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MTV VMAs: Beyonce wins the VMAs, Rihanna and Drake melt our hearts, Britney Spears fizzles

It’s fair to say Beyonce stole the MTV VMAs with an extended performance inspired by “Lemonade.” It was also a special evening for Rihanna, who performed throughout the night before Drake presented the Vanguard award to the woman he’s “been in love with since [he] was 22 years old.” And Britney Spears returned to the VMAs stage; it was an admirable effort, but even those shadow fingers couldn’t come close to topping Beyonce.

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The 2016 VMA arrivals spotlight fantasy frocks and cause awareness while the shirt gets kicked to the curb

Laura Perlongo and Nev Schulman arrive at the MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.
Laura Perlongo and Nev Schulman arrive at the MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.
(Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP)

The arrivals at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday night seemed to have something for everybody — except the dress-shirt industry.

There were over-the-top fantastical ensembles like the ones worn by early arrivals Beyonce and daughter Blue Ivy, the former as an angel-winged ice queen in a strong-shouldered, see-through pale green and metallic fall 2016 couture gown by Maison Francesco Scognamiglio, the latter in full princess mode complete with a tulle skirt, tiara and pair of peach-colored kicks on her feet.

As in past years, there was plenty of bared skin to be seen though decidedly not in the familiar configurations. Britney Spears was a perfect example of that, she of the eternally bared midriff wore what might have passed for a run-of-the-mill black, one-shouldered, side-zip cocktail dress with an asymmetrical hem — but for the narrow triangle of exposed flesh running diagonally from right shoulder to left hip in the Julien Macdonald number she wore — and Nicki Minaj managed to somehow be both covered up and over-exposed thanks to a cobalt blue fishtail-hemmed Bao Tranchi gown that hugged her curves like a kid on Christmas but left little to the imagination thanks to sheer side panels, cutouts over the hips and decolletage criss-crossed in more straps and ties than a Cirque du Soleil safety harness.

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Rihanna explores her discography with ambitious Vanguard performance at 2016 MTV VMAs

Rihanna performs onstage during the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on August 28, 2016 in New York City.
((Michael Loccisano/Getty Images) )

Rihanna turned the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards into her own personal showcase.

To accept the night’s biggest honor, the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, the pop singer didn’t showcase her hits in a 15-minute retrospective the way previous winners Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé have.

Instead, Rihanna appeared throughout the show, dedicated five-minute segments to the many different personas that define her chameleon approach to pop hitmaking.

There was dance-pop Rihanna, opening the show with a set that focused on her biggest dance hits.

Clad in a bubblegum-colored cutout pants. a Hood by Air T-shirt, pink boots, rose-colored shades and her hair up in ponytail — she effortless channeled her most uptempo cuts in a dizzying, dance-heavy medley.

Club smash “Don’t Stop the Music” gave way to “Only Girl (In the World).” The dance-hall rhythms of her debut single “Pon De Replay” flourished before she tore through rave anthems “We Found Love” and “Where Have You Been.”

The Barbadian singer paid tribute to her island roots with a set pulled from her infectious reggae and dance-hall-inspired jams.

She dusted off “Rude Boy” and the sultry “What’s My Name?” and ripped her smash “Work,” while flanked by dozens of dancers that grinded on her.

Next, she explored the woody trap records she’s cut on her most recent work. “Needed Me,” “Pour It Up” and “Bitch Better Have My Money,” all got tackled as the singer was dressed in a black leotard, knee-high boots, chain necklaces and even a purple boa flung across her shoulder.

For her finale — her fourth set of the night — Rihanna belted her biggest ballads in an elegant closer befitting pop’s reigning hitmaker.

Wearing a ruffled silver gown and backed by a full orchestra she sang “Stay,” her ethereal smash “Diamonds” and the doo-wop-inspired “Love on the Brain,” the latest single from her most recent album “Anti.”

“This is such an amazing moment in my career,” she told the audience after being presented with the award by collaborator Drake. “My success started as my dream. And now it’s not my own, its my family’s, my fans, women, black women … so many people.”

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No marriage proposal?

(Michael Loccisano / Getty Images)

She’s someone I’ve been in love with since I was 22 years old.

Drake says of Rihanna before presenting her with the VMAs Vanguard Award.

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Michael Phelps’ OMG moment at the VMAs? Jimmy Fallon as Ryan Lochte

Jimmy Fallon as Ryan Lochte, announcing the nominees for video of the year.
(Michael Loccisano / Getty Images)

Michael Phelps was maybe the happiest guy in the room when Jimmy Fallon took the stage as Ryan Lochte to introduce the nominees for video of the year.

“Oh my God!,” Phelps could be seen saying, eyes wide, jaw dropped and cellphone whipped out to capture the moment (check out the video in the first tweet below). “This is awesome!,” he said later.

Did you know “Lochte” directed all five videos that were up for the year? Yeah, he did. He said so. But there’s no way he could tell the audience which one was best, he said, “Even if there was a gun to my head.”

