Top 5 Must-See VMA 2018 Moments

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By most accounts, this year’s MTV Video Music Awards was full drama and craziness. From throwing shade to epic performances and an Aretha Franklin tribute gone wrong, here are some of highlights from the awards.

1.) Nicki Minaji vs. Tiffany Haddish

In Tiffany Haddish’s stand up comedy set with Kevin Hart, Haddish made a remark about former Fifth Harmony member Camila Cabello’s five VMA nominations. She started off the show stating, “Camila Cabello is nominated for five VMAs tonight. So for those of you watching at home: Hi, Fifth Harmony!”

However, Nicki Minaj, who is a close personal friend of Fifth Harmony member Normani Kordei, clapped back at Haddish. While accepting her award for best Hip-Hop Video, Minaji stood up for Kordei, stating “And don’t be coming for Fifth Harmony because Normani Kordei is that bitch.”

Kordei even tweeted in response to Nicki Minaji, praising her for the support and love.


2.) Ariana Grande leds the way for Female Empowerment

In her performance of “God is a Woman,” Ariana Grande was the symbol of female empowerment by featuring 50 diverse dancers including a black Jesus in thong. Also featured at the end of her performance, Grande brought up her mother, Joan, her nonna (grandmother) Marjorie, and cousin Lani.


This is not the only time that night that Grande showed support for other women. Grande represented female solidarity when helping Nicki Minaj on stage to receive the award for Best Hip-Hop Video. She assisted with Nicki Minaj’s floor-length tull skirt.

3.) Jennifer Lopez

As the winner of Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, Jennifer Lopez proved her star power in an epic performance. She performed a medley of her most well-known songs, including “On the Floor,” “Dance Again,” “All I Have,” “Waiting for Tonight,” and “Love Don’t Cost a Thing.” Her performance also featured several artists such as Ja Rule and DJ Khaled, who introduced her song “Jenny From the Block.” Lopez completed her medley by performing “Dinero.”



In her acceptance speech for the highest VMA honor she stated, “It has been an incredible journey of dreaming my wildest dreams and then kinda watching them come true. Music, acting, performing – this career has always been kind of an obsession for me. When people have said, ‘You’re doing too much – you can only do one thing’ … I always had it in my mind. I was always a person who was like, ‘Why not?’ I kinda had to forge my own path and make my own rules. I was obsessed like that.”

Her boyfriend, Alex Rodriguez, could be seen cheering on his love, with J. Lo even calling him her “twin soul.”


4.) Madonna and her Aretha Franklin tribute

Less than a week after the death of Aretha Franklin, Madonna honored “the Queen of Soul” with a speech. However, this speech mainly focused on Madonna’s journey to become a star. She described a trip to France, and her audition in which she sang Aretha Franklin’s “You Make Me Feel.”

Madonna thanked Aretha Franklin for providing an opportunity to grow as an artist. She stated, “There is a connection. Because none of this would have happened, could have happened, without our lady of soul. She led me to where I am today. And I know she influenced so many people in this house tonight, in this room tonight. And I want to thank you, Aretha, for empowering all of us. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Long live the queen.”

Madonna then finished this speech telling the story of her first performance at the very first VMAs in 1984.

Despite Madonna’s attempt to honor Franklin, many on social media criticized the Madonna for focusing what should have been sincere moment, the speech become an opportunity to share all of her own career highlights.

In response to the backlash, Madonna wrote on Instagram, “And just to clarify: I was asked to present video of the year by MTV! And then they asked me to share any anecdotes I had in my career connected to Aretha Franklin! I shared a part of my journey and thanked Aretha for inspiring me along the way. I did not intend to do a tribute to her! That would be impossible in 2 minutes with all the noise and tinsel of an award show. I could never do her justice in this context or environment. Unfortunately, most people have short attention spans, and are so quick to judge. I love Aretha! R.E.S.P.E.C.T.”


NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 20: Madonna speaks onstage during the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on August 20, 2018 in New York City.

5.) Logic supports immigrants

In a protest against President Trump’s immigration policies and the recent controversy over separated families, the rapper Logic gave a performance in support of immigrants. Wearing a shirt that said “F**k the Wall,”  Logic rapped onstage while children and teenagers poured in from the audience to join Logic on stage. They were all wearing “We are all Human Beings.” By the end of the performance, a screen was lifted and the children and teenagers were rejoined with their families, a symbolic demonstration of the recent separation of immigrant families.  All of the families were from organizations such as National Domestic Workers Alliance, United We Dream, and Make the Road New York.


The music video for Logic’s One Day also had a political message focusing on immigration.


Find the full list of winners here. 


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