Taylor Swift emerges victorious at the MTV VMAs 2023, where hip-hop and Shakira take center stage
Once more, Taylor Swift took center stage at the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), claiming victory in every televised category she was nominated in. The evening celebrated Latin music and paid tribute to Shakira's prominence, alongside commemorating 50 years of hip-hop.
Swift, currently amidst her historic billion-dollar stadium tour, clinched the night's most prestigious award, Video of the Year, for her song "Anti-Hero" from the album "Midnights." She also secured Best Direction, Best Pop Video, and Song of the Year.
The 33-year-old artist dedicated her wins not only to the art of songwriting but also to the presenters, the reunited 'NSync, who bestowed her with an award. Additionally, she acknowledged her video editor, Chancler Hanes, and cinematographer Rina Yang, who spoke on Swift's behalf during her Video of the Year win.
Nicki Minaj, who last year shared emcee duties, assumed sole hosting responsibilities for the 40th annual VMAs at the Prudential Center in New Jersey. She also won an award for Best Hip-Hop, expressing a profound sense of gratitude during her acceptance speech.
The performance-centric VMAs, notable for its relative lack of chaos, dedicated a significant portion of its nearly four-hour ceremony to celebrate 50 years of hip-hop. This included a night-opening performance by Lil Wayne, the VMA debut of Metro Boomin, and a grand finale medley featuring icons like Doug E Fresh, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, LL Cool J, Darryl McDaniels of Run DMC, Lil Wayne, and Nicki Minaj herself.
Mary J Blige presented the Global Icon Award to Sean Combs, also known as Diddy or Puff Daddy and Love. She praised the rapper, producer, business mogul, and record executive as a true icon. Diddy performed a medley of hits, including "Mo Money Mo Problems" and "Last Night," with Keyshia Cole and his son King Combs.
In addition to honoring Diddy, the VMAs acknowledged the global influence of Latin music, with artists like Anitta from Brazil winning Best Latin for "Funk Rave," Mexican breakout artist Peso Pluma, and Colombian singer Karol G, who achieved the first No. 1 Spanish-language album by a female artist with "Mañana Será Bonito."
Karol G received the award for Best Collaboration with fellow Colombian Shakira, the night's guest of honor, for their song "TGQ." Karol G hailed Shakira as a legend representing their country and the Latina community.
Wyclef Jean presented Shakira with the Video Vanguard Award for her significant contributions to global music. He emphasized Shakira's pivotal role in making Latin music a global force. Shakira's performance showcased her diverse talents, from contortions in a box ("She Wolf") to knife dancing ("Whenever, Wherever") and even crowdsurfing while singing "BZRP Music Sessions, Vol 53." In her brisk acceptance speech, Shakira thanked the amazing women who helped her push industry boundaries, her sons Milan and Sasha, and her dedicated fans.
The night was a triumph for female performers who dominated the set list. Olivia Rodrigo opened with a pyrotechnic collage of tracks from her sophomore album "Guts," while Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion delivered a vigorous debut of their new single "Bongos." Doja Cat electrified the audience with "Attention," "Paint the Town Red," and "Demons," accompanied by a group of female dancers painted in blood-red hues. Anitta's performance was a blend of singing and twerking as she entertained the crowd with "Used To Be."
SZA received the Best R&B award, and the Best New Artist title went to rapper Ice Spice, who gave a shout-out to the Bronx. Stray Kids won Best K-pop, making their VMAs debut alongside Tomorrow x Together.
Tiffany Haddish presented the first-ever televised award for Best Afrobeats to Rema and Selena Gomez for their song "Calm Down." Rema expressed happiness at representing Afrobeats on the stage and expressed the intention to take it to the rest of the world. Gomez, deeply honored to be part of the collaboration, sent her love to Nigeria, where the track became the first African artist-led song to reach 1 billion streams on Spotify.
However, the night ultimately belonged to Taylor Swift, who closed the show by winning another Video of the Year award, exactly one year after announcing her 10th studio album, "Midnights," on stage. She expressed immense gratitude for the fan-voted award, leaving her genuinely touched and amazed.