The 2023 MTV Video Music Awards took place this week at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Nicki Minaj took over as the sole host of the 40th annual VMAs. From Lil Wayne’s opening performance to Metro Boomin’s VMA debut to a finale medley with the Furious Five, LL Cool J, Lil Wayne, and Nicki Minaj, the performance-heavy, relatively chaos-free VMAs dedicated a significant portion of their nearly four-hour ceremony to celebrating 50 years of hip-hop.
We have highlighted some of the best moments from this year’s award ceremony.
Shakira’s Video Vanguard Award
Karol G won for best collaboration with fellow Colombian Shakira, the night’s guest of honor, for their song TGQ. “She’s a legend. She represents our country and our Latina community,” said Karol G in Spanish. Wyclef Jean presented Shakira with her Video Vanguard Award for her contributions to global music. In a brisk acceptance speech, Shakira paid tribute to the “amazing women” who helped her push industry boundaries, her two sons, Milan and Sasha, and her fans. “Thanking my fans who always support me through thick and thin. Thank you so much for being my army and helping me fight all my battles.”
Rema Winning First Ever Afrobeats VMA Award
Tiffany Haddish presented the first-ever televised award for best Afrobeats to Rema and Selena Gomez for their song Calm Down. Gomez said she “could not be more honored” to be a part of the collaboration, the first African artist-led track to reach 1 billion streams on Spotify, and sent “all my love to Nigeria”. Rema and Selena Gomez accepted the award for best Afrobeats together for Calm Down at the MTV Video Music Awards 2023.
Taylor Swift – Video Of The Year
Taylor Swift once again dominated the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), winning every televised category in which she was nominated. After announcing her 10th studio album, Midnights, live on stage, Swift wrapped the awards ceremony with another Video of the Year award, the night’s top prize for her Midnights track Anti-Hero. She also won Best Direction, Best Pop Video, and Song Of The Year. “The fact that this is a fan-voted award means so much to me,” she said of the night’s capstone award. “All I have to say tonight is thank you. I’m blown away.”
The 33-year-old singer dedicated her wins to the art of songwriting as well as to presenters ‘NSync, who reunited for the first time in over a decade to give her one award, and her video editor Chancler Hanes and cinematographer Rina Yang, who spoke on Swift’s behalf for her video of the year win.
VMAs Pink Carpet Best Looks
The VMAs have consistently delivered some of the most iconic red-carpet moments in entertainment history. There’s something about this MTV-hosted award ceremony that encourages celebrities to drop their inhibitions and embrace the spirit of fun on the red carpet. We have highlighted some of the standout fashion moments from this year’s VMAs, celebrating the creativity and boldness displayed by these artists and influencers.
1. Cardi B in Custom Dilara Findikoglu
Not only is Cardi B that girl, but she is also that fashion icon. She wore a custom Dilara Findikoglu outfit for the event that was slightly different from the mini version she wore to the London Fashion Week runway in February.
2. Megan Thee Stallion in Brandon Blackwood
A strapless sheer gown is a red carpet must-have. Megan Thee Stallion stunned in a custom-made, sheer black Brandon Blackwood gown. The floor-length dress featured a black bustier top. The design stands out because of the corset boning illusion. It draws attention to her hourglass figure and makes her stand out.
3. Anitta in Schiaparelli
Schiaparelli is known for making gorgeous surreal garments, ones that might make you stare, and that is how Anitta’s gown is. With a keyhole cut-out exposing her midriff and mismatched earrings that look like clunky painted rocks, her outfit is the perfect mix of sexy and unconventional. It’s the kind of look you don’t forget—the kind of look that makes you think.
4. Rita Ora in Rodarte
Rita Ora wore a black off-the-shoulder Rodarte gown from the brand’s fall 2023 collection. The outfit has long, flowing sleeves that droop like a dead lily. The overall effect, though, is that of bat wings. The Mulleavy twins stated that the collection was inspired by “fairies,” and Ora certainly serves a dark emo fairy dream. A little strange and witchy in the best way. Her glitter Marc Jacobs Kiki boots provide a fun touch.
5. Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj looked like a blushing bride. In a baby pink corset, sheer lace skirt, and sheer lace veil by Dolce & Gabbana. The look featured pastel underwear and a see-through lace mermaid skirt. Minaj kept her eyeliner pale and covered her face with a bubblegum pink veil with a delicate lace edge.
The VMAs red-carpet outfits in 2023 feel lost—but there were still some great custom runway looks from fashion girls such as Anitta and Cardi B.
Who was your best dressed on the pink carpet this year?