See Missy Elliott’s Phenomenal, Freaky, Career-Spanning VMA Performance

She performed ‘Work It,’ ‘Lose Control,’ and more hits before receiving the Video Vanguard Award from Cardi B

Missy Elliott once rapped, “Just make sure you ahead of the game,” and she’s led by example when it comes to music videos — which is exactly why she’s the newest recipient of the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. The hip-hop icon has created some of the most innovative visuals of all time, and at the VMAs on Monday night (August 26), “Misdemeanor” celebrated that feat with a frenetic, career-spanning performance.

Missy’s medley of hits kicked off with a reminder that her glory days are far from over. Surrounded by silver-clad dancers, she launched into “Throw It Back,” a triumphant, confident banger she released just last week. From there, it was smash after smash after smash: “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” and “Hot Boyz” gave way to “Get Ur Freak On,” during which Missy brought the vid’s wild jungle vibes to the stage.

In a cameo that only hardcore fans will truly appreciate, Alyson Stoner (a.k.a. the little girl from many of Missy’s early-aughts vids) took center stage to break it down. The woman of the hour then reemerged after her umpteenth costume change for”Pass the Dutch,” and capped off the whirlwind performance with “Lose Control,” which almost certainly made everyone inside The Prudential Center do a double take.

Elliott’s performance was followed by a sweet speech from Cardi B, who revealed that the first album she ever bought was a Missy record. Cardi then praised the Video Vanguard by proclaiming, “She changed the music video art form completely with her style, humor, and unforgettable creativity. … Everybody has copied Missy Elliott, even me.”

When Elliott reemerged to accept the golden Moon Person trophy, she wiped away tears while explaining why the award means so much to her.

“I have worked diligently for over two decades. And I never thought that I would be standing up here receiving this award,” she said, fittingly wearing a chain around her neck with the word “ICONIC” on it. “I want to dedicate this award to the dance community all around the world. … Y’all are the icing on the cake, y’all are the beat to the heart. I dedicate this to every dance community out there.”

Notably, Elliott returned last week with Iconology, a five-song EP that marked her first collection of new music since 2005. She’s a living legend who’s still as relevant and as fly as ever — something on full display at the pop-up Museum of Missy Elliott that hit New York City last week — and as long as she keeps getting her freak on, we’re all the better for it.

The 2019 MTV Video Music Awards have touched down at The Prudential Center in New Jersey, airing live on MTV. See the full list of winners and keep up with all of the night’s biggest VMA moments!

Shawn Mendes And Camila Cabello Want Fans To ‘Get Wasted’ For Their VMA Win

Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello’s sexy single “Señorita” has won them the VMA for Best Collaboration. The steamy pair’s chemistry created one of the year’s hottest and heaviest songs. Now, they have the Moon Person that proves it.

The two rushed on stage to accept the award, so excited that they could barely contain themselves. “We’re just super happy that everyone loves the song,” Mendes said before thanking everyone involved. Cabello followed up with “What he said,” before thanking fans all over again. She ended with a command: “Get wasted!”

Earlier during the VMAs, the pair performed “Señorita” surrounded by candles and cell phone lights, providing the ultimate sensual experience. They came within millimeters of locking lips, preferring to touch noses instead. The crowd watched with bated breath, with even the host, Sebastian Maniscalco, remarking how heavy the moment was.

The writing on the wall was visible once the pair released the sultry video for “Señorita” that looked so real that MTV News had to interview the choreographers on how they made the sensual dances look so realistic. Soon after the visual’s release, the pair released videos of the dance rehearsals that are so hot, they’ll make you sweat.

The 2019 MTV Video Music Awards have touched down at The Prudential Center in New Jersey, airing live on MTV. See the full list of winners and keep up with all of the night’s biggest VMA moments!

Big Sean And A$AP Ferg Batted Bars Back And Forth In A Tornado Of Energy

AHHH!! That’s the best way to describe the wide-eyed craziness of Big Sean and A$AP Ferg’s joint performance of their new collaboration “Bezerk” at the 2019 VMAs. Like shaking up a Mountain Dew and prying off the bottle cap, the pair exploded across the stage with charged electric limbs and hilarious dance moves, bringing organized chaos to the stage.

