Some of the biggest names in music lit up the stage during the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Monday, August 20. From J. Lo to Her Minajesty, Us Weekly has rounded up the six best performances of the night!
The music superstar, 49, brought down the house with an epic career-spanning medley before accepting the coveted Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. She started with “Waiting for Tonight” before transitioning into “On the Floor,” “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” and “Get Right,” among several other hits. Ja Rule surprised viewers when he came out to rap his verse on “I’m Real.” J. Lo concluded with her new single, “Dinero,” before receiving a standing ovation from the audience, which included boyfriend Alex Rodriguez, mom Guadalupe Rodríguez and the singer’s 10-year-old twins, Max and Emme.
The rapper, 28, was joined on stage by dozens of immigrant parents and children as he ran through “One Day,” his new collaboration with OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder. Logic wore a black “F–k the Wall” T-shirt, while the group behind him sported white “We Are All Human Beings” tops. The powerful performance aimed to raise awareness about an immigration policy implemented by President Donald Trump’s administration that separated children from their families at the U.S.–Mexico border.
The hip-hop star, 35, performed a medley of songs from her new album, Queen, at a remote location: The Oculus at One World Trade Center. She started her set atop a massive gold throne and wore a metallic bodysuit. After removing her pink cape, she rapped three of her latest hits — “Majesty,” “Barbie Dreams” and “Fefe” — and had most of the audience jumping up and down with excitement.
Post Malone and Aerosmith
The rapper, 23, ended the show with a surprise collaboration with Steven Tyler’s iconic rock band. Malone started with a trippy rendition of his single “Rockstar,” flanked by fellow rapper 21 Savage, before rocking out with Aerosmith during the group’s songs “Dream On” and “Toys in the Attic.”
The singer, 25, recreated Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper on stage with nearly 50 backup dancers during a creative performance of her new song “God Is a Woman.” She effortlessly slayed her vocals before bringing up some of the most important women in her life, including her mom, Joan Grande, and her nonna, Marjorie Grande.
The singer-songwriter, 20, went full rock star while opening the show with his single “In My Blood.” He traded in his acoustic guitar for an electronic one and wore a white tank top with fitted blue pants. Toward the end of the song, rain poured down onto the stage, drenching Mendes and his band.