2018 MTV Video Music Awards - Show

Source: Kevin Mazur / Getty

It’s true, Panic! At The Disco is still together, and they tore down the stage for 2018’s VMAs. You can always expect an out-of-control moment or two from the awards that have given us iconic moments like the Britney Spears kiss and the Kanye West shrug, and this year was no different.

Madonna came on stage in Frida Kahlo’s dress with makeup done by Post Malone. Also, Ariana Grande proved why she knows “God Is A Woman”. The show was live and filled with off-kilter jokes that nearly almost landed. It was all over the place, with artists skipping across the stage and Nicki racing downtown. But they showed love to the new jacks, too. Juice WRLD was up there and Ella Mai should have been. And boy was there shade.

Shade so wide, tea so strong, that you heard the ground shake after Cardi B accepted the award for Best New Artist. Ahem. Well, that said, let’s get on to the top moments of the night at Radio City Music Hall in our beloved New York City.

Shawn Mendes Opens With “In My Blood”

The 20-year-old guitar-hero opened with his hit record “In My Blood” to a crowd of screaming damn-near-everybody. He rollicked. He tapped his foot. He carefully slicked his hair back. He owned his moment the way a young G should.

Tiffany Haddish & Kevin Hart ‘Night School’ The Pre-Show

Not Fifth Harmony! Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart started the show with the jokes. Most were innocuous. One, for example, shot through why all these celebrity hookups are turning into marriages. I mean, we get it, no one—and we mean no one—wants to be on Tinder. Others? Well, this is Tiffany Haddish we’re talking about. When talking the wide array of celebs in the house, she had to mention who just happened to be watching from home this year: Fifth Harmony!

Are Those The Rockettes?

It wouldn’t be Radio City Music Hall without a surprise showing of the legendary Rockettes—kicking their way through NYC since forever.

Nicki Minaj Wins ‘Best Hip Hop’

Even with slumping sales of her gargantuan record Queen and her hilarious reveal surrounding Safaree’s hairline, Nicki Minaj came on stage poised and ready to spring. She’s taking the trophy home for “Chun-Li”, a ditty that landed Onika her first top 10 Hot 100 Billboard hit. She also reminded everyone who she’s going to be calling out on Queen radio, so you know where you gotta go for the drama. Of course, Queen Minaj also had to stand up for Fifth Harmony because, well…

Ariana Grande Wins ‘Best Pop’

And she thanks her partner Pete Davidson just for existing while she’s at it. #Goals. She took the Moonmanperson home for “No Tear Left To Cry” and that hair razing video. We were shook for her the entire time.

‘Song Of The Year’ Goes To Post Malone

That’s right, “Rock Star” took the nod and the tattooed wonder took his trophy home with 21 Savage in tow. No one ever thought the young’n would take it this far, so nothing but respect for the genre-mashing sensation.

Nicki Minaj Shuts Down Downtown NYC

Call her Queen. Minaj shut down Downtown and shone brighter than the 24/7 lights dotting the city that never sleeps. The city truly comes alive in the night time, and Minaj made sure its citizens had something to stay up and talk sh*t about. A medley of performances, she spun up.

J. Lo Shows Us 20-Plus Years Of Hits

Jennifer Lopez, if you can believe it, is 49 years old, and she’s been giving us consistent hits for two-plus decades now. She’s had a hit in every single musical moment since the 90s. Did we mention that she still looks spectacular? And arguably plusher than she did riding the 6 train or even before that when she was a fly girl on In Living Color. Her performance spanned those hits, even having a little time to get Ja Rule up on stage for a rendition of 2001’s “I’m Real”. That was 17 years ago, y’all. Even though he’s busy dodging lawsuits, she grabbed the bejeweled Timbs and stepped off the stage and into her award as Video Vanguard.

Ariana Grande Proves “God Is A Woman”

She really, really did that! She even showed a little love to the mothers out there.

Cardi B Wins ‘Best New Artist’

Yooooo! Is this not the best double-meaning speech you’ve ever heard? We wonder who she was talking about? 🤔🤔🤔

Travis Scott Shouts Out Aretha Franklin

Not only is Astroworld number one, but Travis Scott was raised right. RIP Aretha Franklin! Rest in power.

Childish Gambino Wins ‘Best Video With a Message’

Honestly, deserved. Gambino is on tour, so his choreographer for the video Sherri Silver blessed us with the pleasure of seeing a gorgeous dark skin woman in yellow. She also won Best Choreographer, so she’s not just a pretty face. But you already knew that.

Madonna Made Aretha Franklin’s Tribute About Her

We get that you were inspired, Madonna, but Aretha Franklin is the greatest singer who ever lived, so we’d just like to know WHAT YOU WERE THINKING? We’re upset.

Camilla Cabello Wins Both Artist Of The Year & Video Of The Year

She bowed down to Madonna after her inspirational story that wasn’t really about Aretha Franklin at all while she accepted the award. That said, what an enormous talent and well-deserved wins.