The MTV Video Music Awards 2023 happened at New Jersey’s Prudential Center and it was aired in over 150 countries, reaching approximately 310 million households. This year, the VMAs felt like the good old VMAs again. Remember when you used to mark your calendars not to miss the show? Well, this year brought back that excitement.
Let’s take a moment to remember those iconic performances from the likes of Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Madonna, and many more, which had everyone talking the morning after. This year’s edition truly lived up to the VMA legacy.
The stage was on fire with performances by Shakira, Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, Karol G, Olivia Rodrigo, Nicki Minaj, Anitta, Demi Lovato, and Stray Kids. It felt like they took my Spotify and put all my recently listened artists on stage, creating an epic music scene for 2023.
Nicki Minaj, who was the host of the show, gave us a cool preview of her next album, Pink Friday 2, with some new songs. People were really looking forward to it, and she rocked the stage. She also scored the Best Hip-Hop Video award for her song “Super Freaky Girl.” Nicki Minaj was definitely one of the big stars of the night.
Taylor Swift was the biggest winner of the night. She is undoubtedly one of the most successful artists of the year, and yet, she managed to crash it again by winning ALL the aired awards that she was nominated for. Also, she happened to have a great time throughout the night, and she totally deserved it. “Anti-Hero” got her an award for each of the following categories: Video of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Video, and Best Director.
We leave you this wholesome video of Tay dancing to Shakira;
All Hail the Queen: SHAKIRA
This year, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY, a South American woman was awarded the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. We saw history and justice happening in front of our own eyes, and I couldn’t be happier that Shakira got it, not only because she is Colombian, but because she’s a record-breaking artist, who sells millions of albums, has toured the world many times, she is also a philanthropist, and one of the most influential musicians from our times, not only by her incredible voice, but she’s an artist who composes, sings, produces, plays various instruments, sings in different languages, dances like no other, and has her own DNA. Is there anything that she can’t do? All of the previous are short to describe her. She is the perfect match for this award in this year’s VMA’s, especially on her multiple successes in 2023, including her collaboration with the Argentinian BZRP, which according to the Rolling Stones “BZRP Music Sessions Vol. 53” also broke the record for fastest Latin track to reach 100 million views on YouTube after reaching the number in approximately 70 hours and broke the record for most views in 24 hours with 63 million in a single day on YouTube.”
The VMAs also gave a nod to the global rise of Latin music, honoring talents like Brazilian sensation Anitta, who clinched the Best Latin award for her Funk Rave contribution. The Mexican newcomer Peso Pluma and Colombian songstress Karol G were also in the spotlight. Karol G made history as the first female artist to top the Spanish-language album charts with “Mañana Será Bonito.”
Karol G and Colombian superstar Shakira, the night’s special guest, scored the Best Collaboration trophy for their hit “TGQ.” Speaking in Spanish, Karol G praised Shakira, saying, “She’s a legend who represents our country and Latina community.”
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It was a fantastic night for female performers who rocked most of the show. Olivia Rodrigo started things off with an exciting mix of songs from her second album “Guts” complete with fireworks, of which some fans on TikTok were claiming that the stage malfunctioned during her performance, but in reality it all seemed to be staged.
@enews #OliviaRodrigo said musician AND actress. 🗣️ Link in bio for the story behind her showstopping #VMAs ♬ original sound – E! News
Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion then gave a lively debut of their new song “Bongos.” Doja Cat grabbed everyone’s attention, dancing to “Attention,” “Paint the Town Red,” and “Demons” with a group of female dancers covered in bright red paint. Anitta also heated things up, singing and dancing to “Used To Be, and Shakira had a medley with some of her greatest hits “She Wolf”, “Whenever, Wherever” and “BZRP Music Sessions, Vol 53”. The talented Demi Lovato took me back in time with a very rock-ish mashup of “Skyscrapper” “Cool For The Summer” and “Heart Attack” where she again demonstrated what she’s made of. I hope we can see her back as strong as we saw her last night.
The VMA’s 2023 was also a special night for the Afrobeats lovers that saw the Nigerian singer Rema receiving the first-ever televised “Best Afrobeats” award along with Selena Gomez for their global hit “Calm Down” which has already over 1 billion streams on Spotify. During his acceptance speech, the artist said “Being here on this stage representing Afrobeats tonight, I’m so happy … We’re here to take it to the rest of the world” also Selena Gomez expressed her honor to be in that song with him.
The night ended with a big bash celebrating 50 years of hip-hop. They brought in some legendary names like Lil Wayne, Doug E. Fresh, Grandmaster Flash, LL Cool J, Darryl McDaniels, and Nicki Minaj. It showed how music can still bring people together and keep the energy alive.
For that one special night, the VMAs showed us that MTV and music make an awesome team. It’s a cool reminder of how music is always a big deal. Here’s to more awesome moments like this in the future!