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Beyonce reaffirmed her title as the Queen of Pop.
Fresh off her On the Run Tour with husband Jay Z, the 32-year-old entertainer showcased all her hits from her latest album, Beyonce, with a memorable 15-minute medley for her Michael Jackson Video Vanguard performance at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday evening.
Dressed in a bejeweled bodysuit, Beyonce opened her performance with an interlude from “Mine,” surrounded by her dancers in front of stained-glassed window visuals. “MTV, welcome to my world,” she said, before launching into a smoke-filled rendition of “Haunted,” followed by “Jealous,” backed by clips. Jay Z watched from the audience with daughter Blue Ivy on his lap.
Her dancers then rejoined her for “Blow” and a booty-popping performance of “Drunk in Love” complete with the audience echoing her in the chorus. She then danced atop a chair and amid the smoke during “Rocket.” And for the sultry “Partition,” the singer seized the pole-dancing moment.
When launching into “Flawless,” the words of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie‘s TEDx message flashed on the big screen behind her and her dancers: “We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller,” it read. She proudly asked the audience, “How did you wake up this morning?” as the audience shouted back, “Flawless!” And she wore a big smile during a riff of “Yonce.”
She showed home videos while singing “Blue” and dedicated “XO” to her fans.
Jay Z and Blue Ivy — who told the performer, “Good job, Mommy” — came onstage to present her with the award. “I am so full. I have nothing to say. I am filled with so much gratitude,” she told the audience before closing the show with a kiss for her husband. “Thank you and good night!”
Beyonce is the latest to join an elite group of Video Vanguard honorees that includes as Michael Jackson (for whom the award was renamed in 1991), Britney Spears, Madonna and last year’s recipient, Justin Timberlake, who drew a standing ovation following his own medley of hits — from “SexyBack” and “My Love” to “Like I Love You” and “Mirrors” — that included a ‘N Sync reunion.
A 14-time VMA winner (including two Moonmen with Destiny’s Child), Beyonce led this year’s pack with eight nominations, including video of the year for “Drunk in Love” and best female video. Always one to make a big splash, back in 2011 the singer announced that she was expecting her first child with Jay Z at the VMAs.
This year’s performance lineup also includes Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, Nicki Minaj, Iggy Azalea, Rita Ora, Ariana Grande, Jessie J, Sam Smith and 5 Seconds of Summer. Miley Cyrus, who made headlines for last year’s raunchy VMA performance, Gwen Stefani, Kim Kardashian, Demi Lovato, Lorde and Orange Is the New Black stars are among the presenters.
Below Beyonce’s Vanguard performance setlist, and watch the full performance below:
“Drunk in Love”
Read THR’s complete coverage of the VMAs right here!
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