It was like the Hulk himself crashed through the roof of the Prudential Center when “Bezerk” began, because the scene morphed into one that could barely be contained. Sean and Ferg danced around each other like battling Beyblades, ready to fling each other off of the stage. As they went back and forth, their dancers, clad in white jumpsuits and black do-rags, were getting airbrushed letters on their backs. Once finished, the pair lead the dancers from the smaller of two stages to a larger one where they could really let loose.

The dancers flung around each other like bats out of Hell, and the sight of Big Sean and A$AP Ferg milly-rocking fast enough to start miniature tornadoes could make anyone do a cartwheel of excitement. They ended at the perfect time to allow themselves and their dancers to breathe after the intense show — and the viewers at home who hadn’t realized that they had been holding their breath the entire time.

The 2019 MTV Video Music Awards have touched down at The Prudential Center in New Jersey, airing live on MTV. See the full list of winners and keep up with all of the night’s biggest VMA moments!

Lil Nas X Just Won His First Award Ever — ‘Old Town Road’ Is Song Of The Year

It should be clear by now, but in case you need a reminder, here it is: You can’t tell Lil Nas X nothin’. The young artist spent most of 2019 watching his juggernaut song “Old Town Road” (and its Billy Ray Cyrus-featuring remix) creep up on, then completely demolish, the existing Billboard Hot 100 chart record for longest consecutive weeks at No. 1.

And now, as if it was destiny fulfilled, Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” has been crowned the Song of the Year at the 2019 VMAs. Onstage accepting his Moon Person alongside collaborator Billy Ray, Lil Nas X made a point to highlight the momentousness of the situation. “This is my first award ever,” he said in a blazing red cowboy suit, complete with a matching hat, though the pants on his booty looked a touch more expensive than Wranglers.

He kept it simple, making sure to shout out his collaborator. “I want to say thank you to this man for helping me take my career to the next level,” gesturing to Billy Ray. And because he’s an expert troll — or rather that he just honed his innate comedic timing from his years concocting viral moments online — he pulled out “a little speech” from his pocket… which turned out to be a long ass (but blank) scroll. Then he stepped away.

Cyrus kept it simple as well after hopping on the mic to thanked God, the fans, and his wife, Tish, who looked on from the crowd. “I never dreamed I’d be standing here tonight,” he said. “One time, Johnny Cash wrote me a letter, and in the letter, he said, ‘It’s good to be reminded where all goodness comes from: almighty God.”

Lil Nas X racked up nine nominations this year. Earlier tonight, he turned the VMA stage into a Blade Runner– and Tron-inspired dystopian lightscape of neon and futuristic costumes to perform “Panini.” Oh, and he was the president too, at least for a few minutes. It’s his night, man. Can’t tell him nothin’.

The 2019 MTV Video Music Awards have touched down at The Prudential Center in New Jersey, airing live on MTV. See the full list of winners and keep up with all of the night’s biggest VMA moments!

Normani Just Dunked All Over The VMAs With Her Vibrant ‘Motivation’ Performance

Remember when Normani did a split at the 2017 VMAs and gave the world an instantly iconic and GIFable moment? Well, for her debut solo performance on the MTV stage Monday night (August 26), ‘Mani gave us an acrobatic performance during which she did a split, a backbend, tons of twerking, and then some.

Fresh off the release of her choreo-heavy “Motivation” video, Normani brought the single to life with a performance that was truly a slam dunk (sorry, had to). As the opening notes played, the singer appeared perched on a basketball hoop, with purple lights illuminating the stage around her. As soon as her feet were on the ground, she and her two dozen dancers wasted no time busting out all that show-stopping dance moves we’ve come to expect. A solo before the final chorus is where the budding superstar truly got to shine. Make no mistake: Normani has arrived!

Besides performing tonight, Normani is also nominated for Best R&B, for her 6lack-featuring “Waves.” But make no mistake: She’s already a winner for dunking all over the VMA stage and supplying all the motivation and innovation we could ask for.

