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(Photo © Theo Wargo/Getty Images for MTV)

The Best Moments From The 2023 MTV VMAs!

Written by Tori Raphael. Published: September 14 2023


The 2023 MTV Video Music Awards came and slayed this year with many iconic performances and looks from your favorite artists. The night started strong with Lil Wayne and Olivia Rodrigo performing “vampire” from her new albumGUTS. If you were startled by this performance, you're not alone, as the exploding set was shocking for the audience. Don't worry, though, the performance was based on her stylish "vampire" music video directed by Petra Collins. Not only did Olivia steal the show with her performance but also with her pink carpet look, wearing a gorgeous sparkling floor-length dress.




The real winner of the night was, not surprisingly, Taylor Swift, who took home 9 VMAs wins. Not only was she having a blast in the audience but also on stage while accepting her many awards. Swift won Best Direction, Pop Song, and Best Song for "Antihero". *NSYNC even reunited to present her with the Best Pop Award! It was definitely Taylor's night and we were here for it!




Nicki Minaj introduced the show with an iconic pink bride outfit, embracing her playful Barbie moment. Not to mention her heartfelt performance of her song “Last Time I Saw You” and her Pink Friday Part 2 sneak peek, which felt like a diss track. Not to mention her win for Best Hip Hop for the song "Super Freak".  All her appearances during the night were jaw-dropping, as she had the audience at the edge of their seats. Whether it was her slow songs, diss track, or Hip-Hop 50th Anniversary performance, Nicki was making sure everyone knew who the best rapper in that category was.




Some other notable awards went to Stray Kids for Best K-Pop, Best Latin Music for Anitta, and Best R&B for SZA. And, of course, Ice Spice won Best New Artist!




The standout performances of the night were Doja Cat, Shakira, Olivia Rodrigo, Demi Lovato, and the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop Performance.


Demi Lovato killed her set -- dressed in a black leather get-up, she stunned the audience with her performance visuals and incredible voice.




Doja Cat's performance and look were incredible at the VMAs! Dawning a sexy librarian look, she nailed her performance. Her backup dancers were covered in red, which was fitting for her “Paint it Red” and “Demons” performances. The performance culminated in a frantic set where the wind was blowing papers, creating a small tornado within a Wall Street set piece. The performance was creative, inventive, and powerful, and showcased her artistry, proving Doja Cats is among the best rappers out there to date. Let’s just say she set the corporate world on fire!




Shakira was an honoree that night, as she earned a Video Vanguard award for her incredible career and globe-trending hits. She also nailed her performance, paying tribute to some of her classic music videos, including "She-Wolf" and "Hips Don't Lie". Her Middle Eastern-inspired performance and belly dancing were creative and showstopping. She performed many different kinds of songs in addition to incredible dancing and showpieces. Shakira told the world that night why she deserved to win that award. Her win makes her the first Colombian to receive a Video Vanguard award. Not to mention her callback to her iconic Super Bowl performance!




Some other incredible performances came from Karol G and from Cardi B + Megan Thee Stallion, who performed their brand new song "Bongos". These two women brought the energy that night! Meanwhile, Karol G surprised all of us with her steamy and playful performance of her song "Oki Doki". She rocked a bright pink schoolgirl outfit and was owning her time on stage.




P Diddy had an excellent performance that night and earned his Global Icon award. Not to mention, he was one of the best dressed of the night, wearing a bright leather get-up that was also an homage to his early career. The heartwarming acceptance speech with his family by his side was the cherry on top of an unforgettable performance.




Selena Gomez slayed her red-laced outfit that night as she accepted an award alongside Rema for their collaboration on "Calm Down". The category was the first time the Afro-Beats genre has been introduced as an award and was a well-deserved win for Rema.


Another highlight was the much-anticipated performance by K-Pop group TOMORROW X TOGETHER with Anitta. Their performance was incredible, as their dancing was in sync and creative. The two artists made global fans very happy -- bringing two different genres together for the night.




Lastly, the show ended with an incredible tribute to the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop. With an A-list lineup of D.M.C., LL Cool J, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Grandmaster Flash, and more, the performers gave an unforgettable performance. These artists brought generations of rap groups and songs together to celebrate the 50 years of an incredible art form. The 50th anniversary was the perfect way to end the night! Not to mention Nicki Minaj slaying the stage again -- she is a certified rap legend!




Overall, the 2023 VMAs were a very eventful and historic night for many of its winners!