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Stellar Performances Dominate the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards

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US singer Rihanna performs during the 2016 MTV Video Music Award at the Madison Square Garden in New York on August 28, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMADJEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

The roof of New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden was on fire last night and is still smoking. Taking place on Sunday, August 28, the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards was fully of cheers, jeers, and pleasant surprises!

Kicking off this year’s show was none other than Rhianna. Decked in a youthful futuristic themed ensemble, the Barbados bombshell performed a total of four times, and slayed her opening performance with a blitz of her signature hits including  “Please Don’t Stop the Music”, “Only Girl,“Where Have You Been”, and “We Found Love”.

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For her second set, the 2016 Video Vanguard recipient creatively breezed through her other chart toppers, “Rude Boy”, “What’s My Name” and “Work.” Backed by a mammoth amount of dancers, Rhi Rhi appeared on another stage which first appeared to be the audience.

Later on, for her third set, she gave a sexually charged performance mash-up of “Pour It Up” and the mega-hit“B***h Better Have My Money.” For her final performance, Rhi Rhi  took the stage accompanied by a choir, performing additional signature songs  “Stay”, “Diamonds” and “Love On the Brain.”

After Rihanna’s final performance, her award was presented to her by none other than friend and fellow hitmaker Drake.

Although the Canadian chart-topper who collaborated with Rhianna on her hits What’s My Name and Work was a no show during the performances, showing up to present an award  to his good friend made it all better.

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Other standout performances include Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj’s fitness themed rendition of the reggae influenced “Side By Side” from Ariana’s new album Dangerous Woman.

Nominated for five awards at this year’s show, the Florida-born pop princess began her performance with eclectic, yet coordinated choreography on an exercise bike along with four fellow cyclists.

After melodically rising from her bicycle, the sassy songstress strutted center stage and flirted with unitard-clad muscle-bound weightlifters before being joined onstage by superstar Nicki Minaj.

Clad in a powder pink leotard, the Trinidadian-born femcee brilliantly delivered her verse before the song’s end which showcased the two starlets posing side by side while two men erotically knelt before them.

Nicki and Ariana

Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande

However, the performance that still has everyone talk was delivered by none other than Beyonce.

Introduced by tennis legend Serena Williams, Queen Bey was nominated for 11 awards this year and took home six.

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Clad in a pristine white ensemble, the Houston diva opened her performance with a haunting rendition of “Pray You Catch Me,” during which her dancers dramatically fell to the ground as the song proceeded.

The piano-tinged ballad quickly morphed into the energetic “Hold Up,” which included a sexy outfit change, and Bey swinging a bat at the camera and knocking it sideways. “Hold Up” swiftly slid into a rousing rendition of “Sorry, which then became “Don’t Hurt Yourself”.

Beyonce VMA

Beyonce wins big at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards

Bey’s set ended with none other than her chart-topping crowd pleaser “Formation” crowning this year’s ceremony with the most memorable performance. Are we surprised? Sure we aren’t.

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Ashly E. Smith
Ashly E. Smith is an author, poet, columnist, and freelance writer from Baltimore, Maryland. With her strong pop culture and entertainment backgrounds, Ashly strives to create articles that inspire as well as entertain.

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