2022 MTV Video Music Awards Recap

This year’s MTV Video Music Awards were full of musical surprises and set unprecedented records.


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Fashion Castillo-Delgadillo, Arts and Entertainment Editor

With hosts LL Cool J, Nicki Minaj and Jack Harlow, the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards premiered live from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on Sunday, Aug. 28. The award show set groundbreaking records and was full of many surprises, including a new album announcement from Taylor Swift and guest appearance from Fergie.


Taylor Swift is the first person in VMA’s history to have won the award for Video Of The Year a total of three times. In her acceptance speech she recognized other artists and directors that she was nominated alongside including Harry Styles, Olivia Rodrigo, Ed Sheeran, Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow, Drake and Doja Cat. Once again, new records were set at the awards show with a total of four female directors being nominated for Video Of The Year, the most nominated in the category in VMA history. 

Taylor thanked her fans at the Prudential Center by saying, “We wouldn’t have been able to make this short film without you, the fans, because I wouldn’t be able to re-record my albums if it weren’t for you.” 

Shortly after this declaration, Swift announced that she would be releasing a brand new album on Oct. 21st and more information would be released at midnight. Later that evening, Swift announced that the album would be about “13 sleepless nights scattered throughout [her] life” titled “Midnights”. 


The show opened with a live performance from Jack Harlow and an appearance from Fergie singing “Glamourous” and “First Class.” Fergie had not performed publicly in years prior to the production and many were ecstatic to see the two artists collaborate for the opening of the program. Following Harlow, the VMAs contained many other acts including Lizzo, Eminem and Snoop Dogg, Marshmello and Khalid, Blackpink, Anitta and Panic! At the Disco

Bad Bunny performed from New York’s Yankee Stadium and made history by becoming the first non-English-language performer to win the award for Artist Of The Year. Blackpink also became the first female K-pop group to win Group Of The Year. 

Nicki Minaj co-hosted the award show and performed a medley including some of her best hits on a Barbie Dreamhouse set. Shortly after her performance, her fan base, named the Barbs, awarded her with a lifetime achievement known as the Video Vanguard award. Some previous winners include The Beatles, David Bowie, Madonna, Michael Jackson and Beyoncé


Just three months after the settlement of his defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard, Johnny Depp also made an appearance at this year’s VMAs. Many were left in confusion as Depp would occasionally appear on screen as a Moon Man, the trophy given to VMA award recipients that resembles an astronaut, to make various remarks. Depp told the audience, “And you know what? I needed the work” and appeared once more after a commercial break. 

Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong also introduced the Red Hot Chili Peppers to the stage to perform “Black Summer” and “Can’t Stop” before receiving the Global Icon award. The band, composed of Anthony Kiedis, Flea, Chad Smith and John Frusciante, recently performed across the states on their Unlimited Love Tour for the “Unlimited Love” album and plan to release another album on Oct. 14.

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