The highlight of last night’s “VMAs” wasn’t some crazy performance, an outfit that showed too much skin, or even that old standby, two chicks making out. It was a heartfelt and emotional speech Pink gave about her 6-year-old daughter Willow.
Pink won the Video Vanguard Award, but instead of talking about herself or her work, she went right into a story about how Willow recently called herself, quote, “the ugliest girl I know,” saying she looks like a boy with long hair.
That’s obviously a hard thing for a mother to hear, so Pink made a Power Point presentation for Willow of androgynous rock stars like Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Annie Lennox, and Elton John.
Then she told Willow that people often make fun of HER for looking like a boy or being too masculine. And she said, “We don’t change. We take the gravel in the shell and make a pearl.
“And we help other people to change so they can see more kinds of beauty.” Willow was actually in the audience, with her dad Carey Hart. And she was wearing a SUIT. It was pretty awesome.
Here are some other highlights from the show:
1. Kendrick Lamar kicked off the show with “DNA” and “Humble”, and his performance included a guy doing karate moves while ENGULFED IN FLAMES, plus some other dudes climbing a structure that was on fire.
3. Miley Cyrus had a sock hop theme for her performance of “Younger Now“, and her backup dancers looked like they were old enough to have actually gone to a few in their day. And it looked like there might have been a drag queen or two thrown in for good measure.
4. As promised, or threatened? DNCE and Rod Stewart did “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy“. Other than Joe Jonas’ pornstache, it wasn’t TOO uncomfortable.
5. An actual descendant of Confederate general Robert E. Lee came out to preach against hate, and to introduce Susan Bro, the mother of Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer. She announced the formation of the Heather Heyer Foundation.
6. Jared Leto paid tribute to Chester Bennington.
7. Host Katy Perry closed the show with “Swish Swish“, featuring Nicki Minaj.
The Complete VMA Winners List
Video of the Year: “Humble”, Kendrick Lamar
Artist of the Year: Ed Sheeran
Best New Artist: Khalid
Best Collaboration: “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever”, Zayn andTaylor Swift
Best Pop Video: “Down”, Fifth Harmony featuring Gucci Mane
Best Rock Video: “HeavyDirtySoul”, Twenty One Pilots
Best Hip-Hop Video: “Humble”, Kendrick Lamar
Best Dance Video: “Stay”, Zedd and Alessia Cara
Song of the Summer: “XO Tour Llif3”, Lil Uzi Vert
Best Direction: “Humble”, Kendrick Lamar
Best Art Direction: “Humble”, Kendrick Lamar
Best Choreography: “Fade”, Kanye West
Best Cinematography: “Humble”, Kendrick Lamar
Best Editing: “Young Thug”, Wyclef Jean
Best Visual Effects: “Humble”, Kendrick Lamar
Michael Jackson Vanguard Award: Pink