Taylor Swift took home the top prize at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) for her Anti-Hero music video.
The music network’s yearly awards show took place at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
“This is unbelievable. The fact that this is a fan-voted award means so much to me,” Swift said in her acceptance speech. “I can’t believe it was a year ago that I announced the Midnights album.”
The night’s first presenters were from the male musical act NSYNC. They reunited to hand the best pop video award to Swift.
Swift received the most nominations of any performer. Swift later returned to the stage to receive the song of the year award for Anti-hero and also the best direction award.
The performer received nine awards in total. Those included artist of the year in a group of nominees made up of women for the first time on the VMA show.
Ice Spice, who worked with Swift on Karma (Remix), won best new artist.
New music filled the show with songs from Nicki Minaj who also was the host. Minaj performed the new song Last Time I saw You. She then performed a piece from her upcoming Pink Friday 2 album.
The award show centered on showing music’s international power. K-pop, or Korean pop, boy group Tomorrow X Together and Brazilian artist Anitta introduced a new song together, Back for More.
Another K-pop group, Stray Kids, performed the song S-Class. Mexican singer Peso Pluma performed a song called Lady Gaga and Colombian singer Karol G sang Oki Doki and another song Tá OK (remix).
Tiffany Haddish presented the award for “Best Afrobeats,” a new award group. Afrobeats is music with influences from Africa and Black American culture. Rema and Selena Gomez won the award for the popular song Calm Down.
“Africa in the house!” Rema said in his acceptance speech. Gomez said, “I want to send all of my love to Nigeria, thank you.”
Colombian star Shakira received the Video Vanguard Award and performed a mix of her popular songs.
“MTV, thank you for being such a big part of my career since I was only 18 years old,” Shakira said. She also thanked her parents and her children, who she brought to the show.
“This is for you my people, my Latin American people, inside and outside this country,” she said in the Spanish language.
Diddy received the Global Icon Award from Mary J. Blige and his daughter Chance Combs. He is the third act to receive the award, after the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2022 and the Foo Fighters in 2021.
The artist also performed at the VMAs for the first time since 2005. The performance was a collection of some of his most popular songs like Bad Boy for Life and Mo Money Mo Problems.
Lil Wayne opened the show with a performance of his new single Kat Food. Olivia Rodrigo then brought her Vampire music video to the stage before performing Get Him Back!
Later, Anitta would win the “best Latin” award for the second year. In her acceptance speech, she laughed, saying, “I wanna thank myself.” And she added, “Because I work so hard!”
French Montana, a performer who presented an award, brought attention to an effort to provide aid to victims of the Morocco earthquake. The performer grew up in Morocco.
The VMA show ended with a celebration of 50 years of the musical form hip-hop. It included Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, LL Cool J, and DMC of Run-DMC.
I’m Gregory Stachel.
Maria Sherman reported this story for The Associated Press. Gregory Stachel adapted the story for VOA Learning English.
Words in This Story
pop – n. music that is popular
host – n. a person who talks to guests on a television or radio show
hip-hop – n. rap music