Taylor Swift won Video of the Year with “Bad Blood” beating out Beyoncé (“7/11”), Ed Sheeran (“Thinking Out Loud”), Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars (“Uptown Funk”) and Kendrick Lamar (“Alright”).
In her acceptance speech Swift thanked Lamar, whose rap is featured on “Bad Blood,” and thanked her video co-stars, all of whom are women in show business. “There are two women in the video who I’ve named cats after,” she said.
She also won Best Female Video and Best Pop Video awards for her popular music video, “Blank Space.”
Nicki Minaj opened the show with a medley of “Trini Dem Girls” and “The Night is Still Young,” with the latter featuring a duet with Swift. The women had exchanged some tense tweets recently, but called a truce a few weeks prior to the show. Minaj’s second song transitioned into Swift’s hit “Bad Blood.”.
The evening’s first presenter, VMAs vet Britney Spears, awarded the Best Male Video award to Ronson and Mars for “Uptown Funk.”
Swift later presented the Video Vanguard Award to Kanye West, reuniting them after he famously crashed her 2009 VMAs acceptance speech. Swift revealed that his album “College Dropout,” was the “very first album that my brother and I bought on iTunes when I was 12 years old.” She added, “I have been a fan of his, since I can remember, because Kanye defines what is to be a creative force in music, fashion and, well, life. So, I guess I have to say to all the other winners tonight: I’m really happy for you, and I’mma let you finish, but Kanye West has had one of the greatest careers of all time!”
West then spoke of some of the more difficult experiences he’s had over the last six years, including being booed by thousands of people at a baseball game.
He added, “I will die for the art, for what I believe in. And the art ain’t always gonna be polite.” West finished with a shocker, “And yes, as you probably could have guessed by this moment, I have decided, in 2020, to run for president,” and then dropped his mic.
Throughout this year’s ceremony, host Miley Cyrus appeared in several pre-taped comedy sketches with guest stars ranging from Andy Samberg to Snoop Dogg.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, The Weeknd, Demi Lovato, Justin Bieber, Pharrell Williams, and Tori Kelly were among the top-selling acts to perform at the ceremony.