The 2022 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS have come a long way since 1984, when MADONNA writhed around on-stage at RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL singing “Like A Virgin.”
Tonight’s show arrived 38 years later, hosted by LL COOL J, NICKI MINAJ and JACK HARLOW from the PRUDENTIAL CENTER in NEWARK, NJ.
The night’s big winners were TAYLOR SWIFT, who won two, including VIDEO OF THE YEAR for her 10-minute version of “All Too Well,” her third such honor in VMA history, and BAD BUNNY, performing live from YANKEE STADIUM before accepting honors as ARTIST OF THE YEAR, the first non-English-speaking performer to win the honor in VMA history.
SWIFT won MTV’s coveted VIDEO OF THE YEAR in 2019 for “You Need To Calm Down” and in 2015 for “Bad Blood,” her collaboration with KENDRICK LAMAR.
FERGIE kicked off the proceedings, performing her 2006 hit, “Glamorous” with JACK HARLOW, who sampled the song for his hit single, “First Class,” which he also sang in front of a star-studded audience which included TAYLOR SWIFT and JIMMY FALLON. HARLOW took home two awards, including Best Collaboration and Best Summer Song.
Some of the winners included:
VIDEO OF THE YEAR: TAYLOR SWIFT, “All Too Well” (TAYLOR’S VERSION) (REPUBLIC RECORDS)
ARTIST OF THE YEAR: BAD BUNNY
SONG OF THE YEAR: BILLIE EILISH, “Happier Than Ever” (DARKROOM/INTERSCOPE RECORDS)
BEST NEW ARTIST; DOVE CAMERON
BEST COLLABORATION: LIL NAS X & JACK HARLOW, “Industry Baby” (COLUMBIA RECORDS)
BEST ALTERNATIVE: MANESKIN, “I Wanna Be Your Slave” (ARISTA RECORDS)
BEST LONGFORM VIDEO: TAYLOR SWIFT, “All Too Well” (TAYLOR’S VERSION) (REPUBLIC RECORDS)
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: HARRY STYLES, “Harry’s House” (COLUMBIA RECORDS)
PUSH PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR; SEVENTEEN, “Rock With You” (PLEDIS ENTERTAINMENT/GEFFEN RECORDS )
BEST METAVERSE PERFORMANCE: BLACKPINK THE VIRTUAL, PUB G (YG ENTERTAINMENT/INTERSCOPE RECORDS)
BEST K-POP: LISA “La Lisa” (YG ENTERTAINMENT/INTERSCOPE RECORDS)
BEST ROCK: RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, “Black Summer” (WARNER RECORDS)
BEST R&B: THE WEEKND, “Out Of Time” (XO/REPUBLIC RECORDS)
VIDEO FOR GOOD: LIZZY, “About Damn Time” (NICE LIFE/ATLANTIC RECORDS)
BEST HIP-HOP: NICKY MINAJ f/LIL BABY, “Do We Have A Problem” (YOUNG MONEY/CASH MONEY/REPUBLIC RECORDS)
BEST LATIN: ANITTA, “Envolver” (WARNER RECORDS)
SONG OF SUMMER: JACK HARLOW, “First Class”
For a complete list of MTV VMA winners, go here.
MINAJ was presented with the MICHAEL JACKSON VIDEO VANGUARD AWARD, and also picked up the Best Hip-Hop award, while the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS received the GLOBAL ICON AWARD from none other than stoner legends CHEECH & CHONG.
The pre-show featured performances from rapper YUNG GRAVY (“Betty (Get Money)”), SAUCY SANTANA (“Booty,” “Too Much”), and pop star DOVE CAMERON, who ended up taking home the BEST NEW ARTIST award.
The main show got underway with performances by LATIN stars ANITTA (“Envolver”), BAD BUNNY and J. BALVIN & RYAN CASTRO’s scintillating ” “Nivel de Perreo.”
K-Pop superstars BLACKPINK (“Pink Venom”) were followed by country star KANE BROWN (“Grand”) and EMINEM & SNOOP DOGG laid back on a couch, drinking and smoking blunts (“From The D 2 The LBC”).
Other performances included KHALID & MARSHMELLO (“Numb”), LIZZO (“2 Be Loved (Am I Ready)”), MANESKIN (“Supermodel”) and a medley by NICKI MINAJ. PANIC! AT THE DISCO performed “Middle Of A Breakup” from their just-released album, “Viva Las Vegeance,” before the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS accepted their GLOBAL ICON honors and proceeded to rock out with their Best Rock winner, “Black Summer.”
Presenters included BILL EICHNER, BECKY G, rapper LATTO and AVRIL LAVIGNE.
Other highlights included the appearance of JOHNNY DEPP via hologram in full MOON PERSON regalia, making his comeback after performing with JEFF BECK on his EUROPEAN tour. “Hey, you know what?” he joked. “I needed the work.”
LIL NAS X, JACK HARLOW and KENDRICK LAMAR were the night’s top nominees with seven nods apiece, followed by DOJA CAT and HARRY STYLES with six nods. BILLIE EILISH, DRAKE, DUA LIPA, ED SHEERAN, TAYLOR SWIFT and THE WEEKND received five nominees each, while BTS is the most nominated group or duo, with four nods.