The MTV VMAs 2021: What Went Down, Winners And More

As Megan said, “New York, I Need You to get extra loud for our Future Baby Daddies”, the fans did the same. Because, on Sunday, 12th September, the MTV VMAs 2021 was held, and it was a night to remember. I mean, why wouldn’t it be?

It was a day filled with so many events that one would get lost in the sea of nominations and hosting. Throughout the night, we were surprised by artists dressed to impress and powerful performances, as everyone celebrated music, dance, and performance.

The MTV VMAs 2021 was held in the Barclays Center, and it was the first event to start taking a live audience post-pandemic. Though the event was a live one, security ensured that the fans and artists followed the health safety rules and regulations. And for those who couldn’t make it, the MTV Youtube channel streamed it live. And for those of you who missed that too, you can still rewatch it on Youtube.

The host of the night was none other than the TikTok queen of rap herself, Doja Cat. Not only did the rapper host, but she also won an award and performed ‘Been Like This’ and ‘You Right’ for the show. She proved to the world that she could do everything that night.

The show was started by queen Madonna herself, as she surprised the fans by making an appearance and congratulating the VMAs for its 40th running year. People were staring at the singer as she adorned a leather-clad outfit fit for a queen. The singer has had many memories of the show, as it was home to some of her most iconic performances. Performances such as ‘Like a Virgin’ performance in 1984 snd the timeless ‘Vogue’ performance in 1990 still resonate in the minds of the viewers. 

The event, being special, owed it all to the breathtaking performances by the artists. There were performances by artists such as Justin Bieber and Kid Laroi, who performed their hit single ‘Stay’. There was Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow, who performed Industry Baby and Montero. There was debut artist Olivia Rodrigo who performed her hit ‘Good 4 u,’ and there was also Machine Gun Kelly, Camila Cabello, and Normani, who performed their hits for the fans. 

The VMA’s 2021 had quite the selection of nominees for the night. BTS, Justin Beiber, Ariana Grande, Lil Nas X, Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish, Bruno Mars, Travis Scott, etc., were some of the people swimming in a pool of nominees. 

The night of the event was quite an anxious play as fans waited to see if their favorite artists won the catch of the evening. The show was shocking as the night unveiled each winner in all the categories. We had Justin Bieber and Lil Nas X in the big leagues, who walked home that night with the Artist of the Year and Video of the Year awards, respectively. Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, and BTS were also the other artists who won big time.

The night celebrated music. But, what caught the attention of fans alike were the outfits worn by the artists. The artists went all out to greet their fans. Some of the outfits that made it to the hall of fame were outfits worn by Lil Nas X, who rocked a Versace gown, and Olivia Rodrigo, who wore a pink Atelier Versace gown. And how can we forget about Megan Fox‘s Daring naked or bare dress? Megan’s outfit was the definition of the most talked-about dress.

olivia rodrigo dressed to impress

Well, an event so prestigious is bound to have some kinks in its armor. And it showed up quite quickly, as fans were quick to find out about a tiff between the rapper Machine Gun Kelly and Irish fighter Conor McGregor. The news about an apparent fight between the two made headlines on all social media platforms as clips spread of the Fighter throwing a drink and a punch at the singer while the latter’s girlfriend, a.k.a Megan Fox, tried to hold him back. Apart from the dress, the winnings, and the love. Quite a night, wouldn’t you say?

Conor McGregor and Machine Gun Kelly Beef

Every event is known for having a stunning showstopper. So, similarily this piece has a showstopper that you all waited for, the list of winners.

