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Keke Palmer opens 2020 MTV VMAs with moving speech about BLM as she hosts and performs awards show

Keke Palmer had her work cut out for her this weekend, hosting and performing at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards.

But the talented multi-hyphenate outdid herself, especially considering recent events looming over the festivities. 

She opened Sunday’s virtual awards show with a moving speech, which mentioned COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter protests that have taken place across the country in recent months before taking the stage to perform her track Snack. 

Hostess with the mostest: Keke Palmer opened Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards with a moving speech, which mentioned COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement

Hostess with the mostest: Keke Palmer opened Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards with a moving speech, which mentioned COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement

The 27-year-old said of the ongoing pandemic: ‘I gotta say it, 2020 has undoubtedly been a rough year for everybody, and I’m not just talking about my edges. In fact, when something goes wrong, I just say, “2020.” 

‘But as rough as it’s been, there have been incredible moments of inspiration that have given my generation hope. We’ve seen heroes going above and beyond, whether they drive a delivery truck, work at a grocery store, or serve on the front lines in a hospital.’ 

She also mentioned the BLM movement’s fight against police brutality, as they continue to demand justice for Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Jacob Blake.

Palmer continued: ‘And with the Black Lives Matter movement, we’ve seen our generation step up, take to the streets, and make sure our voices will be heard. Enough is enough. 








Tough year: The 27-year-old said of the ongoing pandemic: 'I gotta say it, 2020 has undoubtedly been a rough year for everybody, and I'm not just talking about my edges'

Tough year: The 27-year-old said of the ongoing pandemic: ‘I gotta say it, 2020 has undoubtedly been a rough year for everybody, and I’m not just talking about my edges’

Neon dream: As well as delivering her rousing speech, she also took to the stage with last month's single Snack, from her newly-released third EP Virgo Tendencies, Pt. 1

Neon dream: As well as delivering her rousing speech, she also took to the stage with last month’s single Snack, from her newly-released third EP Virgo Tendencies, Pt. 1

Retro chic: She served '80s disco queen realness in a neon yellow vinyl bodysuit

Unzipped: The look zipped up from tiny short shorts to a retro windbreaker

Retro chic: She served ’80s disco queen realness in a neon yellow vinyl bodysuit, which zipped up from tiny short shorts to a retro windbreaker

‘What we just witnessed in Kenosha, Wisconsin, is yet another devastating reminder that we can’t stop, that we can never tolerate police brutality. Or any injustice…

‘We must continue the fight to end systemic racism. The leaders of that movement are you, us, the people watching tonight. It’s our time to be the change we want to see.’

She went viral back in June, when she urged members of the National Guard to ‘march with us’ in a video from a peaceful protest in Los Angeles.

Using her platform: Palmer continued: 'And with the Black Lives Matter movement, we've seen our generation step up, take to the streets, and make sure our voices will be heard. Enough is enough'

Using her platform: Palmer continued: ‘And with the Black Lives Matter movement, we’ve seen our generation step up, take to the streets, and make sure our voices will be heard. Enough is enough’

Power of music: The Hustlers actress concluded her speech: 'We need to come together, and music has that power. Music can help us heal. It's all love and that's what tonight is about'

Power of music: The Hustlers actress concluded her speech: ‘We need to come together, and music has that power. Music can help us heal. It’s all love and that’s what tonight is about’

The Hustlers actress concluded her speech: ‘We need to come together, and music has that power. Music can help us heal. It’s all love and that’s what tonight is about…

‘We are making the impossible possible, pushing the boundaries of music performances, because that’s what we do on the VMAs!’  

She kicked off the event in one of several eye-catching pieces of fashion, donning a pink and blue feathered dress.

The layered off-the-shoulder look featured a jeweled criss-cross halter neck, with thin jeweled stripes across the skirt. 

