Cyrus, who set tongues wagging last year with her raunchy "twerking"
during her VMAs performance, won the night's top prize for video
of the year for "Wrecking Ball," in which she cavorted naked on
a wrecking ball.
She opted not to collect her award, instead sitting in the
audience and holding back tears while sending a homeless young
man named Jesse to collect her award.
"I've cleaned your hotels rooms, I've been an extra in your
movies, I've been an extra in your life. Though I may have been
invisible to you in the streets, I have many of the same dreams
that brought many of you here tonight," the young man said.
Earlier on the red carpet, Cyrus said she "retired" her grinding
explicit dance moves. But while Cyrus has retired the twerk,
rapper Nicki Minaj brought her rump-grinding to kick off the
show with hip hop song "Anaconda," scantily-clad and twerking
against a jungle-themed backdrop.
Since launching in 1984, Viacom-owned MTV's VMAs have become
synonymous with irreverence and unscripted moments that have
become part of music history, and all eyes were on whoever
delivered the most outrageous or unplanned stunt.
Beyonce, delivered the night's most touching moment when
accepting the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award for her
lifetime achievement in music from her husband, rapper Jay Z,
who called her the "greatest living entertainer."
Jay Z, carrying the couple's daughter Blue Ivy, then shared a
sweet kiss on stage with his wife, who was overcome with
emotion, saying "I have nothing to say, I am so full from
The singer, dressed in a sparkly bodysuit and surrounded by
large screens and silhouetted dancers, performed a mini-concert
of her hits including "Haunted" "Drunk in Love," "Partition" and
"Blue," her ode to her daughter.
Beyonce picked up three other awards; best collaboration for
"Drunk in Love" with Jay Z, and best cinematography and video
with a social message for "Pretty Hurts."
[to top of second column]
Pop music's ladies delivered high-octane performances throughout the
night. Ariana Grande kicked off the show with "Break Free" before
joining Minaj and Jessie J for "Bang Bang."
Taylor Swift debuted her upbeat first single "Shake It Off" from her
upcoming pop album "1989," while Azalea and British singer Rita Ora
performed their sultry track "Black Widow."
In stark comparison to the over-the-top performances by the ladies
of pop on the VMAs stage, British newcomer Sam Smith used a bare set
to showcase his voice on his hit "Stay With Me," while rockers
Maroon 5 performed "Maps" outside of the newly renovated Forum
theater in Inglewood, with hundreds of fans.
The presenters also got in on the fun, with Jim Carrey tumbling on
stage while announcing best pop video with Jeff Daniels. "Saturday
Night Live" cast member Jay Pharoah impersonated Jay Z and Kanye
Other top winners of the fan-voted awards included Katy Perry
landing the best female video Moonman for the Cleopatra-themed music
video for "Dark Horse." British singer Ed Sheeran won best male
video Moonman "Sing," Lorde won best rock video for "Royals," and
Grande won best pop video for "Problem" featuring Azalea.
In the tightly contested Artist to Watch category girl group Fifth
Harmony's "Miss Movin' On" beat out Australian boyband 5 Seconds of
Summer, rapper Schoolboy Q and British singers Sam Smith and Charlie
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Jeremy Laurence and Michael
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