Britney Spears may be the “queen of the VMAs” (well, Vogue just crowned a new queen) but Sunday night was reigning with plenty of #BlackGirlMagic. From Beyoncé and her “Lemonade” posse’s magnificent walk down the white carpet to Teyana Taylor’s awe-inspiring dance moves, I’ve selected 10 moments at MTV’s Video Music Awards that will make any melaninated princess beam with pride.
1. Beyoncé’s grand VMAs entrance. Many expected to be wowed by Mrs. Carter’s white carpet appearance but didn’t know she’d bring the entourage— ladies featured in her “Lemonade” video. Actress Quvenzhane Wallis and model Winnie Harlow were among those with her, plus…
2. The Mothers of the Movement. Bey brought Sybrina Fulton, Lesley McFadden, Gwen Carr and Wanda Johnson — the mothers of the late Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Oscar Grant — with her to the VMAs. These ladies, who lost their sons to race-based police or gun violence, were featured in her “Lemonade” video along with this little one …
3. Blue Ivy Carter. Sure, baby girl could’ve easily been categorized with her mom, but this little princess — and her $11,000-Mischka Aoki dress — deserved their own mention. She, along with the other ladies who walked the carpet with her famous mama, looked absolutely gorgeous and have many of us rethinking our #squadgoals.
4. Rihanna’s performances. This style icon and 2016 MTV Video Vanguard Award recipient took us through her music catalog by opening and closing the VMAs with memorable performances throughout the show. Key & Peele (Keegan-Michael Key & Jordan Peele) aka The Seamster and Lizard Sheeple summed the night up best: “an extended Rihanna concert featuring the VMAs.” Yep, pretty much.
5. Teyana Taylor. Given Kanye West’s history, we didn’t know what to expect when he introduced his new video for the House-infused track, “Fade.” Oh, but when we saw it, we found ourselves constantly picking up our jaws as we watched star Teyana Taylor kill it. The new mommy (this girl had a baby nine months ago!) performed a skilled and very steamy dance performance that was a throwback to “Flashdance,” Rosie Perez’s epic dance number in “Do the Right Thing” and Janet Jackson’s moves in “Pleasure Principle.” The video also featured a cameo from Taylor’s fiancé, NBA star Iman Shumpert, and their daughter. Her performance also inspired me and millions of others to hit the gym.
6. Naomi Campbell. If Teyana didn’t inspire anyone to hit the gym, this iconic supermodel did. Naomi is still turning heads at age 46! I nearly fell over when I spotted her donning ruby slipper-colored lips and a white gown in the crowd. She looked fabulous and not in that you-look-good-for-your-age way. She’s #bodygoals for girls a third her age.
7. Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” performance. This girl just about recreated her entire visual album on stage at the VMAs …
8. Beyoncé making VMAs history. Her eights wins Sunday night helped make her the most-awarded artist in VMAs history! #BeyMAs
9. Sistas loving other sistas. Though not one specific moment, I smiled when I saw Naomi Campbell, Tracy Ellis Ross and Mary J. Blige introduce their “girl,” “friend” and “sister” RiRi before her performances, how Serena Williams said Bey is a “woman I am lucky enough to call my friend” before introducing her “Lemonade” performance or how Alicia Keys and many other black women smiled and cheered on other black women. This doesn’t surprise me, but there are detractors who believe we don’t love and support one another. Silly rabbits.