Touching tribute: She also made time for another important tribute, which she filmed on her phone in a gorgeous black plunging dress

Touching tribute: She also made time for another important tribute, which she filmed on her phone in a gorgeous black plunging dress

True hero: The Scream Queens star said: 'Before we get into the music tonight, we need to dedicate the time to talk about the devastating loss of Chadwick Boseman, an actor whose talent is a true inspiration to all the fans he touched and everyone he encountered'

True hero: The Scream Queens star said: ‘Before we get into the music tonight, we need to dedicate the time to talk about the devastating loss of Chadwick Boseman, an actor whose talent is a true inspiration to all the fans he touched and everyone he encountered’

In loving memory: Boseman died Friday at 43, following a four-year battle with colon cancer, which had previously progressed from stage III to stage IV

In loving memory: Boseman died Friday at 43, following a four-year battle with colon cancer, which had previously progressed from stage III to stage IV

Palmer finished the look with a pair of petite gold hoop earrings and some matching metallic gold open-toe stilettos. 

She also made time for another important tribute, which she filmed on her phone in a gorgeous black plunging dress.

The Scream Queens star said: ‘Before we get into the music tonight, we need to dedicate the time to talk about the devastating loss of Chadwick Boseman, an actor whose talent is a true inspiration to all the fans he touched and everyone he encountered. 

‘We dedicate tonight’s show to a man whose spirit touched so many. He is a true hero, not just onscreen but in everything he did. His impact lives forever.’

Boseman died Friday at 43, following a four-year battle with colon cancer, which had previously progressed from stage III to stage IV. 

Stunning display: Palmer stunned in several other looks throughout the evening, including a floor-length black dress with criss-cross spaghetti halter straps and a cutout down the chest

Stunning display: Palmer stunned in several other looks throughout the evening, including a floor-length black dress with criss-cross spaghetti halter straps and a cutout down the chest

Dripping in diamonds: She accessorized the ensemble with a pair of dangling diamond earrings and a chic matching choker

Dripping in diamonds: She accessorized the ensemble with a pair of dangling diamond earrings and a chic matching choker

The Black Panther star has since received numerous tributes from friends and fans, including a few nods at the awards show.

Palmer stunned in several other looks throughout the evening, including a floor-length black dress with criss-cross spaghetti halter straps and a cutout down the chest. 

She accessorized the ensemble with a pair of dangling diamond earrings and a chic matching choker.  

The Virgo Tendencies artist went sultry with another look, donning a satin pastel mini dress, featuring a provocative leg slit, adorned with a giant bow.

Her spaghetti-strap dress was trimmed in jewels, which matched her thick diamond choker and strappy black stilettos with jeweled accents.  

Palmer also played several characters in mini skits, including one that appeared to be inspired by Bruno Mars.

Sultry look: The Virgo Tendencies artist went sultry with another look, donning a satin pastel mini dress

Bow on top: The number featured a provocative leg slit, adorned with a giant bow

Sultry look: The Virgo Tendencies artist went sultry with another look, donning a satin pastel mini dress, featuring a provocative leg slit, adorned with a giant bow

Hell on heels: Her spaghetti-strap dress was trimmed in jewels, which matched her thick diamond choker and strappy black stilettos with jeweled accents

Hell on heels: Her spaghetti-strap dress was trimmed in jewels, which matched her thick diamond choker and strappy black stilettos with jeweled accents

Drag king: Palmer also played several characters in mini skits, including one that appeared to be inspired by Bruno Mars

Drag king: Palmer also played several characters in mini skits, including one that appeared to be inspired by Bruno Mars

She rocked full drag in a New York Yankees baseball cap with a goatee, a gold chain necklace and short-sleeve button-down printed shirt.  

The pièce de résistance was her performance look, as she took to the stage with last month’s single Snack, from her newly-released third EP Virgo Tendencies, Pt. 1.

She served ’80s disco queen realness in a neon yellow vinyl bodysuit, which zipped up from tiny short shorts to a retro windbreaker. 