So, without further ado, I present to you the list of winners, complete with the nominees of the MTV VMAs 2021:

Video of the Year

  • “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” – Lil Nas X, Columbia Records — Winner
  • “WAP” – Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion, Atlantic Records
  • “Popstar” – DJ Khaled ft. Drake (starring Justin Bieber) OVO / We The Best / Epic Records
  • “Kiss Me More” – Doja Cat ft. SZA, Kemosabe Records / RCA Records
  • “Bad Habits” – Ed Sheeran, Atlantic Records
  • “Save Your Tears” – The Weeknd, XO / Republic Records

Artist of the Year

  • Justin Bieber — Winner
  • Ariana Grande
  • Doja Cat
  • Megan Thee Stallion
  • Olivia Rodrigo
  • Taylor Swift

Song of the Year

  • “Drivers License” – Olivia Rodrigo, Geffen Records — Winner
  • “Mood” – 24kGoldn ft. Iann Dior, Records LLC / Columbia Records
  • “Leave the Door Open” – Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic, Aftermath Entertainment / Atlantic Records
  • “Dynamite” – BTS, Bighit Music
  • “WAP” – Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion, Atlantic Records
  • “Levitating” – Dua Lipa, Warner Records

Best New Artist

  • Olivia Rodrigo — Winner
  • 24kGoldn
  • Giveon
  • The Kid Laroi
  • Polo G
  • Saweetie

Push Performance of the Year

  • “Drivers License” – Olivia Rodrigo, Geffen Records — Winner
  • “Are You Bored Yet?” – Wallows, Atlantic Records
  • “Daisy” – Ashnikko, Warner Records
  • “Gorgeous” – Saint Jhn, Godd Complexx / HITCO
  • “Coco” – 24kGoldn, Records LLC / Columbia Records
  • “Break My Heart” – JC Stewart, Elektra Music Group
  • “Sex Lies” – Latto, RCA Records
  • “Selfish” – Madison Beer, Epic Records / Sing It Loud
  • “Without You” – The Kid Laroi, Columbia Records
  • “Serotonin” – Girl in Red, World in Red / AWAL
  • “My Slime” – Fousheé, RCA Records
  • “Think About Me” – Jxdn, DTA Records / Elektra Music Group

Best Collaboration

  • “Kiss Me More” – Doja Cat ft. SZA, Kemosabe Records / RCA Records — Winner
  • “Mood” – 24kGoldn ft. Iann Dior, Records LLC / Columbia Records
  • “WAP” – Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion, Atlantic Records
  • “Laugh Now Cry Later” – Drake ft. Lil Durk, OVO / Republic Records
  • “Peaches” – Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar, Giveon, Def Jam
  • “Prisoner” – Miley Cyrus ft. Dua Lipa, RCA Records

Best Pop

  • “Peaches” – Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar, Giveon, Def Jam — Winner
  • “Positions” – Ariana Grande, Republic Records
  • “Therefore I Am” – Billie Eilish, Darkroom / Interscope Records
  • “Butter” – BTS, Bighit Music
  • “Treat People With Kindness” – Harry Styles, Columbia Records
  • “Good 4 U” – Olivia Rodrigo, Geffen Records
  • “Wonder” – Shawn Mendes, Island Records
  • “Willow” – Taylor Swift, Republic Records

Best Hip-Hop

  • “Franchise” – Travis Scott ft. Young Thug & M.I.A., Cactus Jack / Epic Records — Winner
  • “WAP” – Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion, Atlantic Records
  • “Laugh Now Cry Later” – Drake ft. Lil Durk, OVO / Republic Records
  • “On Me (remix)” – Lil Baby ft. Megan Thee Stallion, Quality Control / Motown
  • “Said Sum” – Moneybagg Yo, N-Less Entertainment / Interscope Records
  • “Rapstar” – Polo G, Columbia Records

Best Alternative

  • “My Ex’s Best Friend” – Machine Gun Kelly ft. Blackbear, Bad Boy / Interscope Records — Winner
  • “Stop Making This Hurt” – Bleachers, RCA Records
  • “Heat Waves” – Glass Animals, Republic Records
  • “Follow You” – Imagine Dragons, Kidinakorner / Interscope Records
  • “Shy Away” – Twenty One Pilots, Fueled By Ramen
  • “Transparent Soul” – Willow ft. Travis Barker, MSFTSMusic / Roc Nation

