Kiana Meagher, Social Media Manager

In 1981, MTV aired its first music video, and music has never been the same since. Though most of us are too young to have memories of coming home at 5pm to watch the latest Madonna videos, our generation’s idea of music has been shaped by not only what we hear on the radio, but also by what we see.


Almost thirty years later, music videos are still a fresh and exciting concept. On Sunday, August 28th, musical icons of all kinds attended the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden in New York.


Historically, the MTV Video Music Awards are an eventful night; in the past, the annual event has introduced us to Lady Gaga’s meat dress, Miley Cyrus’ twerking, and Kanye’s infamous “Imma let you finish” speech. In case you missed the show, here’s the lowdown on the best that happened Sunday night:



Having being honored with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award granted to musicians who have made a profound effect on MTV culture, Rihanna performed four separate times, complete with varied sets, dancers and costumes, showcasing each of her uniquely styled genres of music from slow, hearty ballads to Caribbean/reggae funk. Her award was presented to her by her newest love interest, Canadian rapper Drake, who has been “in love with [Rihanna] since [he] was 22 years old.”



Coming straight from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian in history, introduced hip-hop artist Future. Phelps explained he was listening to “Stick Talk” by Future when he was photographed making “Phelps Face”, the meme that blew up overnight during the Olympics.



Keys is a prime example of using her platform of fame for a greater good, using her stage time to recite a poem about the wrong in the world as well as her faith that our nation will become united again. As a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Keys belted out thought-provoking lyrics. It was a powerful moment during the show that caused audiences, in the arena and at home, to stop and reflect on the state of the world.



West did talk about his creativity as well as heavier topics like recent mass murders in Chicago. He also debuted a new music video “Fade”, which puzzled just about everyone in the crowd.



steal the spotlight from Rihanna’s biggest night for herself. She invited the mothers of the  #blacklivesmatter movement to the VMAs as well as gave an incredible sixteen minute performance of songs on her latest album, also titled “Lemonade”. It is clear that Queen Bey will reign forever.

Though an eventful night, there was not as much inter-celeb drama as the past, which made the evening transition smoothly and was overall an exciting, talent-filled show to watch as an audience. Till next year, VMAs!