The talk show host finished the look with a neon visor, matching fingerless gloves, jeweled fishnets and sparkling rainbow laced-up chunky heels.

She wore her in short cascading curls, framing her neon yellow and orange mascara, which matched her neon yellow manicure.    

Accessorizing: The talk show host finished the look with a neon visor, matching fingerless gloves, jeweled fishnets and sparkling rainbow laced-up chunky heels

Accessorizing: The talk show host finished the look with a neon visor, matching fingerless gloves, jeweled fishnets and sparkling rainbow laced-up chunky heels

Serving glam: She wore her in short cascading curls, framing her neon yellow and orange mascara, which matched her neon yellow manicure

Serving glam: She wore her in short cascading curls, framing her neon yellow and orange mascara, which matched her neon yellow manicure

Palmer was in good company, with performances from BTS, Miley Cyrus, The Weeknd, Doja Cat, Black Eyed Peas, Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga.   

The hostess with the mostest filmed her segments in front of a green screen, as this year’s show dropped the usual live audience format.  

The 2020 VMAs were originally scheduled to be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, before the coronavirus pandemic forced organizers to re-think the entire event.

This year’s show marks the first time the bash has been held at various different locations, with performances taking place in and around New York City, without packed audiences to abide by social distancing guidelines.

MTV explained its plans for the show to ‘[span] all five boroughs’ of New York, to ‘pay homage to the strength, spirit and incredible resilience of NYC and its beloved residents.’

Star-studded lineup: Palmer was in good company, with performances from BTS, Miley Cyrus, The Weeknd, Doja Cat, Black Eyed Peas, Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga

Star-studded lineup: Palmer was in good company, with performances from BTS, Miley Cyrus, The Weeknd, Doja Cat, Black Eyed Peas, Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga

The 2020 MTV Video Music Awards WINNERS

MTV TRICON AWARD

Lady Gaga – WINNER 

Rock on: Lady Gaga was the biggest winner of the night taking home five moonpersons

Rock on: Lady Gaga was the biggest winner of the night taking home five moonpersons

 

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Billie Eilish – “Everything I Wanted”

Eminem (featuring Juice WRLD) – “Godzilla”

Future (featuring Drake) – “Life Is Good”

Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain on Me”

Taylor Swift – “The Man”

The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights” – WINNER

 

ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Justin Bieber

DaBaby

Lady Gaga – WINNER

Megan Thee Stallion

Post Malone

The Weeknd 

 

PUSH BEST NEW ARTIST

Lewis Capaldi

Doja Cat – WINNER

Yungblud

Say so? Doja cat earned the Best New Artist gong

Say so? Doja cat earned the Best New Artist gong

 

BEST COLLABORATION

Black Eyed Peas (featuring J Balvin) – “Ritmo (Bad Boys for Life)”

Future (featuring Drake) – “Life Is Good”

Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber – “Stuck with U”

Karol G (featuring Nicki Minaj) – “Tusa”

Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain on Me” – WINNER

Ed Sheeran (featuring Khalid) – “Beautiful People” 

 

BEST HIP HOP

DaBaby – “Bop”

Eminem (featuring Juice Wrld) – “Godzilla”

Future (featuring Drake) – “Life Is Good”

Megan Thee Stallion – “Savage” – WINNER

Roddy Ricch – “The Box”

Travis Scott – “Highest in the Room” 

WON: Megan Thee Stallion celebrated her Best Hip-Hop Video win for Savage from home

WON: Megan Thee Stallion celebrated her Best Hip-Hop Video win for Savage from home

 

BEST K-POP

BTS – “On” – WINNER

Exo – “Obsession”

(G)I-dle – “Oh My God”

Monsta X – “Someone’s Someone”

Red Velvet – “Psycho”

TXT – “9 and Three Quarters (Run Away)” 

 

BEST ROCK

blink-182 – “Happy Days”

Coldplay – “Orphans”

Evanescence – “Wasted on You”

Fall Out Boy (featuring Wyclef Jean) – “Dear Future Self (Hands Up)”

Green Day – “Oh Yeah!”

