MTV Video Music Awards 2018: Post Malone joins Aerosmith, Jennifer Lopez shines; best performances ranked

FP Staff

August 22, 2018 15:43:15 IST

The MTV Video Music Awards are about the spectacle. Artists and musicians not only focus on their performances, but also of the visual impact and how the production appears. This year was no different. While a number of contemporary artists performed, viewers were also presented with performances by some legendary rockers, iconic pop-stars, and a mix and match of rap, hip-hop, alternative R&B, Latin pop and, of course, rock 'n roll.

Here, we rank the VMA 2018 performances from the worst to best. Pre-show performances, which included artists Bazzi, Bryce Vine, and Backstreet Boys, have not been included on the list.

9. Shawn Mendes, 'In My Blood'

Canadian pop-star Shawn Mendes opened the show in a visibly rock-inspired outfit, something you'd expect Bruce Springsteen to wear at a concert in the eighties. But, sadly, the guitar-wielding Mendes didn't rile up the crowd like Springsteen did (and still can). Funnily enough, Mendes with the electric guitar could have worked if the singer's actual songs were string-heavy rather than being driven by pop beats. But, in an attempt to match up to the VMAs hype, Mendes delivered an alternate version of his single 'In My Blood' which pretty much proved to be a dud.

Watch the performance here:

8. Nicki Minaj, 'Majesty'/'Barbie Dreams'/'Ganja Burn'/'Fefe'

Nicki Minaj's performance was grand. Showered in golden, Minaj's set was a visual delight with perfectly choreographed moves, a supremely excited audience, and the hype around her latest album Queen. But, in the middle of all this, Minaj's performance, which was held at a venue different from where the VMAs were being held, relied way too much on colors, production, and costumes. She performed the songs 'Majesty', 'Barbie Dreams', 'Ganja Burn', and 'Fefe'; all from her album Queen. 'Ganja Burn' was given an A Capella rendition, which just didn't go well with the flow of the show.

Watch the performance here:

7. Maluma, 'Felices los 4'

The Colombian reggaeton star made an impressive debut at the MTV Video Music Awards. Maluma, who has become a mainstay in Latin pop music, performed his hit single 'Felices los 4', and the crowd absolutely loved it. Just like 'Despacito', which became a worldwide favourite after its release last year, 'Felices los 4' is another song that you could hear the crowd sing along to without knowing any of the words or what they mean. Maluma showed why his popularity is crossing international lines as he effortlessly interacted with the audience, got frisky with the back-up dancers, and even did a short dance with Camila Cabello.

Watch the performance here:

6. Post Malone, 21 Savage & Aerosmith, 'Rockstar'/'Dream On'/'Toys in the Attic'

Who would've ever thought that Post Malone, the 23-year-old stuntin', vibin', smokin' all-round chill dude, would be rocking out on stage with legends Aerosmith? Posty, as he's affectionately called, is one of the biggest hip-hop/R&B stars on the planet right now, and the overlapping between Post Malone and Aerosmith fans is close to negligible, but what's the point of VMAs if we don't get to see strange pairings? Aerosmith's Steven Tyler sang with Post Malone as Joe Perry played the guitar. Oh, and there was 21 Savage there too. The guys performed 'Rockstar', 'Dream On', and 'Toys in the Attic', and though it wasn't the best performance of either of those songs, it was definitely worth a watch.

Watch the performance here:

5. Logic feat. Ryan Tedder, 'One Day'

Rapper Logic has established himself as the socially conscious artist. While the arena was full of stars who have never shied away from speaking their mind, incorporating your thoughts into your VMA performance takes things to another level, and that's what Logic did. Supported by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder, the two performed their latest single in support of families affected by President Donald Trump's immigration policy. The notorious law where children of immigrant families were separated from their parents was attacked during the performance as Logic led a group of kids wearing shirts with the phrase "We are all human beings" while his own tee stated unequivocally, "F*ck the wall."

Watch the performance here:

4. Panic! At the Disco, 'High Hopes'

Rock music got a semblance of representation at the event with Panic! At the Disco stealing the show. The band, who recently released their sixth studio album Pray for the Wicked, performed the single 'High Hopes' in what was a fun, tightly-packed, highly engaging and energetic, and over-the-top. Frontman Brendon Urie, the only permanent member of the band, used an array of instruments, like strings and horns, to support his vocal histrionics and high-energy physicality.

Watch the performance here:

3. Ariana Grande, 'God Is a Woman'

Sweetener, Ariana Grande's latest studio album, has received widespread critical acclaim. The popstar has been in the news for her music, her engagement to comedian Pete Davidson, and the recent artistic statements she has made with her single 'God is a Woman'. At the 2018 VMAs, Grande and a couple dozen backing dancers slowly slithered around and sprawled over a long table in what was an all-female Last Supper. The visually stunning performance closed with Ariana's mother, aunt and grandmother taking the stage next to her.

Watch the performance here:

2. Travis Scott feat. James Blake, 'Stargazing'/'Stop Trying to Be God'/'Sicko Mode'

Travis Scott recently dropped one of the hottest records of this year, the critically acclaimed and experimental ASTROWORLD. Performing three singles from the same album, Travis Scott was on-point as far as his rapping was concerned. The elaborate stage setup and the assistance by James Black only enhanced the performance of the three singles, 'Stargazing', 'Stop Trying to Be God', and 'Sicko Mode'.

Watch the performance here:

1. Jennifer Lopez, Hits Medley

The star of the show was, without a doubt, Jennifer Lopez. The iconic actress and singer was presented with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, after which she performed some of her biggest hits one after the other. The songs—like 'Waiting for Tonight', 'On the Floor', 'Ain't Your Mama', 'Love Don't Cost a Thing', 'All I Have' and 'Jenny from the Block' among others—was a perfect gateway to the 90s nostalgia and showed why JLo has been at the top of her game for so long.

Watch the performance here:

Updated Date: Aug 22, 2018 15:43 PM