The 2019 MTV Video Music Awards have touched down at The Prudential Center in New Jersey, airing live on MTV. See the full list of winners and keep up with all of the night’s biggest VMA moments!

Rosalía’s Powerhouse VMA Performance Went From Simple To Flirty To On Fire

If you weren’t as familiar with rising flamenco-pop icon Rosalía as the rest of the world, she made sure to let you know who she was at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards. The Spanish singer-songwriter hit the stage on Monday night (August 26), stunning viewers with a flavorful and dynamic performance that included not one, not two, but three songs, including a team-up with Ozuna.

At first, Rosalía’s performance seemed minimalistic. In a robe under a spotlight, she began singing “A Ningún Hombre (Cap.11: Poder)” a cappella. But soon after, the 25-year-old songstress was interrupted by a powerful voice over the PA system. It was then that the beat began to pick up and dancers appeared onstage. Their first order of business? Removing Rosalía’s robe to expose something a bit more suitable for the occasion: a black dress with glittery seams. On the back, her name spelled out in rhinestones.

As “Yo X Ti, Tu X Mi” began to play, the stage went full-on floral, setting the scene for a flirty duet with none other than Puerto Rican superstar Ozuna. But while the onstage chemistry between the two was undeniable, it was short-lived: Ozuna only joined Rosalía briefly, exiting the stage before she blew us away with a high-energy, powerhouse performance of “Aute Cuture.”

At this point, it’s pretty clear why Rosalía was nominated in a whopping three categories, including Best New Artist, Best Choreography, and Best Latin. (In fact, at the time of this performance, she’d already accepted Best Latin with collaborator J Balvin.) Still, it’s always satisfying when a performance has a strong finish. Fortunately, she did not disappoint. After making her way to the back of the stage with her dancers in tow, she struck a pose as strong as a matador. At that moment, her name lit up on the neon castle behind her. She’s Rosalía… and don’t you forget it.

The 2019 MTV Video Music Awards have touched down at The Prudential Center in New Jersey, airing live on MTV. See the full list of winners and keep up with all of the night’s biggest VMA moments!

We’re Not Done Yet: Big Sean Featuring A$AP Ferg, H.E.R., Normani, And Ozuna Will Perform At The VMAs

As if you needed any more “motivation” to watch the VMAs this year, we’ve got another round of performers joining the party. And if you didn’t catch the hint already, that includes the basketball queen herself, Normani.

The singer — who made a big splash last week with her choreo-heavy “Motivation” video — will perform at the VMAs for the first time as a solo artist, after scoring a nod for Best R&B for the 6LACK-featuring “Waves.”

Meanwhile, Ozuna will hit the stage after landing his first-ever nomination — the Puerto Rican star is up for Best Dance for the DJ Snake, Selena Gomez, and Cardi B collab “Taki Taki.” Also making a proper VMA debut is H.E.R., who boasts three nods: Best New Artist, PUSH Artist of the Year, and Best R&B.

And in a joint effort that’s sure to be a must-see, Big Sean will treat fans to a performance featuring A$AP Ferg. This is Sean’s first time taking the VMA stage, though he does have a pair of Moon Person trophies in his collection — the “Single Again” rapper won Best Video with a Social Message in 2015 and Best Fight Against the System in 2017.

Big Sean featuring A$AP Ferg, H.E.R., Normani, and Ozuna join a star-studded lineup of previously announced performers. Also taking the stage are (deep breath, please): Bad Bunny, Camila Cabello, J Balvin, Jonas Brothers, Lil Nas X, Lizzo, Rosalía, Shawn Mendes, Taylor Swift, and 2019 Video Vanguard recipient Missy Elliott. As announced on Monday, the red carpet pre-show will also host performances from Ava Max, CNCO, and Megan Thee Stallion.

Got all that? Good! Catch the action when the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards air live from The Prudential Center on Monday, August 26 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Taylor Swift Is Unraveling Some Of Lover‘s New Lyrics Early In New Spotify Playlist

Taylor Swift is releasing an entire palette of new music on August 23 when her seventh studio album Lover drops. Ahead of its release, she’s doling out clue after clue to fans, some we’ve already been privy to in recent music videos. But she’s taking it a step further with a new Spotify playlist, ‘Love Taylor: Lover Enhanced Album,’ that’ll share exclusive early access to lyrics and other kinds of goodies for fans that subscribe to it. Who else is giving their fans this kind of creative content? Sit back, relax, and tune into this collection of Swift’s new songs along with some surprising inclusions from other artists.