The Killers – “Caution” 

 

BEST MUSIC VIDEO FROM HOME

5 Seconds of Summer – “Wildflower”

blink-182 – “Happy Days”

Drake – “Toosie Slide”

Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber – “Stuck with U” – WINNER

John Legend – “Bigger Love”

twenty one pilots – “Level of Concern”

 

VIDEO FOR GOOD

Billie Eilish – “All the Good Girls Go to Hell”

H.E.R. – “I Can’t Breathe” – WINNER

Lil Baby – “The Bigger Picture”

Demi Lovato – “I Love Me”

Anderson Paak – “Lockdown”

Taylor Swift – “The Man”

Talented:  H.E.R took home the Video For Good Award for her powerful music video I Can't Breathe

Talented:  H.E.R took home the Video For Good Award for her powerful music video I Can’t Breathe

 

BEST ART DIRECTION

A$AP Rocky – “Babushka Boi” (Art Directors: A$AP Rocky, Nadia Lee Cohen and Brittany Porter) 

Miley Cyrus – “Mother’s Daughter” (Art Director: Christian Stone) – WINNER

Selena Gomez – “Boyfriend” (Art Director: Tatiana Van Sauter)

Dua Lipa – “Physical” (Art Director: Anna Colomé Nogu)

Harry Styles – “Adore You” (Art Director: Laura Ellis Cricks)

Taylor Swift – “Lover” (Art Director: Kurt Gefke)

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

5 Seconds of Summer – “Old Me” (Director of Photography: Kieran Fowler)

Camila Cabello (featuring DaBaby) – “My Oh My” (Director of Photography: Scott Cunningham)

Billie Eilish – “All the Good Girls Go to Hell” (Director of Photography: Christopher Probst

Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain on Me” (Director of Photography: Michael Merriman)  – WINNER

Katy Perry – “Harleys in Hawaii” (Director of Photography: Arnau Valls)

The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights” (Director of Photography: Oliver Millar)

 

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Billie Eilish – “all the good girls go to hell” (Visual Effects: Drive Studio)

Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain on Me” (Visual Effects: Ingenuity Studios)

Dua Lipa – “Physical” (Visual Effects: EIGHTY4 and Mathematic) – WINNER

Demi Lovato – “I Love Me” (Visual Effects: Hoody FX)

Travis Scott – “Highest in the Room” (Visual Effects: Ingenuity Studios)

Harry Styles – “Adore You” (Visual Effects: Mathematic) 

 SONG OF THE YEAR

Doja Cat – “Say So”

Billie Eilish – “Everything I Wanted”

Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain on Me” – WINNER

Megan Thee Stallion – “Savage”

Post Malone – “Circles”

Roddy Ricch – “The Box”

 

BEST GROUP

5 Seconds of Summer

Blackpink

BTS – WINNER

Chloe x Halle

CNCO

Little Mix

Monsta X

Now United

The 1975

Twenty One Pilots

Legends: KPop group BTS won the Best Group Video Award

Legends: KPop group BTS won the Best Group Video Award

 

BEST POP

Justin Bieber (featuring Quavo) – “Intentions”

BTS – “On” – WINNER

Halsey – “You Should Be Sad”

Jonas Brothers – “What a Man Gotta Do”

Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain on Me”

Taylor Swift – “Lover” 

 

BEST R&B

Chloe x Halle – “Do It”

H.E.R. (featuring YG) – “Slide”

Alicia Keys – “Underdog”

Khalid (featuring Summer Walker) – “Eleven”

Lizzo – “Cuz I Love You”

The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights” – WINNER

After Hours: The Weeknd took home Best R&B video as well as top honor Video Of The Year

