VMAs 2022 Recap: Best, Worst, and Most Surprising Moments

Some of the most iconic moments in pop music history have taken place at MTV’s Video Music Awards—from Britney and Madonna’s memorable kiss (2003) to Kanye West stealing Taylor Swift’s limelight (2009).

While the 2022 Video Music Awards—which took place Sunday at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey — didn’t quite live up to that billing, there was nonetheless plenty of excitement as some of music’s biggest stars got together.

Johnny Depp’s first (non-public) appearance since the controversial defamation case against Amber Heard. Yung Gravy—a new rapper with a viral TikTok song—and his date sparked plenty of gossip. Blackpink’s and Nicki Minaj’s performances brought down the house.

Below are some highlights from the MTV Video Music Awards in 2022.

Taylor Swift accepted the Video of the Years award from Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey on August 28, 20,22.

Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images MTV/Paramount Global

Taylor Swift is the best Twitter user

While accepting the award for “Video of the Year,” Taylor Swift told her fans that she’d be releasing a new album on Oct. 21, 2022—and revealing more details after the show. At exactly midnight she announced the release of “Midnights,” which she describes as a “collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams.” Twitter erupted into chaos, and the phrase “meet me at midnight” began trending.

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Johnny Depp: The Worst Return

Media outlets were reporting that the embattled actor would show up at the awards—whether in person or via video—in his first public appearance since his high-profile defamation lawsuit against his former wife, Amber Heard. He did so in an unusual manner. His pre-recorded face was projected onto the helmet of a large version of the “Moon Person” statuettes that are given out at the VMAs. He welcomed the viewers back in this virtual avatar after the two commercial breaks.

Dove Cameron accepted the award as Best New Artist at the 2022 MTV VMAs, held at Prudential Center in Newark on August 28, 20,22.

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images MTV/Paramount Global

Dove Cameron: Best LGBTQ Shout Out

Former Disney starlet Dove Cameron has been working hard to step out of the entertainment behemoth’s shadow, and it seems the work is paying off. She’s been showing off her musical theater chops in productions like Hairspray! Hairspray!, The Piazza LightLondon and an off-broadway production Clueless. This year’s “Best New Artist” category was stacked with well-known musicians who’ve had bigger success than Cameron, such as Måneskin, Baby Keem, Latto, Gayle, and SEVENTEEN—but she beat them all and dedicated her award to “all the queer kids out there.”

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Most talked about date: Yung gravy and Sheri Aprilling

Viral rapper Yung Gravy has been having his moment, with the success of the TikTok-propelled “Betty (Get Money)” a 2’26” slab of pop that irresistibly samples Rick Astley’s 1987 smash “Never Gonna Give You Up.” The rapper performed his hit during the pre-show, and he was seen kissing his date—fellow TikToker Addison Rae’s mom Sheri Easterling—on the black carpet. During his pre-show interview, he raised some eyebrows when he called Easterling “the queen of MILFS.”

Nicki Minaj takes to the stage during the MTV Video Music Awards 2022, held at Newark’s Prudential Center on Sunday, August 28, 2022.

Doug Peters/PA Images via Getty Images

Best Medley: Nicki Minaj

This year’s Video Vanguard Award honoree, Nicki Minaj, took the stage to perform a medley of the greatest moments throughout her career. From “Moment 4 Life” to her latest release, “Super Freaky Girl,” the Queens native stunned the crowd with snippets from her incredible back catalog.

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Blackpink is the most attitudinal performance

Blackpink, a K-pop group is preparing for its second studio album. Pink is the new normalThe album is due to be released on September 16th. To prepare, the girls took the VMAs stage to perform the first single due off the album, “Pink Venom.” It was their first performance at a U.S. awards show—and one of the best performancesNight.

Bad Bunny kisses an actress at Yankee Stadium during the 2022 MTV VMAs, which will be broadcast in New York City on August 28th 2022.

Noam Galai/Getty Images MTV/Paramount Global

The Best Honour to Britney and Madonna: Bad Bunny

Bad Bunny from Reggaeton invited Bad Bunny to the MTV VMAs. his show at the Yankee Stadium in New York City, where he performed “Titi Me Preguntó.” During the song, he kissedOne of his backup male dancers was a man, and the people began to notice him. comparingYou can see the Britney Spears-Madonna kiss.

Worst appearance: The Metaverse

We, the people, are politely asking crypto-powers to end forcing us into metaverse performances. At the VMAs, Snoop Dogg and Eminem performed their collaboration, “From the D 2 The LBC,” starting out on the main stage before diving headfirst into the metaverseThe book includes digital renderings of artists and Bored Ape Yacht Club apes. It smacked of belated bandwagon jumping, and hopefully won’t become a way for artists to do even less than the bare minimum when it comes to live performances.

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Fergie, the Best Performer in Co-Performance

Fergie has laid low the past couple of years and hasn’t been seen at the VMAs for quite some time. When Jack Harlow sampled her 2006 hit “Glamorous,” interest renewed in the 16-year-old song. In respect of the Black Eyed Peas ex, Harlow invited her. on stageThey sang the songs together in front of a cheering audience. Brandy was also present at Harlow’s BET show in June.

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