Yup, the audience groaned too.

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Did Beyoncé pay tribute to Prince or uplift feminism?

After a mini-concert that still has all of social media talking, Beyoncé and her dancers formed a symbol on stage. While some say it was a tribute to the late Prince, others cite it as the gender symbol for female. Either way, Beyoncé can do no wrong.

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Beyoncé's ‘Formation’ wins direction award

The other nominees were:

Coldplay – “Up&Up”

Adele – “Hello”

David Bowie – “Lazarus”

Tame Impala – “The Less I Know the Better”

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Beyoncé wins video of the year for ‘Formation’

The other nominees were:

Adele – “Hello”

Drake – “Hotline Bling”

Justin Bieber – “Sorry”

Kanye West – “Famous”

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Beyoncé wins breakthrough long-form video award for ‘Lemonade’

The other nominees were:

Florence + The Machine – “The Odyssey”

Justin Bieber – “Purpose: The Movement”

Chris Brown – “Royalty”

Troye Sivan – “Blue Neighbourhood Trilogy”

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Beyoncé is 11 inches taller than Simone Biles. That is all.

(Jason Szenes / EPA, left; Evan Agostini / Associated Press)

Beyoncé and Simone Biles both tower over the competition in their respective fields -- but when they met face to face on the VMAs, it was no contest.

In their stocking feet, Beyoncé is 11 inches taller than Biles.

In diva heels on Sunday as she accepted her Moonman for female video from four of the Final Five, 5-foot-7 Bey was more like a 6-foot presence. Meanwhile, 4-foot-8 Biles wore modest heels, maybe 2.5 inches -- that left her still short of 5 feet tall.

This, friends, is what that looked like when Beyonce hugged Biles and her 5-foot-2 teammate Aly Raisman. Yes, Simone is in there. She’s wearing red, in case you can’t tell.

Honest, Biles really was there -- see? And Laurie Hernandez, on the far right, is apparently a member of the Beyhive.

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DNCE wins best new artist award

The other nominees were:

Bryson Tiller

Desiigner

Zara Larsson

Lukas Graham

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Beyoncé wins female video award for ‘Hold Up’

The other nominees were:

Adele – “Hello”

Sia – “Cheap Thrills”

Ariana Grande – “Into You”

Rihanna ft. Drake – “Work” (short version)

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Britney Spears returns to the VMAs, and no one cared

Britney Spears and G-Eazy perform onstage during the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.
(Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

After much anticipation, Britney Spears returned to the VMAs stage. In her first performance on the telecast since 2007, the Las Vegas headliner performed her single “Make Me” along with rapper G-Eazy,

After being introduced by Kim Kardashian West, the song began with Spears in silhouette behind a screen as shadow fingers awkwardly touched her body. When the screen rose, she wore a lime green-highlighter yellow, glittered leotard -- with matching boots, the color reminiscent of singer Cassie’s new hair displayed on the red carpet earlier in the night. Flanked by two dancers, she two-stepped her way through an obviously lip-synched rendition of the song.

Perhaps the highlight of her performance was the impressive ground moves done around and through G-Eazy’s legs as he rapped his verse. But, then again, Spears’ body roll has always been impressive.

Meanwhile, on the audience cam, folks could be seen enthralled in their cellphones, probably checking to see Twitter reactions to Beyoncé's mini-concert minutes earlier. As for who will be talking about Spears tomorrow, probably no one.

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Coldplay’s ‘Up&Up’ wins visual effects award

The other nominees were:

FKA Twigs – “M3LL155X”

Adele – “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)”

The Weeknd – “Can’t Feel My Face”

Zayn – “Pillowtalk”

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Beyoncé's ‘Formation’ wins editing award

The other nominees were:

Adele – “Hello”

Fergie – “M.I.L.F. $”

David Bowie – “Lazarus”

Ariana Grande – “Into You”

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Beyoncé re-creates ‘Lemonade’ at the MTV Video Music Awards

Beyoncé at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden.
(Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

At the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, Beyoncé stole the show with an ambitious 16-minute medley that covered snippets of her entire groundbreaking surprise visual.

And on Sunday, she did it again.

The pop star used her performance — which the network kept under wraps until Sunday — to re-create “Lemonade,” her concept musical drama and album that was the night’s biggest nominee with 11 nods, a personal record for the singer.

Opening with the album’s somber ballad “Pray You Catch,” Beyoncé started her set surrounded by the black women that appeared in the stunning art film.

What followed was a spectacular 15 minutes that traced a bulk of the record.

She writhed around in black lace for the reggae bouncer “Hold Up,” and was even handed a baseball bat to smash up a camera the way she does in the film.

Beyoncé ran through her flippant kiss-off “Sorry” before tossing on a fur coat and strutting across the arena to her rollicking “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” without barely catching a breath.

