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Madonna, red-carpet fight, HIV homage: 7 unforgettable moments at VMAs 2021

By Lora Mae U. Reyes Published Sep 15, 2021 5:25 pm

 Every year, MTV’s Video Music Awards (VMAs) never fail to bring us amazing and wild moments. This year is no different!

The VMAs 2021 were back at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Sept. 12 with Doja Cat hosting the event. As the live audience returned this year, the awards show did not fall short of making the night epic.

From the red carpet interactions to show-stopping performances and on-point speeches, it was one unforgettable night.

Check out some of the memorable moments that happened during the MTV VMAs 2021.

Travis Barker and Kourtney Kardashian’s red carpet debut

Travis Barker and Kourtney Kardashian made their red carpet debut at this year’s VMAs and they showed what PDA looks like while posing for the camera. Donning matching black ensembles, the Blink 182 drummer and Keeping Up with the Kardashians star just couldn’t keep their hands off of each other.

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 Connor McGregor and Machine Gun Kelly’s altercation

Things got heated on the red carpet when MMA fighter Connor McGregor and rapper Machine Gun Kelly got into an altercation.

Entertainment Tonight reported that an eyewitness saw McGregor and Kelly “exchanged some words on the red carpet” before the fight began. While it’s still unclear what was the reason behind their brawl, McGregor said, “Absolutely nothing.”

He even called Kelly a “vanilla boy rapper” and said he didn’t know him. “I don’t even know the guy. I don’t know anything about him, except that he’s with Megan Fox.”

Madonna’s surprise appearance

This year’s VMAs also marked the 40th anniversary of the MTV network. And what better way to kick off the show than the Queen of Pop Madonna making a surprise appearance!

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After showing a pre-taped video of Madonna telling her history with MTV, she appeared onstage wearing a beige trench coat with a black leather outfit underneath. The venue was filled with applause and cheers as she said, “They said we wouldn’t last, but we’re still here motherf*ckers. Happy 40th, MTV.”

Cyndi Lauper calls for women’s fundamental rights

Before presenting the winner for the Best Pop Award category, Cyndi Lauper looked back and reflected on when she won her first VMAs with her 1983 hit single Girls Just Want to Have Fun. She even connected the song’s title to women’s fundamental rights, saying, “Yeah, girls still want to have fun, but we also want to have funds, equal pay, and control over our bodies. You know, fundamental rights.”


Normani’s Wild Side performance

Former Fifth Harmony member Normani took the stage by storm when she performed her new single Wild Side. After hitting the stage with dozens of dancers and dropping—literally—the mic, Normani gave a standing lap dance to Teyana Taylor, who was tied in a BDSM-esque structure.

Billie Eilish’s acceptance speech

Billie Eilish took home the moon person award for winning the fan-voted Video for Good category with her single Your Power. In Eilish’s speech, she reminded everyone to protect young women. “We need to protect our young women at all costs. For real.” She added, “We also need to remember that we all have power, and we have to remember not to abuse it.”

Lil Nas X’s homage to those living with HIV

Lil Nas X gave a sizzling-hot and show-stopping performance of his songs Montero and Industry Baby, bringing Jack Harlow with him on stage. He also used his musical number to raise awareness of the stigmas surrounding HIV by letting Mardrequs Harris of the Southern AIDS Coalition join him on the stage.

GLAAD tweeted, “.@LilNasX delivered a powerful performance at the #VMAs and shined a spotlight on the stigma that fuels HIV, especially across the South. Mardrequs Harris from @SouthernAIDSCo wore the number 433,816 in red, representing the number of people living with HIV in the U.S. South.”

Banner and thumbnail photos from @vmas on Twitter and Instagram.