From Frank Ocean's stripped-down performance of "Thinkin Bout You" to Green Day's punked-out return to the MTV stage, here are some of the major highlights from the Video Music Awards, held Sept. 6 at L.A.'s Staples Center.
Remember that time one of the most famous couples in music announced their pregnancy at the MTV Music Video Awards? Oh right, that was just last year. It looks like Beyonce and Jay-Z may have started a new tradition because at the 2012 event, Wiz Khalifa and his bride-to-be Amber Rose appeared carrying a bun in the over. Rose wore a form-fitting black lace dress to show off her growing baby bump. The only question remaining: Which couple will announce a pregnancy next year?
Frank Ocean 'Steals the Show'
Many people, including members of the music community such as Ne-Yo (as he told THR on the red carpet before the show), were looking forward to seeing Frank Ocean perform. The singer's sparce version of "Thinking About You" was one of the night's standouts, attracting praise from the likes of Lady Gaga, who tweeted "watch frank ocean steal this whole show. I'm dead."
Host Kevin Hart riffed on Kristen Stewart, Snooki, Chris Brown, Drake and Frank Ocean in an opening monologue focusing on "mistakes" the stars had made. But his fast-paced chatter didn't quite work for show.
Here is Hart's take on Stewart's cheating scandal:
"Everybody is mad at Kristen Stewart for making a mistake. OK, she allegedly messed around with the direct of Snow White and the Huntsman. She did? So what? It's over. Move on. Here's the bright side: I know part of the seven dwarves -- there's sleepy, grumpy, adultery, cheating. ... She made a mistake. So what?"
Green Day Prove They're Pros
It looks like Billie Joe Armstrong recovered from his parasite/dehydration health scare in time to rock the VMAs. Green Day, who have performed on the VMAs more than any other musical act except Madonna, brought their seasoned skills to the stage once again with a performance of "Let Yourself Go," a song off their upcoming trilogy, ¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tre!.
One Direction Does "One Thing"
British/Irish heartthrobs One Direction, who took home three statues, performed "One Thing" during the broadcast. The group rocked a casual (and surprisingly unmatch-y) look while performing, and the crowd loved the singing sensations' first performance on the VMA stage.
Taylor Swift's Bandmates Replaced with Giant Animal Mascots
Yes, Taylor Swift is so adorable with her catchy breakup songs and constant awe at her life. And more often than not, she can put together a fun performance onstage. But what exactly was going on at the VMAs? The country crooner performed her new hit "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" to close out the show -- surrounded by her bandmates wearing animal costumes? And while the song is rumoured to be about Jake Gyllenhaal, the cameras kept turning to other Swift ex Taylor Lautner. Awkward.
Pink Falls Short
Pinksported a pompadour during her performance of "Get the Party Started" and "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)." Though stylish and themed with confetti in the shape of lips, the routine didn't quite measure up to her trapeze act from the 2009 VMAs.
Alicia Keys Joined by Friends
Alicia Keys was briefly joined onstage by NickiMinaj and gold medalists Gabby Douglas during a performance of "Girl on Fire." The gymnast cartwheeled across the stage while Minaj rapped: "Took me on the balcony, telling me to jump with her/ Yeah, I'm in the ghost but I ain't doing stunts with her/ I ain't trying to be that, haters want to see that/ But I got 'em aggy, cause I win the gold like Gabby." The song off Keys' upcoming album is all about female empowerment, which could definitely be felt onstage.
In addition to a best pop video statue for "What Makes You Beautiful," One Direction's Niall Horan andHarry Styles got kisses from presenter Katy Perry.
"Wow, thank you very much Katy. Thanks for the kiss. Thank you so much," Horan said. We're sure Perry made plenty of teen girls jealous and made at least two members of the boy band blush.
Lil Wayne Dives In
Lil Wayne teamed with 2 Chainz for a performance of "Yuck" and "No Worries" during the show. After getting rid of that pesky shirt, Lil Tunechi finished off by diving off the VMA stage and into the crowd -- a move that may be ready for retirement.
One Direction Tops the Night
Boy band One Direction won the most awards on Thursday night, taking home moonman statues for best new artist, best pop video and most share-worthy video. "We've grown up watching this show and to even be here is an honor," Niall Horan said onstage.