best Alternative, making her the first female solo artist to achieve this distinction. Note that the category experienced a hiatus between 1999 and 2019.