Even in a career as glittering as Beyonce's, Sunday's MTV Music Video Awards will count as a massive highlight. She utterly dominated the night, winning eight awards, including Best Video for "Formation," and left the crowd in awe with what the AP calls an "epic 16-minute concert" that featured five songs from Lemonade. Four things to know from the night:
- Before the show, Beyonce posed with guests Lezley McSpadden, Gwen Carr, Wanda Johnson, and Sybrina Fulton, who are the mothers of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, and Eric Garner, Rolling Stone reports. Beyonce has said she is inspired by the women, whose sons' deaths at the hands of police—or, in Trayvon's case, George Zimmerman—inspired protests.
- Britney Spears had what Vox calls the "impossible task of following Beyonce" and while her lip-synced performance of new single "Make Me" is getting mixed reviews, critics agree it was a world away from her disastrous 2007 performance, which was her last time on the VMA stage.
- Rihanna performed several hits over the course of the show and was presented with the Video Vanguard Award by former boyfriend Drake. "She's someone I've been in love with since I was 22 years old," said Drake, who didn't collect his Best Hip Hop Video award earlier in the night, CNN reports. Presenter Sean Combs said he was "stuck in traffic."
- Kanye West took the stage for four minutes in what the Los Angeles Times describes as a "freewheeling, remarkably self-indulgent stream-of-conscious rant" that served as a heartfelt tribute to himself. Among other things, he discussed his explicit video for "Famous," Taylor Swift controversies old and new, and Chicago gun violence.
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