The MTV Video Music Awards were held on Sunday night at The Forum in Inglewood, CA, and the show kicked off with a "Bang" courtesy of Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Nicki Minaj. First Grande performed her new single "Break Free" backed by a slew of dancers, and that flowed right into Minaj's booty-shaking performance of "Anaconda." Then Jessie J appeared and the trio of ladies combined to perform their new smash "Bang Bang" for the first time ever.
Katy Perry won one of the earliest awards in the show when she emerged victorious in the Best Female Video category for "Dark Horse." "We just want to say thank you so much," Perry said as she accepted her award from Snoop Dogg and Gwen Stefani. "We put a lot of time and effort and hard work into this song."
Best Male Video went to Ed Sheeran featuring Pharrell Williams for "Sing." Drake won Best Hip-Hop Video for "Hold On (We're Going Home)," Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea's "Problem" scored them Best Pop Video, and Best Rock Video went to Lorde for "Royals," making her the first female ever to win the award. However, the prestigious Video of the Year trophy was awarded to Miley Cyrus for "Wrecking Ball." Rather than take the podium herself, Cyrus stayed behind, letting a young man named Jesse walk to the mic. "I've been an extra in your movies, I've been an extra in your lives," Jesse announced, referring to his plight as one of America's 1.6 million runaway and homeless children. Cyrus’ eyes filled with tears as he told his story, and he directed people to her Facebook page where they can donate to help end the problem of displaced youth.
Finally, the end of the show was all about Beyoncé. After already being honored with Best Collaboration for "Drunk In Love," and Best Video With a Social Message and Best Cinematography for "Pretty Hurts," Bey received the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award for her career achievements. The award was presented to her by husband Jay Z and daughter Blue Ivy. She also closed out the show with a powerful medley of songs from her latest album, including "Partition," "Blue," "XO," "No Angel," and "Haunted."
As for some of the other performances, Taylor Swift utilized an old Hollywood theme for "Shake It Off." She was escorted onstage by dozens of suited men and she wore a fringy flapper-style dress to sing her newest hit. Sam Smith offered a Soulful and stirring "Stay With Me," accompanied only by a piano, and 5 Seconds of Summer did a stripped-down performance of "Amnesia."