The 2018 MTV VMAs were certainly one heck of a wild and fun ride with Cardi B’s first public appearance since welcoming her baby, a political statement by rapper Logic and, of course, some of the biggest names in music taking home Moonman trophies, including Post Malone, Ariana Grande, Camila Cabello and more.
But it was Jennifer Lopez’s night, as she earned the Video Vanguard Award for dominating the music industry for more than two decades. Her speech and her performance had the crowd jumping out of their seats and rocking out to her classic jams.
Here are the top moments of the show:
Cardi B returns with a joke, makes a statement about motherhood
She entered the night as the leading nominee at the 2018 MTV VMAs, but before the show started handing out trophies, Cardi B opened with a little bit of fun and an alleged “surprise” for the hyped crowd.
The rapper came out for her first public appearance since welcoming her daughter, rocking a red dress and holding what looked like a bundle of joy.
After saying, “I got a little surprise for you,” she pulled out a VMA trophy wrapped in a blanket.
She then introduced baby-faced star Shawn Mendes. The camera panned to the crowd, who was fooled at first, then laughed at the gag.
Later in the night, she stopped joking and made a statement about being both a mother and an artist and not having to choose between the two.
She said people were telling her she was “risking my career” by having her daughter and now, “I’m still winning awards!”
Hart and Haddish don’t hold back
“Night School” co-stars Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart came out and definitely did not pull any punches.
“Why are so many celebs getting engaged, is there a sale at Bed, Bath and Beyond I don’t know about?” Haddish said, as the camera panned to Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson.
Hart joked at all the singers in the crowd with tattoos on their face, warning them they wouldn’t be able to get a job.
“Stop getting tattoos on your face!” he yelled.
Haddish then had trouble pronouncing Camila Cabello’s name, as everyone gasped.
And then Hart got political, joking that with this show, you never know what to expect: You could get people running to the bathroom and sending out bad tweets.
“It’s basically like your typical day at the White House,” he joked.
‘We are all human beings’ -Logic
It was a simple statement but rapper Logic wowed the crowd when he performed “One Day,” bringing out hundreds of immigrant children of all ages and races affected by the past border policy in this country.
In fact, MTV tweeted out, “All of the people on the stage with @Logic301 were impacted by immigration issues.”
The video for “One Day,” featuring Ryan Tedder, came out late last week and also focuses on children being pulled away from their parents at the border.
In the video, starring the likes of Luis Guzmán and Michael Peña, border control agents are seen taking children away from their parents. In the video, one such child grows up to be a doctor in this country and actually later saves a white supremacist.
Jennifer Lopez takes home the Vanguard
The legend was honored with the lifetime achievement award, but also performed for a whopping 15 minutes for the crowd.
She began with her hit “Waiting for Tonight,” then quickly switched to another club thumper, “On the Floor.” Then it was time for a minor outfit change as she ditched a flowing cape and got back to breaking out some classic J.Lo moves.
The crowd got amped as she later busted out “Love Don’t Cost a Thing.” And of course Ja Rule came out later to duet “I’m Real” with the icon.
It was the stand-up-and-shout moment of the entire night.
Late in the night, the show paid tribute to the late “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin, who died last week.
Madonna gave the tribute by opening, “Aretha Louise Franklin changed the course of my life.”
“I left Detroit when I was 18, $35 dollars in my pocket, dream of being a professional dancer,” she began.
After struggling, she went to an audition and they asked her if she had sheet music and a song prepared. She didn’t.
— Video Music Awards (@vmas) August 21, 2018
She thought fast and one of Franklin’s albums came to mind, I blurted out, “‘You Make Me Feel Like (A Natural Woman)’ … I don’t know what I said, I don’t know what came over me,” but she sang.
Weeks later, they called and said she had great potential, “We want to bring you to Paris and make you a star.”
She came back to the states weeks later to write her own music, and “the rest is history.”
“She led me to where I am today,” she said. “I want to thank you Aretha for empowering all of us. R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Long live the Queen.”
And let’s not forget about the winners!
Here are all the winners in the major categories:
VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug – “Havana”
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
SONG OF THE YEAR
Post Malone ft. 21 Savage – “rockstar”
BEST NEW ARTIST
Jennifer Lopez ft. DJ Khaled & Cardi B – “Dinero”
PUSH ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Ariana Grande – “No Tears Left to Cry”
Avicii ft. Rita Ora – “Lonely Together”
Imagine Dragons – “Whatever It Takes”
BEST HIP HOP
Nicki Minaj – “Chun-Li”
J Balvin, Willy William – “Mi Gente”