2021 VMA Awards

Nora Toscano, Editor-in-Chief

The Barclays Center in New York City held the 2021 MTV Music Video Awards on September 12, 2021. Doja Cat hosted, the first time a Video of the Year nominee hosted the year they were nominated. This year marked the first year the newly designed “Moon Person” trophy was given out. The new trophy, designed by artist Kehinde Wiley, was unveiled in August and features flowers and vines, which, according to MTV, “represent inclusivity and diversity marked by the historical, environmental and nature relevance of the botanicals.

As the ceremony took place the day after the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, Alicia Keys gave a tribute to New York, performing “Empire State of Mind.” During the performance, the Statue of Liberty was visible in the background and audience members wore glowing wristbands, waving them at the stage. 

BTS, Olivia Rodrigo, and Lil Nas X each won three awards, tying for the most. Olivia Rodrigo won Best New Artist and her hit “Driver’s License” won Song of the Year and Push Performance of the Year. Rodrigo said, “I want to dedicate this award to all of the other girls who write songs on their bedroom floor.”  

Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” won Video of the Year, Best Direction, and Best Video Effects. BTS won Group of the Year and their song “Butter” won Best K-Pop and Song of Summer. Justin Beiber also won Artist of the Year and “Peaches” won Best Pop, Travis Scott’s “Franchise” won Best Hip Hop, Silk Sonic, Bruno Mars, and Anderson .Paak’s “Leave the Door Open” won Best R&B, Billie Eilish and Rosalía’s “Lo Vas a Olvidar” won Best Latin, John Mayer’s “Last Train Home” won Best Rock, and Machine Gun Kelly’s “My Ex’s Best Freind” won Best Alternative. “Best Friend” by Saweetie (featuring Doja Cat) won Best Art Direction and “Treat People with Kindness” by Harry Styles won Best Choreography. Best Editing went to “Leave the Door Open” by Silk Sonic, Bruno Mars, and Anderson .Paak, while Doja Cat and SZA’s “Kiss Me More” won Best Collaboration. 

The Foo Fighters were presented with the MTV Global Icon Award.