From Kevin Hart calling out Donald Trump to J-Lo being recognized for her career, here are some of the most notable moments from the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.
“Havana” singer Camila Cabello dominated major categories at Monday’s MTV Video Music Awards, taking home the silver Moon Person award for video of the year and artist of the year. More of the night’s biggest moments:
Ariana Grande, Pete Davidson pack on the PDA
With little in the way of star power at Monday’s red carpet, all cameras were on the recently engaged Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson, whose whirlwind romance started a little more than two months ago. The couple was lovey-dovey smooching on the red carpet and seated first row, and Grande dedicated her award for best pop video to her fiance. “Pete Davidson, thanks for existing,” she said at the tail-end of her speech. “Love you.”
Madonna gives head-scratching tribute to Aretha Franklin
Madonna caught flak on social media when she introduced the award for video of the year, paying tribute to the late Aretha Franklin with a rambling, egocentric story about singing the Queen of Soul’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” at an audition. “The Aretha Franklin tribute is Madonna talking about herself at great length,” one Twitter user complained.
Kevin Hart blasts President Donald Trump
In one of the many celebrity takedowns of the evening, Kevin Hart didn’t hold back digs at Trump while presenting the award for best hip-hop video. “I’m looking at this like it’s game day, people, but do not worry because during this game, you’re allowed to kneel,” he said, referencing the NFL’s anthem protest. Trump’s supporters immediately began threatening to boycott Hart.
Logic dedicates performance to immigrant families
After delivering a powerful message about suicide prevention at last year’s VMAs, Logic returned to the show with an equally stirring take on his new song “One Day” with OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder. The rapper took to the stage wearing a T-shirt reading “(Expletive) The Wall,” as he was flanked by dozens of children and families with shirts that said, “We are all human beings.” The pro-immigration performance ended with a human-made wall crashing down as people — all of whom have been affected by immigration issues, according to The Hollywood Reporter — embraced.
Jennifer Lopez thanks “twin soul” Alex Rodriguez
Couple goals! Accepting her Video Vanguard award, pop trailblazer Jennifer Lopez thanked her boyfriend of one year, former baseball player Alex Rodriguez. “Alex, you’re like my twin soul,” Lopez said, teary-eyed. “We’re like mirror images of each other. My life is sweeter and better with you in it, because you make me realize every day that the sky is not the limit. … There is so much more to do, to experience, and there is no one I’d rather do it with, baby.”
Blake Lively, Madonna, Backstreet Boys curse on air
It could prove to be a busy night for the Federal Communications Commission, after multiple celebrities used profanities while presenting awards. We’ll soon find out if MTV will rack up fines for slips such as Blake Lively’s, who said, “(Expletive) normally just works out for me” in a bit with “A Simple Favor” co-star Anna Kendrick about the Rockettes.
Nicki Minaj throws shade, takes a helicopter
After making headlines this weekend for dissing Travis Scott for earning a No. 1 album over her just-released “Queen,” Nicki Minaj did not come to play at the VMAs. Accepting the award for best hip-hop video, Minaj took a pass at presenter Tiffany Haddish, who made a joke about the since-disbanded Fifth Harmony’s lack of nominations. “Don’t be coming for Fifth Harmony because (group member) Normani (Kordei) is that (expletive),” Minaj deadpanned. She later left in a “Queen”-emblazoned helicopter, following her fierce medley of songs “Majesty,” “Barbie Dreams,” “Ganja Burn” and “Fefe” at the Oculus transit hub for the World Trade Center.
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