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Thursday, January 21, 2021

The VMAs Shows Everyone that Life Must Go On Even with a Pandemic

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MTV makes history once more!

Not even a global crisis can stop people from celebrating music and the artists who make it. Despite unprecedented obstacles, the MTV Video Music Awards 2020 managed not only to push through but became the very first successful non-in-person awards show in history–a testament to MTV’s dedication to moving with the times.

Before the Covid-19 crisis, people behind the show planned to hold this year’s VMAs in Barclays Center in Brooklyn. It would have been the first time that the ceremony was going to be held in the said venue. Needless to say, current conditions do not allow for such a gathering to take place, but this did not stop longtime executive producer Jesse Ignjatovic from cooking up ways to provide fans the escape they need during this trying time.

Paying homage to the resilience of New Yorkers, the same state where the famed awards ceremony first took place, the VMAs 2020 featured several outdoor performances from today’s hottest artists.

According to a statement released by MTV last month, “The 2020 VMAs will be held on Sunday, Aug. 30 and pay homage to the incredible resiliency of New York with several outdoor performances around [NYC] with limited or no audience, adhering to all state and city guidelines. In close consultation with state and local health officials‎, it became clear at this time that outdoor performances with limited or no audience would be more feasible and safer than an indoor event. The VMAs will highlight the boroughs in an exciting show and return to Barclays Center in 2021. MTV will continue to work closely with the Department of Health, state and local officials, the medical community, and key stakeholders to ensure the safety of all involved.”

Among the most talked about performances of the night were: The Weeknd’s dark recreation of their single, “Blinding Lights”, from the Hudson Yard’s The Edge; Doja Cat’s stunning futuristic-themed performance debut, and; K-Pop icon, BTS, who energetically performed their newest single “Dynamite” all the way from Seoul.

But it was Lady Gaga who really brought down the house, so to speak. She performed a string of songs from her album, “Chromatica”, and underwent eight almost instantaneous outfit changes–complete with a new mask for each outfit. She was joined by fellow pop star Arianna Grande who she collaborated with for “Rain on Me”.

Gaga was also the recipient of the first-ever Tricon Award, which according to MTV, is an honor that spans everything that the artist is and does (singer/actress, fashion icon, and activist). Lady Gaga, in her acceptance speech, shared the award with all her fans and reminded everyone to keep wearing masks.

“I want to share this award with everybody at home tonight, everybody at home who is their own form of a Tricon. I want you to know that you can do this too. Just because we’re separated right now and culture may feel less alive in some ways, I know a renaissance is coming, and the wrath of pop culture will inspire you, and the rage of art will empower you as it responds to hardship with its generosity and love.”

In a Billboard article, Ignjatovic says that it was everyone’s willingness to work together that allowed them to pull a successful awards show this year, from the artists, record labels, management, and MTV. He says, “really recognized the parameters and limitations and everyone worked within them. No one tried to push, like, ‘I have to have 50 dancers.’”

Indeed it’s both refreshing and encouraging to see events that promote culture and entertainment still take place despite everything that’s happening in the world. It’s a welcome distraction that allow us to keep soldiering on.

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