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The crucial moments from the 2016 MTV VMAs

Kanye drops new vid, Bey reigns supreme, Drake confesses love for Rihanna

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Lock yourselves in. It’s time for your annual dose of MTV VMA news—ACCLAIM style, of course.

Rihanna kicked off the show, channelling a pastel pink aesthetic and combining ‘Don’t Stop the Music’, ‘Only Girl (In the World)’, ‘We Found Love’, and ‘Where Have You Been’. She then performed three more times, taking us back to her hits over the past 11 years and reminding us of why she was the deserved recipient of the VMA Michael Jackson Vanguard award for 2016.

1 down, 3 to go! #RiRiVANGUARD #VMAs

A photo posted by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

Alicia Keys produced one of most empowering moments of the night. She honoured Martin Luther King Jr, who gave his “I Have A Dream” speech 53 years ago from Sunday, before breaking into a cappella and urging society to eradicate discrimination based on one’s gender, sexuality or race.

“Maybe we could love somebody,” she sung to a standing ovation. “Maybe we could care a little more.”

Our boy Yeezy then had a chat with the audience, discussing the drama with Taylor and proclaiming that he “loves everyone”. He also thanked himself for being a genius (because why not) before premiering his steam new vid for ‘Fade’.

On a side note, Michael Phelps introduced Future’s performance and was super awkward about it, especially when the crowd started chanting “USA! USA!”. Cringeworthy patriotism? Listen, I have major respect for the man, but maybe he should’ve stayed in his lane.

The biggest surprise of the night had to come from Drizzy himself. He was nowhere to be found when he won the Best Hip-Hop video for ‘Hotline Bling’. Where was he? Apparently “stuck in traffic” but that obviously wasn’t enough to stop him from walking on stage at the end of the night to award Rihanna with the Vanguard. During his introduction speech, he proclaimed that he’d been in love with her since he was 22. This is the couple of our dreams. Rih’s dedication to Barbados is also moving. Check it out.

But I’ve saved the best for last: Queen Bey herself. She walked the red carpet with Blue, as well as the mothers of victims of police brutality. She then took home the VMA for Video of the Year and, oh yeah, produced one of the greatest performances the VMA stage has ever seen. Take a look below.

Check out the highlights from the red carpet, an intimate exchange between Drizzy and Rih, and arguably the most iconic moment of Yeezy’s ‘Fade’, in the gallery above. Congratulations, you’re now up-to-date with pop culture.

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