The 2021 MTV Video Music Awards took place last night, ushering in a new wave of post-covid music events — and celebrating the unavoidable success of Mr. Lil Nas X!


Yesterday was an interesting day. Not only because it was the Sunday following 9/11 celebrations and everyone was pleased with the idea of having a bit of a break, but also because the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards took place last night. The last major music awards shows before that having happened while Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions were still very much in place, the mood was demonstrably different from yesterday’s event. Not because Covid-19 is gone, mind you: rather because the rules are clearer now. But let’s not get into that debate, shall we?

No, the 2021 VMA’s were actually less about news and politics than most recent shows (musical or otherwise), and that in itself was also a welcome relief. Also, the overall vibe of the event was spot on: host Doja Cat performed her duties remarkably well, donning various interesting outfits in the process, wearing one of the most ludicrous while accepting an award of her own for Best collaboration with SZA (highly deserved, if you ask us). The rest of the line-up was on par: from the artists who were honored to the ones who performed, we were treated with a veritable who’s who of contemporary musical excellence. Here is our best of:

  • Justin Bieber winning Artist of the year (as well as Best pop song): while many could have reasonably won that award, it seems fitting that one of pop music’s now veterans (he’s 27, you guys) got honored in style as his latest album gets acclaim across the board;
  • Olivia Rodrigo winning Best new artist (as well as Song of the year): this one is not up for debate, “Drivers license” may go down in history as 2021’s definitive song. And Miss Rodrigo’s record-smashing debut is also one for the history books, no matter how you look at it…
  • Billie Eilish winning Video for good: this one obviously sits well with us, as Eilish has undoubtedly been a voice of empowerment ever since she exploded onto the scene a couple of years ago, and even more so with her sophomore Happier Than Ever… You go girl, we’re right behind ya!
  • Silk Sonic winning Best R&B song: in our book, ” Leave The Door Open” is essentially the definition of R&B, be it in its recent or more classical forms (see our article on Jerry Wexler for more on said definition). One more beautiful pick…
  • BTS winning Best K-Pop song (as well as Group of the year & Song of the summer): at this point, that category should simply be renamed Best BTS song and be done with it…
  • Busta Rhymes performing a 7 and a half minute long routine that is worthy of the best rap battles the world ever saw — only this time on stage and on camera… Respect!

But arguably the biggest moment in yesterday night’s festivities — and possibly its most political as well — was Lil Nas X winning the biggest prize there was: Video of the year. Once again, the guys at MTV know how to pick them: “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” is not only one of the best songs to be released this year, but its video is hands down the most compelling. The various controversies that surrounded it, including one regarding shoes (!) are proof: everyone saw that one, and now it gets the prize that comes with it!