From Teyana Taylor’s washboard abs and her outfit’s homage to Janet Jackson to Kendrick Lamar winning six awards, a lot went on at MTV’s Video Music Awards (VMA).

Missed the VMA’s? Here’s a recap of what went down…

However, it was the inspiring messages and performances that really stole the show. Without further ado, here are some of the performances and moments from this year’s VMA’s.

Kicking off the show was Kendrick Lamar who literally set the stage on fire. Performing a medley of his singles DNA and Humble from his critically acclaimed album Damn, Lamar’s set was fast paced and passionate. An intense yet vibrant performance, Lamar’s jerky and emotive stage presence was a much-needed start to the show.

Though everyone who performed pretty much rocked their performance, it was P!nk’s medley to honour her Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award that was the highlight. For those that grew up listening to her beautiful tracks, it definitely took them back to their childhood. I know it did for me; it had me in my feelings. One minute the funky mix of Get The Party Started and Raise Your Glass had me belting the lyrics with my unfortunate vocals, ready to conquer the world, then Perfect started, reminded us all of why we love P!nk. She has the ability to deeply connect and resonate with listeners, a skill very few artists lack.

As lovely as it was to watch the messages that P!nk has so effortlessly shared throughout her artistry years, it was her speech when accepting the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award in reference to her daughter that won the night, learning to love your individuality.

Things did get slightly emotional and political when both Rev. Robert Wright Lee, descendant of confederate general Robert E Lee whose statue started the altercation in Charlottesville, and Susan Bro, mother of Heather Heyer who was killed at the Charlottesville rally, took to the stage.

However, he was there to criticize the violence that occurred in Charlottesville and delivered an emotional tribute to Heather Heyer as well as announcing the launch of the Heather Heyer Foundation.

This year’s event had a clear message. Yes, the performances and celebration of music were an important element but it was the overriding theme of peace and unity, especially the unity that music brings in the world, that truly stole the show at this year’s VMA Awards.

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