MTV VMAs 2017: Katy Perry's dig on Donald Trump, Jared Leto's tribute to Chester Bennington
Los Angeles: The MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) 2017 stage here became a platform to award music talent like Kendrick Lamar and Ed Sheeran, and for a host of artistes and presenters to speak out against racism, sexism, suicide, violence and general repression in the Donald Trump era.
The ceremony held here on Sunday kicked off with rapper Lamar's rendition of 'DNA' and 'Humble'. He bagged six awards, including Video of the Year, Best Hip Hop, Best Cinematography, Best Direction, Best Art Direction and Best Visual Effects - all for his track 'Humble'. Sheeran won the Artist of the Year by beating artistes Bruno Mars, Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, Lorde and Lamar.
But largely, the ceremony is being talked about for its political moments. The show had a moving speech from Susan Bro, the mother of Charlottesville accident victim Heather Heyer, who announced the formation of a Foundation to offer scholarships to proponents of social justice, reported deadline.com.
Bro said, "I have been deeply moved to see people across the world find inspiration in her courage." Talking about her late daughter, Bro said that MTV was awarding all six nominees for the Best Fight Against the System Video with a Moon Man trophy. "Through their diversity, these six videos show there are many ways to take action and many battlegrounds in the fight for social good."
Songstress Katy Perry, who hosted the show, took an apparent dig at Trump's Twitter habits during a bit about saving tweets in drafts. "Some people-wink, wink-could save to draft a lot more, don't you think guys?" she asked the audience, reported time.com.
Reminding people of Hillary Clinton losing the 2016 presidential election, Perry said, "When Hillary Clinton becomes president, I promise to put out a timeless record that everybody loves." The singer also quipped that the award show is "one election where the popular vote actually matters".
Actress Paris Jackson made a real-world political connection, decrying racism and white supremacy. "We must show these Nazi, white supremacist jerks in Charlottesville and all over the nation. We have zero tolerance for their violence, hatred and discrimination," said Jackson.
Pop star Pink, who performed a medley of her hits, including 'Let's Get The Party Started," "Raise Your Glass," "Just" and "So What", told a story about female empowerment in the face of criticism and bullying.
Pink, who was honoured with the coveted Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, pointed out to her daughter how she breaks certain stereotypes of female pop stardom. "Do you see me growing my hair, changing my body? We (artistes) don't change. We take the gravel in the shell and make the pearl. Thanks to the artists out there lighting the way for us," Pink said.
Artiste Logic performed his inspirational song '1-800-273-8255,' named after the phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. He was joined onstage with suicide attempt survivors as well as singers Alessia Cara (Best Dance Video winner) and Khalid (Best New Artiste winner).
Oscar winner Jared Leto paid tribute to Rock Band Linkin Park's late member Chester Bennington, who committed suicide in July. Leto also mentioned late musician Chris Cornell, who too committed suicide in May.
The MTV VMAs were aired in India on Vh1 on Monday morning.
Read the full list of MTV VMA winners here.
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