By Helen Cook / EFE
Lady Gaga turned out to be the main attraction at the MTV Video Music Awards show, not only for a near clean sweep of five wins, including artist of the year but also for electrifying costumes and stylish face masks she wore while performing a medley of her songs at the socially distanced event.
The pop star made multiple appearances and changed her masks as much as she changed her dresses.
The first mask onstage one that caught the eyes was a bubblegum-pink gas mask with wires and a metal mesh.
She then came donning a black mask that covered almost her entire face and had a sort of electronic component that visually represented her sound with changing colored lights.
She also wore an animal look, sporting a deep-red and black mask featuring two studded tusks and some metal spikes.
Those were just three of the many she wore to collect her five awards at a ceremony held in New York City amid the coronavirus pandemic. Many of the acceptance speeches as well as the performances were prerecorded for the event.
The event, originally supposed to be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, at times moved to different New York neighborhoods like Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx for live open-air performances with hardly any audience.
The 34-year-old was named the “Artist of the Year”. She won three awards for “Rain on Me”, her project with Ariana Grande: “Song of the Year”, “the Best Collaboration,” and “the Best Photography.”
She also won the show’s inaugural “Tricon Award” that recognizes a highly accomplished artist across three or more disciplines.
“Just because we’re separated right now and culture may feel less alive in some ways, I know a renaissance is coming and the wrath of pop culture will inspire you and the rage of art will empower you as it responds to hardship with its generosity and love. This is what I believe,” Gaga said during the ceremony.
“I want nothing more than to be your artist in 2020.”
On the other hand, the Weeknd took home the most coveted award of the night, “the Video of the Year, for “Blinding Lights” that also earned him the best “R&B Video”.
The Canadian artist, however, appeared serious and said he was in no mood to party over racial tensions and violence in the United States.
Performing from Manhattan, he paid tributes to alleged victims of racial abuse and police brutality, Jacob Blake and Breonna Taylor, the two African-Americans who were killed at the hands of police officers, triggering a fresh wave of protests against racial injustice in the US.
“It’s really hard for me to celebrate right now and enjoy this moment. So, I’m just gonna say: Justice for Jacob Blake and justice for Breonna Taylor,” he said, both the times he came out to receive his awards, referencing two deaths of.
Ariana Grande also won for her collaboration with Justin Bieber on “Stuck With U” – taking home the award for the “Best Music Video From Home” – a category created in times of the pandemic.
The South Korean group BTS won three awards for its video clip “On”, in the category of the “Best Pop”, the “Best K-Pop” and the “Best Choreography”. BTS was also named the best musical group.
The award for the “Best Latin video” went to Colombian singer Maluma who sang from Brooklyn.
Taylor Swift took the award for the “Best Direction” for “The Man,” a technical category that usually recognizes filmmakers, photographers, and editors. He acceptance speech was pre-recorded
Host Keke Palmer, the first African-American woman to present the MTV VMAs solo, opened the event by dedicating it to “Black Panther” actor Chadwick Boseman, who died on Friday at the age of 43 and whose death has shocked the US showbiz.
The Weeknd opened the show with a performance on “Blinding Lights” on a 345-meter high (over 1,000 feet ) deck overlooking Manhattan in the backdrop of the New York skyline and a fireworks display from the Hudson River. EFE-EPA