The 2019 MTV Video Music Awards were handed out Monday night and Taylor Swift dominated the evening. Days after her new album Lover was released, the Pop singer opened the show with a medley of “You Need to Calm Down” and the title track from the new record. “You Need to Calm Down” also took home Video of the Year as well as “Video for Good.” The clip stars a number of LGBTQ performers and Swift took multiple opportunities promote efforts to push Congress on passing the Equality Act. Swift’s video for “ME!” also won for Best Visual Effects.
Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott was honored with MTV’s Video Vanguard Award, honoring her iconic videos of the ’90’s. The rapper performed a medley of her hits and was reunited with dancer Alison Stoner, who appeared in her classic clip for “Work It.”
Artist of the Year went to Ariana Grande, who won two other VMAs. Tthe remix of “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus was named Song of the Year. Best New Artist was awarded to Billie Eilish, who also won Push Artist of the Year and Best Editing for “Bad Guy.”
Lizzo put on a show-stopping performance of “Truth Hurts” and “Good as Hell” while Lil Nas X skipped his massive hit to perform “Panini” instead. Other notable performers were Normani, Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello and Miley Cyrus, as well as a show-closing tribute to New Jersey’s hip-hop history (the award show was held in Newark, NJ).