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The MTV Video Music Awards 2017 went off without a hitch, and while the cameras captured everything from Kendrick Lamar’s fiery opening performance to Katy Perry’s epic finale, Billboard editors and staff were on hand at Los Angeles’ Forum to report what happened when the cameras weren’t rolling.
– Pink walked the carpet with her husband Corey Hart and kids in tow, but she took some time out to show love to the fans, taking selfies with them along the way.
– Cardi B and Young M.A. took a detour on the red carpet to talk to the Billboard team, speaking about empowering women in the hip-hop community. And while fans often suggest that there’s only room for one female rapper to reign supreme at a time, they insisted that there’s no beef between them—and especially Nicki Minaj.
– Fifth Harmony’s Normani Kordei recently made a cameo in Khalid’s video for “Young, Dumb & Broke,” and after giving hints of a potential collaboration, Khalid confirmed to Billboard that he and Normani have plans to hit the studio, and that she’s going to send him ideas soon.
– Jack Antonoff, who performed with his band Bleachers during the pre-show, talked about working with Taylor Swift on her new single “Look What You Made Me Do,” explaining they wrote and recorded it in his home studio said it was about “a lot of things,” not just one person—that person being Kanye West, which many fans suspected the song targeted.
– Billy Ray Cyrus showed up in support of his daughters Miley and Noah, and joked about the former’s twerk-tastic performance at the 2013 MTV VMAs, claiming that he made up twerking and that she stole it from him.
– Though she didn’t show it during her dance-driven performance, Lorde had to pump herself up before she hit choreographed cues with a backup crew to “Homemade Dynamite,” a cut off her recent release Melodrama. Before the cameras started rolling, the New Zealand native was spotted jumping up and down on the stage in an apparent attempt to psych herself up, giving a strong show despite battling the flu.
– After Alessia Cara accepted the award for best dance video with a missing-in-action Zedd for their collaboration “Stay,” the broadcast cut to commercial. But inside the Forum, things took a more political turn when YG’s anti-presidential anthem “FDT (F—k Donald Trump)” blared through the speakers. The crowd, which included presenter Paris Jackson, who put Trump on blast earlier in the evening, went wild.
– Pop feuds are nothing new, and Katy Perry has seen her fair share. But she showed love to Ariana Grande while taking a break from hosting during the commercials, dancing to Ariana Grande’s “Into You” as it blared through the system.
– Nicki Minaj and Yo Gotti were in attendance to promote their new single “Rake It Up,” and they got a boost when they played it through the soundsystem as the crew set up for Pink’s performance while her backup dancers grooved to it in the backseat of a prop car.
– Before KYLE performed his hit single “iSpy,” curiously without featured guest Lil Yachty who was in attendance, he showed love to his fans, hugging them in the crowd.
– Logic gave one of the most impassioned performances of the evening, bringing out suicide survivors during an emotional performance of “1-800-273-8255” with Alessia Cara and Khalid. But inside the arena, it got the strongest response from the crowd—at the end, everyone was on their feet, cheering the Def Jam rapper.
This story first appeared on billboard.com
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