The MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) on Sunday was dominated by Beyonce as she went home with eight statuettes, while Rihanna gets lifetime award.
Beyonce also won the top prize – Video Of The Year, the best female video and prizes for choreography, editing, and long form video in the awards that were voted by fans.
She prowled the stage with a 15-minute medley from her powerful “Lemonade” album in a song and dance routine that brought a long standing ovation.
The VMA organisers had announced only three hours before Sunday’s show started that Beyonce would perform.
The singer arrived on the red carpet accompanied by the mothers of three African-American men who died in the U.S. in the
past two years.
Her politically-charged “Formation” beat Adele’s 2015 comeback single “Hello,” Drake’s “Hotline Bling,” Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” and Kanye West’s sleeping nude celebrity look-alikes in “Famous” for video of the year.
Meanwhile, Rihanna had performed four times to mark her lifetime achievement award.
The 28-year-old Rihanna sang 13 of the biggest hits in her 13-year career, including “Rude Girl,” “Diamonds” and “Only Girl in the World.”
The Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award was presented to her by Canadian rapper Drake – with whom she had often been romantically linked.
Drake said “she’s someone I’ve been in love with since I was 22 years old. She’s one of my best friends in the world.
“All my adult life, I’ve looked up to her even though she’s younger than me.”
Fifth Harmony, the five-girl group that won TV talent show “The X Factor,” took home 2 “Moonman” awards.
Kanye West, who often hijacked the live VMA show, presented a new video for his single “Fade.”
West preceded the video with a rambling, improvised speech that touched on poverty, his wife Kim Kardashian, his long-running feud with Taylor Swift, and violence in black neighborhoods.
He said “we are undeniably the influencers, the thought leaders,” before screening what he called a “piece of my art.”
Spears, a 34 year old singer, dressed in a sparkly gold leotard and matching over the knee boots was slinky retro pop returned to the VMA stage for the first time in a decade,
It was Spear’s first time on the VMA stage since her humiliating 2007 performance when her personal and professional life was falling apart, which followed the release of a new album last week.
However, many of pop music’s biggest names, including Justin Bieber, Britain’s Adele and Taylor Swift were absent on Sunday.