The Greatest, Most Emotional & Unexpected Moments of the 2017 MTV VMAs
TRANSGENDER SERVICE MEMBERS WALK THE RED CARPET
A group of transgender military members and veterans walked the red carpet alongside leaders of GLAAD and SPARTA. The appearance followed President Trump's order formally telling the Department of Defense to reverse a 2016 order that allowed transgender members to serve openly.
"It doesn’t matter who you are, our nation is only safe if we have the best and brightest in our country serving in the military," Army Capt. Jennifer Peace said on the carpet. "There was a time when blacks couldn’t serve, women couldn’t serve, where gays and lesbians couldn’t serve, and there was a time when trans people couldn’t serve. But today the armed forces are open to everyone regardless of your race, gender, religion, or anything else. If you’re willing to serve our country and you’re among the most qualified in the nation, you should be welcome in the United States armed forces just like everyone else."
KENDRICK LAMAR'S PERFORMANCE IS LITERALLY LIT
KATY PERRY FLIES ONTO THE STAGE IN AN ASTRONAUT SUIT
The award show's host made her grand entrance by landing on the stage in a moonman-inspired suit. "My pee bag is kind of full," she joked about the costume after touching down.
PARIS JACKSON GETS POLITICAL
Jackson took a few moments to share her impassioned thoughts on the political climate before announcing the award for best pop video. "You know, if we were all to put our voices together, do you know the difference we could make? If we were to stand up all united as one, our impact it would be ‘yuge.’ It would be ‘yuge.’ Believe me, ‘yuge.’ And that’s not fake news," she said. "So, let's leave here tonight remembering that we must show these Nazi, white supremacist jerks in Charlottesville and all over the country … We have zero tolerance for their violence, their hatred and their discrimination. We must resist."
JACK ANTONOFF HAS A SNACK
The Bleachers singer-songwriter was spotted munching on a banana as host Katy Perry delivered her monologue. Antonoff's girlfriend, Lena Dunham, was quite pleased with the moment. "My boyfriend just casually eating a banana at the VMAs is a good reminder of why we've been at it half a decade," she tweeted.
TAYLOR SWIFT DEBUTS HER VIDEO FOR 'LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO'
Swift didn't hold back in the first video for her sixth studio album, Reputation. "Look What You Made Me Do" began with a zombie version of the singer crawling up from a grave marked with a headstone that read, "Here lies Taylor Swift's reputation." From there, the video included a plethora of self-referential scenes that poked fun at the singer's many highs and lows in the spotlight.
LORDE PERFORMS AND DOESN'T SING A NOTE
BABY ASAHD KHALED TAKES THE STAGE
FIFTH HARMONY THROWS SHADE AT EX-MEMBER CAMILA CABELLO DURING PERFORMANCE
TIFFANY HADDISH GIVES A SHOUT-OUT TO FELLOW FOSTER CARE KIDS
"I just want to say to all the kids in foster care, if I can make it here, so can you!" the Girls Trip star said as she presented the award for best hip-hip video with Pete Davidson. "I just think it's important to be a role model to the kids who look up to me, and also I want to show all my stupid as hell exes that I'm out here killing the game."
JARED LETO PAYS TRIBUTE TO LATE ROCKERS CHESTER BENNINGTON AND CHRIS CORNELL
Leto led a somber moment of reflection in honor of Linkin Park frontman Bennington, who died from suicide in July. "Chester was my friend as he was to so many and witnessing his life taught me important things – especially about working relentlessly, pursuing dreams and being kind and caring while doing it," Leto said. The singer also paid tribute to rocker Chris Cornell, who died in May.
PINK DELIVERS A POWERFUL VIDEO VANGUARD AWARD ACCEPTANCE SPEECH ABOUT HER DAUGHTER
After performing a medley of her hits, the night's guest of honor took to the podium to accept her Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award from Ellen DeGeneres. The singer shared a story about her 6-year-old daughter Willow, who she said had told her "I’m the ugliest girl I know" and " I look like a boy with long hair."
"You’re beautiful,'" Pink recalled telling her daughter. "When people make fun of me they say I look like a boy or I’m too masculine or I’m too outspoken. Do you see me growing my hair? Do you see me changing my body? Do you see my selling out arenas all over the world?"
HEATHER HEYER'S MOM MAKES AN EMOTIONAL SPEECH
Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer, the 32 year old who was killed while protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, joined Robert E. Lee descendant Rev. Robert W. Lee on the VMAs stage. "Only 15 days ago, my daughter was killed as she protested racism," Bro told the crowd. "I miss her, but I know she’s here tonight. I have been deeply moved to see people around the world — the whole world — find inspiration in her courage. I want people to know that Heather never marched alone, she was always joined by people from every race and every background in this country."
KESHA GIVES A SPEECH ABOUT SUICIDE PREVENTION
Before welcoming Logic, Alessia Cara, Khalid and a group of attempted suicide survivors to the stage for a performance of "1-800-273-8255," Kesha shared a powerful message with VMA viewers. "It has been said that if you knew who walked beside you, you would never experience fear and doubt again," she said, before noting that Logic's song brought her to tears. "The truth is piercing and the truth is what matters. The truth is none of us are alone."
KATY PERRY AND NICKI MINAJ CLOSE OUT THE SHOW WITH 'SWISH SWISH'
Perry ended her night of hosting with a basketball-extravaganza set to her Witness single, "Swish Swish." Minaj joined her on the stage, which featured a giant basketball and hand, and a hoop that Perry flew to over the audience.