Best R&B

  • “Leave the Door Open” – Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic, Aftermath Entertainment / Atlantic Records — Winner
  • “Brown Skin Girl” – Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, Saint Jhn, WizKid, Parkwood Entertainment / Columbia Records
  • “Go Crazy” – Chris Brown and Young Thug, Chris Brown Entertainment/RCA Records
  • “Heartbreak Anniversary” – Giveon, Epic Records / Not So Fast
  • “Come Through” – H.E.R. ft. Chris Brown, MBK Entertainment / RCA Records
  • “Good Days” – SZA, Top Dawg Entertainment / RCA Records

Best K-pop

  • “Butter” – BTS, Bighit Music — Winner
  • “Dumdi Dumdi” – G)I-DLE, Republic Records
  • “Ice Cream” – Blackpink and Selena Gomez, YG Entertainment / Interscope Records
  • “Gambler” – Monsta X, Starship Entertainment
  • “Ready to love” – Seventeen, Pledis Entertainment
  • “Alcohol-Free” – Twice, JYP Entertainment Company

Video For Good

  • “Your Power” – Billie Eilish, Darkroom / Interscope Records — Winner
  • “Dancing With the Devil” – Demi Lovato, Island
  • “Fight For You” – H.E.R., MBK Entertainment / RCA Records
  • “Worldwide Beautiful” – Kane Brown, Sony Music Nashville / RCA Records
  • “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” – Lil Nas X, Columbia Records
  • “Entrepreneur” – Pharrell Williams ft. Jay-Z, Columbia Records

Best Direction

  • “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” – Lil Nas X directed by: Lil Nas X and Tanu Muino, Columbia Records — Winner
  • “Your Power” – Billie Eilish, Directed by: Billie Eilish, Darkroom / Interscope Records 
  • “Popstar (starring Justin Bieber)” – DJ Khaled ft. Drake, Directed by: Julien Christian Lutz aka Director X, OVO / We The Best / Epic Records
  • “Willow” – Taylor Swift, Directed by: Taylor Swift, Republic Records
  • “Franchise” – Travis Scott ft. Young Thug & M.I.A, Directed by: Travis Scott, Cactus Jack / Epic Records
  • “Lumberjack” – Tyler, The Creator, Directed by: Wolf Haley, Columbia Records

Best Cinematography

  • “Brown Skin Girl” – Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, SAINt JHN, WizKid, Cinematography by: Benoit Soler, Malik H. Sayeed, Mohammaed Atta Ahmed, Santiago Gonzalez, Ryan Helfant, Parkwood Entertainment / Columbia Records — Winner
  • “Therefore I Am” – Billie Eilish, Cinematography by: Rob Witt, Darkroom / Interscope Records
  • “Shame Shame” – Foo Fighters, Cinematography by: Santiago Gonzalez, Roswell Records / RCA Records
  • “Holy” – Justin Bieber ft. Chance The Rapper, Cinematography by: Elias Talbot, RBMG / Def Jam
  • “911” – Lady Gaga, Cinematography by: Jeff Cronenweth, Interscope Records
  • “Solar Power” – Lorde, Cinematography by: Andrew Stroud, LAVA/Republic Records

Best Choreography

  • “Treat People With Kindness” – Harry Styles, Columbia Records — Winner
  • “34+35” – Ariana Grande, Choreography by: Brian Nicholson & Scott Nicholson, Republic Records
  • “Butter” – BTS, Choreography by: Son Sung with BHM Performance Directing Team, Bighit Music
  • “Bad Habits” – Ed Sheeran, Choreography by: Natricia Bernard, Atlantic Records
  • “Shame Shame” – Foo Fighters, Choreography by: Nina McNeely, Roswell Records / RCA Records
  • “Be Kind” – Marshmello & Halsey, Choreography by: Dani Vitale, Astralwerks / Capitol Records


Edited by Anupama Roy

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