Kendrick Lamar swept the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards. He was nominated eight times, more than any other artist, and he also took home the most Moonmen, claiming Video of the Year, Best Hip-Hop Video and almost a clean sweep of his professional categories: Best Direction, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, and Best Visual Effects. All of those prizes were for his video “Humble,” bringing him to a grand total of six. The only awards he lost were Artist of the Year (Ed Sheeran won that in an upset) and Best Choreography (Kanye West prevailed for “Fade”). Check out the complete list of winners here.
The VMAs spread the wealth in other categories. Best Pop Video was awarded to Fifth Harmony and Gucci Mane for their collaboration “Down.” And Best Collaboration went to Zayn and Taylor Swift for their “Fifty Shades Darker” duet “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” — Swift premiered her music video for “Look What You Made Me Do” at the event, but neither she nor Zayn were on hand to accept their Moonmen.
Alessia Cara didn’t win Video of the Year for “Scars to Your Beautiful,” but she did claim Best Dance Video for teaming up with electronic dance music artist Zedd on “Stay.” Lil Uzi Vert pulled off a huge upset in the race for Song of the Summer, winning for “XO Tour Llif3” against blockbuster hits like “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber, and “Shape of You” by Sheeran. Twenty One Pilots took Best Rock Video for the second year in a row for “Heavydirtysoul.” And 19-year-old singer Khalid took the award for Best New Artist.
Arguably the biggest surprise of the night came in the race for Best Fight Against the System, which was presented by Susan Bro, the mother of slain Charlottesville protester Heather Heyer. She announced that, in the spirit of unity, MTV decided to honor all six nominees for the award: Logic featuring Damian Lemar Hudson (“Black SpiderMan”), the “Hamilton Mixtape” (“Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)”), Big Sean (“Light”), Cara (“Scars to Your Beautiful”), Taboo featuring Shailene Woodley (“Stand Up / Stand N Rock #NoDAPL”), and John Legend (“Surefire”).
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