After Hours: The Weeknd took home Best R&B video as well as top honor Video Of The Year

 

BEST LATIN

Anuel AA (featuring Daddy Yankee, Ozuna, Karol G and J Balvin) – “China”

Bad Bunny – “Yo Perreo Sola”

J Balvin – “Amarillo”

Black Eyed Peas (featuring Ozuna and J. Rey Soul) – “Mamacita”

Karol G (featuring Nicki Minaj) – “Tusa”

Maluma (featuring J Balvin) – “Qué Pena” – WINNER

 

BEST ALTERNATIVE

The 1975 – “If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know)”

All Time Low – “Some Kind of Disaster”

Lana Del Rey – “Doin’ Time”

FINNEAS – “Let’s Fall in Love for the Night”

Machine Gun Kelly – “Bloody Valentine” – WINNER

twenty one pilots – “Level of Concern”

Best kiss? Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox in the My Bloody Valentine video which earned him Best Alternative

Best kiss? Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox in the My Bloody Valentine video which earned him Best Alternative

 

BEST QUARANTINE PERFORMANCE

Chloe x Halle – “Do It” (from MTV Prom-Athon)

CNCO – MTV Unplugged at Home – WINNER

DJ D-Nice – Club MTV Presents: #DanceTogether

Lady Gaga – “Smile” (from One World: Together At Home)

John Legend – #TogetherAtHome Concert Series

Post Malone – “Nirvana Tribute” 

 

BEST DIRECTION

Doja Cat – “Say So” (Director: Hannah Lux Davis)

Billie Eilish – “Xanny” (Director: Billie Eilish)

Dua Lipa – “Don’t Start Now” (Director: Nabil)

Harry Styles – “Adore You” (Director: Dave Meyers)

Taylor Swift – “The Man” (Director: Taylor Swift) – WINNER

The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights” (Director: Anton Tammi) 

 

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

BTS – “On” (Choreographers: The Lab and Son Sung Deuk) – WINNER

CNCO and Natti Natasha – “Honey Boo” (Choreographer: Kyle Hanagami)

DaBaby – “Bop” (Choreographers: DaniLeigh and Cherry)

Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain on Me” (Choreographer: Richy Jackson)

Dua Lipa – “Physical” (Choreographer: Charm La’Donna)

Normani – “Motivation” (Choreographer: Sean Bankhead)

 

BEST EDITING

James Blake – “Can’t Believe the Way We Flow” (Editor: Frank Lebon)

Miley Cyrus – “Mother’s Daughter” (Editors: Alexandre Moors and Nuno Xico) – WINNER

Halsey – “Graveyard” (Editors: Emille Aubry, Janne Vartia and Tim Montana)

Lizzo – “Good as Hell” (Editors: Russell Santos and Sofia Kerpan)

Rosalía – “A Palé” (Editor: Andre Jones)

The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights” (Editors: Janne Vartia and Tim Montana) 

Golden girl: Miley Cyrus won Best Editing for her Mother's Daughter video

Golden girl: Miley Cyrus won Best Editing for her Mother’s Daughter video

 

SONG OF SUMMER

Blackpink – “How You Like That” – WINNER

Cardi B (featuring Megan Thee Stallion) – “WAP”

Miley Cyrus – “Midnight Sky”

DaBaby (featuring Roddy Rich) – “Rockstar”

DJ Khaled (featuring Drake) – “Popstar”

Doja Cat – “Say So”

Jack Harlow – “Whats Poppin”

Lil Baby (featuring 42 Dugg) – “We Paid”

Dua Lipa – “Break My Heart”

Megan Thee Stallion (featuring Beyoncé) – “Savage (Remix)”

Pop Smoke (featuring 50 Cent & Roddy Rich) – “The Woo”

Saint Jhn – “Roses” Saweetie – “Tap In”

Harry Styles – “Watermelon Sugar”

Taylor Swift – “Cardigan”

The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights”

 



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