Ed Sheeran performs Shape of You at the VMAs Image: AP
Kendrick Lamar was the king of the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards, winning six awards on a night full of emotional performances, political moments and a new, eye-popping Taylor Swift music video. Lamar's Humble won video of the year, best hip-hop video, direction, cinematography, art direction and visual effects on Sunday at the Forum in Inglewood, California.
He also gave an explosive performance of Humble and DNA, backed by ninjas dancing near fire. Tailing him was Sheeran, who won artist of the year, a new award established after MTV eliminated gender categories like best male and female video.
But the VMAs, hosted by a forgettable Katy Perry with performances by Miley Cyrus and Sheeran, was tamer than most years, not relying on the shock value and wild antics of past shows. Instead, touching performances and powerful speeches took centerstage.
Taylor Swift and Zayn Malik, who didn't attend the show, won best collaboration for I Don't Wanna Live Forever. Of course, Sheeran performed his hit, Shape of You, and was later joined by rapper Lil Uzi Vert. The Brit singer won Artist of the Year by beating Bruno Mars, Lamar, Ariana Grande, The Weeknd and Lorde.
Despacito, which was snubbed in the video of the year category, lost the only award it was nominated for: Song of summer. Lil Uzi Vert's Top 10 hit, XO Tour Life, won that prize. Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's Despacito, despite being the most viewed video on YouTube and currently at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, lagged behind at the VMAs. MTV said Universal Music Latin Entertainment didn't submit the video, while the record label said they weren't asked to send in the clip.
But the VMAs were not low on glam at all. Shawn Mendes, 30 Seconds to Mars, and Perry, with guest Nicki Minaj, performed during the show. Rod Stewart, DNCE and Demi Lovato also sang remotely from Las Vegas.
(With inputs from AP)