Awards shows in general and
Or that an almost equally surreal twist, last year's bad girl,
"The music industry will make over $7 billion this year," he said from the Forum in Inglewood, "and outside these doors are 54,000 human beings who have no place to call home tonight." He invited the live audience and those watching the show on TV to visit Cyrus' website to get more information about youth homelessness.
It was one of a few moments in which the outside world actually got some attention during the show. Rapper
"Hip-hop has always stood for the truth," Common said. He then called for "a moment of silence for Mike Brown and for peace, in this country and in the world," referring to the teenager whose shooting death in Ferguson has sparked a wave of civil unrest.
The show also included a short montage of photos of comedian
Mostly, however, the VMAs were business as usual. Barely five minutes in, rapper
Musical performances trump the actual awards, but for the record, besides Cyrus' win for top video, other key "Moonman" trophies went to
Simon Cowell-groomed female vocal quintet Fifth Harmony took the fan-voted Artist to Watch Award for the group's "Miss Movin' On" video.
As the recipient of the
After Jay Z presented the Vanguard Award and introduced his wife as "the greatest living entertainer," Beyonce said spoke briefly, saying, "I have nothing to say, but I'm filled with so much gratitude. I thank God for this moment. I love y'all."
The couple's appearance together and their kisses — including one after cameras stopped rolling — no doubt will only further speculation about whether they are or aren't breaking up.
Other performers during the ceremony that ran about 15 minutes past the allotted two hour time included
As for the Suge Knight shooting, police said the investigation is ongoing:
"It's disappointing that we as a society can't have fun or enjoy ourselves without any altercations sometimes," said Brown, who missed the 2009
During red carpet coverage of celebrities on their way into the Forum,
Coincidence, or an attempt to downplay the shooting? That's anybody's guess.