The curated playlist that is out today (August 20) is 21 tracks long and includes the previously heard tracks from Lover: “The Archer,” “Me!,” “You Need To Calm Down,” and the title track. It additionally features songs from other artists such as Clairo (“Alewife”), Nicki Minaj (“Come See About Me”), and more. The playlist is also unveiling new lyrics from the forthcoming LP every day leading up to its release that will come courtesy of audio messages. The first lyric reveal has been “I can’t talk to you when you’re like this/Staring out the window like I’m not your favorite town/I’m New York City.” This will continue throughout the week. When Lover drops, expect the playlist to have the LP in its entirety along with other magnificent goodies.

Swift released the album’s title track last week, along with the LP’s tracklist that features Brendon Urie and the Dixie Chicks. She will be performing at the 2019 VMA Awards when they kick off on August 26.

Listen to Taylor’s new playlist and jump into the road to Lover up above.

Ava Max Is ‘Torn’ Between Love And Hate On Her Disco-Inspired New Single

Sweet but psycho, long hair but a bob… Ava Max is the queen of contrasts, and that theme extends to her latest release, “Torn.”

The new single arrived on Monday (August 19) alongside a comic book-style lyric video that playfully dials up the drama. “I can’t get enough, can’t take anymore / Oh no, right now baby I’m torn,” the VMA Best New Artist nominee sings over disco-tinged production that interpolates ABBA’s classic “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight).” Despite the conflicting relationship at the heart of it, “Torn” is dance-pop excellence, and further proof that she and producer Cirkut — the mastermind behind “Sweet But Psycho” and “So Am I” — are a match made in musical heaven.

Speaking of the inspiration behind “Torn,” Max said in a press release, “Love and hate are two of the strongest emotions we feel in relationships. ‘Torn’ explores the struggle between them that everyone can relate to. I’m so excited to share my new single with the world! Keep your eyes peeled for the video coming soon…”

“Torn” follows the dual release of Max’s “Freaking Me Out” and “Blood, Sweat & Tears,” which arrived last month. Next up, the 25-year-old is performing live on the VMA pre-show, alongside Megan Thee Stallion and CNCO. See her performance when the VMAs air live on Monday, August 26 at 8 p.m. ET!

She Did It — Billie Eilish’s ‘Bad Guy’ Hits No. 1, Dethroning ‘Old Town Road’

The ride is over. After ruling the Billboard Hot 100 for a record 19 weeks, Lil Nas X‘s behemoth hit “Old Town Road” has been bumped from the top spot, thanks to Billie Eilish. “Duh.”

Eilish’s “bad guy” — which recently got a big boost in the form of a Justin Bieber-assisted remix — now tops the chart after an unprecedented nine consecutive weeks at No. 2. The 17-year-old also becomes the first artist born in the 2000s to top the Hot 100, and the youngest artist to reign since Lorde, who scored a No. 1 in 2013 with “Royals.” Earlier this year, Eilish also became the first artist born in this millennium to top Billboard‘s albums chart, with her debut LP, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?.

As for “Old Town Road,” it’s dropped to the No. 3 spot, behind Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello’s steamy “Señorita,” which is sitting pretty at No. 3. Don’t cry for Lil Nas X, though — his place in history is firmly cemented, and he couldn’t be happier for Eilish’s new feat.

Appropriately enough, Eilish and Lil Nas X are also at the front of the pack for next week’s VMAs — the “bad guy” singer has nine nods to her name, while the rapper trails close behind with eight. The two chart-toppers will face off in the Best New Artist race, and their respective No. 1 singles are also up for Video of the Year.

See if they take home a Moon Person (or two or three or eight) when the VMAs air live on August 26 at 8 p.m. ET, and hit play on your brand new No. 1 song below.