Beyonce storms Video Music Awards, Rihanna gets lifetime award

Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:24am EDT
 
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By Jill Serjeant

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Beyonce dominated the MTV Video Music awards on Sunday, prowling the stage with a 15 minute medley from her powerful "Lemonade" album and taking home eight statuettes, including the top prize - video of the year.

On a night when women ruled, Britney Spears returned to the VMA stage for the first time in a decade, and Rihanna performed four times to mark her lifetime achievement award.

Beyonce brought the house down at New York's Madison Square Garden, stringing together five of her "Lemonade" album tracks about betrayal, revenge and female empowerment in a song and dance routine that brought a long standing ovation.

VMA organizers had announced only three hours before Sunday's show began that Beyonce would perform. The singer arrived on the red carpet accompanied by the mothers of three African-American men who have died at the hands of U.S. police 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.

She also won best female video and prizes for choreography, editing, and long form video in the awards that are voted on by fans.

Where Beyonce was angry and bold, Spears, 34, dressed in a sparkly gold leotard and matching over the knee boots was slinky retro pop. It was the "Toxic" singer's first time on the VMA stage since her humiliating 2007 performance when her personal and professional life was falling apart, and follows the release of a new album last week.

Rihanna, 28, sang 13 of the biggest hits in her 13-year career, including "Rude Girl," "Diamonds" and "Only Girl in the World." She was presented with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award by Canadian rapper Drake - with whom she has often been romantically linked.   Continued...

 
Beyonce accepts the Female Video of the Year award from U.S. Olympic gymnasts Madison Kocian, Aly Raisman, Simone Biles and Laurie Hernandez during the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards in New York, U.S., August 28, 2016.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson