(Adds performances and final winners throughout)
By Piya Sinha-Roy
INGLEWOOD, Calif. Aug 24 With some twerking and
shaking, the leading ladies of pop music dominated the MTV Video
Music Awards on Sunday, while an emotional Miley Cyrus and a
touching moment between Beyonce and her family led the Moonman
award wins of the night.
Cyrus, who set tongues wagging last year with her raunchy
"twerking" during her VMAs performance, won the night's top
prize for video of the year for "Wrecking Ball," in which she
cavorted naked on a wrecking ball.
She opted not to collect her award, instead sitting in the
audience and holding back tears while sending a homeless young
man named Jesse to collect her award.
"I've cleaned your hotels rooms, I've been an extra in your
movies, I've been an extra in your life. Though I may have been
invisible to you in the streets, I have many of the same dreams
that brought many of you here tonight," the young man said.
Earlier on the red carpet, Cyrus said she "retired" her
grinding explicit dance moves. But while Cyrus has retired the
twerk, rapper Nicki Minaj brought her rump-grinding to kick off
the show with hip hop song "Anaconda," scantily-clad and
twerking against a jungle-themed backdrop.
Since launching in 1984, Viacom-owned MTV's VMAs have become
synonymous with irreverence and unscripted moments that have
become part of music history, and all eyes were on whoever
delivered the most outrageous or unplanned stunt.
Beyonce, delivered the night's most touching moment when
accepting the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award for her
lifetime achievement in music from her husband, rapper Jay Z,
who called her the "greatest living entertainer."
Jay Z, carrying the couple's daughter Blue Ivy, then shared
a sweet kiss on stage with his wife, who was overcome with
emotion, saying "I have nothing to say, I am so full from
The singer, dressed in a sparkly bodysuit and surrounded by
large screens and silhouetted dancers, performed a mini-concert
of her hits including "Haunted" "Drunk in Love," "Partition" and
"Blue," her ode to her daughter.
Beyonce picked up three other awards; best collaboration for
"Drunk in Love" with Jay Z, and best cinematography and video
with a social message for "Pretty Hurts."
Pop music's ladies delivered high-octane performances
throughout the night. Ariana Grande kicked off the show with
"Break Free" before joining Minaj and Jessie J for "Bang Bang."
Taylor Swift debuted her upbeat first single "Shake It Off"
from her upcoming pop album "1989," while Azalea and British
singer Rita Ora performed their sultry track "Black Widow."
In stark comparison to the over-the-top performances by the
ladies of pop on the VMAs stage, British newcomer Sam Smith used
a bare set to showcase his voice on his hit "Stay With Me,"
while rockers Maroon 5 performed "Maps" outside of the newly
renovated Forum theater in Inglewood, with hundreds of fans.
The presenters also got in on the fun, with Jim Carrey
tumbling on stage while announcing best pop video with Jeff
Daniels. "Saturday Night Live" cast member Jay Pharoah
impersonated Jay Z and Kanye West.
Other top winners of the fan-voted awards included Katy
Perry landing the best female video Moonman for the
Cleopatra-themed music video for "Dark Horse." British singer Ed
Sheeran won best male video Moonman "Sing," Lorde won best rock
video for "Royals," and Grande won best pop video for "Problem"
In the tightly contested Artist to Watch category girl group
Fifth Harmony's "Miss Movin' On" beat out Australian boyband 5
Seconds of Summer, rapper Schoolboy Q and British singers Sam
Smith and Charlie XCX.
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Jeremy Laurence and