It was a flashy display of her prowess as an electrifying talent, and when paired with Rihanna’s extended mini-sets that perfectly captured her knack for infectious pop hits, it was clear that Beyoncé and Rihanna were the night’s headliners.

“Y’all came to slay,” she said as she unleashed her bodacious hit “Formation.”

The thing is, though, can one really out-slay Beyoncé?

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Beyoncé's ‘Formation’ wins cinematography award

The other nominees were:

Adele – “Hello”

David Bowie – “Lazarus”

Alesso – “I Wanna Know”

Ariana Grande – “Into You”

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Beyoncé delivers show-stopping performance; everyone reacts

Delivering the evening’s major show-stopping moment (sorry, Kanye), Beyoncé, who won the award for female video, hit the MTV VMAs stage performing an extended medley of tracks from her visual album “Lemonade.” The pop titan arguably salvaged the hum-drum show, and inspired a slew of reactions on Twitter. Here’s a sampling:

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Beyoncé's ‘Formation’ wins choreography award

The other nominees were:

Missy Elliott featuring Pharrell – “WTF (Where They From)”

Beyoncé – “Sorry”

FKA Twigs – “M3LL155X”

Florence + the Machine – “Delilah”

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David Bowie’s ‘Blackstar’ wins art direction award

The other nominees were:

Beyoncé – “Hold Up”

Fergie – “M.I.L.F. $”

Drake – “Hotline Bling”

Adele -- “Hello”

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Fifth Harmony and Ty Dolla Sign win collaboration award for ‘Work From Home’

The other nominees were:

Beyoncé featuring Kendrick Lamar – “Freedom”

Ariana Grande featuring Lil Wayne – “Let Me Love You”

Calvin Harris featuring Rihanna – “This Is What You Came For”

Rihanna featuring Drake – “Work” (short version)

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Hey, look! Pictures of people onstage who weren’t Beyonce

(Michael Loccisano / Getty Images)

Catch your breath yet after Beyonce’s performance? We’d like to take a moment to remind you that other folks actually appeared onstage at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards. Some of them actually performed.

Quick -- refresh your memory with a spin through a few moments that had nothing to do with Queen Bey.

(Britney who?)

(Michael Loccisano / Getty Images)

Read MoreFor more pictures from the show, click on the “Read More” link above.

(Jewel Samad / AFP / Getty Images)

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Olympians want their MTV

(Angela Weiss / AFP/Getty Images)

Fresh off their gold medal victories, members of the U.S. Olympic team reveled in the trappings of their celebrity by attending the MTV VMAs on Sunday.

Record-breaking swimmer Michael Phelps walked the red carpet with fiancee Nicole Johnson and presented rapper Future’s set during the show. Phelps introduced the rapper by riffing off his own viral #PhelpsFace meme, explaining that it was a Future track that inspired it.

“Remember in Rio when I made that face that ended up all over the Internet?” he said. “I was in the zone with Future’s track, ‘Stick Talk,’ blaring in my headphones.”

(Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, four of the Final Five appeared at the show. Gymnasts Aly Raisman, Madison Kocian, Laurie Hernandez and Simone Biles walked the red carpet together and were slated to present later in the show. Their teammate Gabby Douglas missed the festivities due to an illness that sent her to the hospital.

“Out of the hospital & resting comfortably! #FinalFive so sad I can’t be wit u all to present tonight @MTV thank u xoxo #VMAs #myview,” Douglas wrote on Instagram, captioning a picture of herself bundled up in bed.

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Kanye West pays tribute to himself at 2016 MTV Video Music Awards

Kanye West gives a speech at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden.
Kanye West gives a speech at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden.
(Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

What happens when you give Kanye West four minutes to do whatever he chooses?

That was the question heading into Sunday’s VMAs after reports that producers gave the polarizing pop disrupter the green light to do whatever he wanted onstage.

So what did he do? He emerged onstage and approached a podium and immediately began to pay tribute to, well, himself.

“I am Kanye West. And that feels really great to say, especially this year,” West started, amid chants from the audience.

West was there to premiere his new video, “Fade,” but before that he wanted to talk. And talk, and talk.

“Later tonight ‘Famous’ might lose to Beyonce but I can’t be mad, I’m always wishing for Beyonce to win,” he joked, making reference to his controversial stage-crash.

The rapper went on to defend “Famous,” his polarizing music video that featured an art display of West and celebrities and public figures like Donald Trump, Chris Brown and George W. Bush lying naked in bed.

“It was an expression of our now, our fame right now, us on the inside of the TV. The audacity to put Anna Wintour next to Donald Trump. I put Ray J in it, bro. This is fame bro. I see you Amber,” West joked pointing to his ex-girlfriend in the crowd. “My wife is a [gangsta], not a lot of people’s wives would let them say that.”

West referenced the ongoing crime in his native Chicago. And he strongly defended himself against Taylor Swift’s claims that he didn’t consult her over the song.

It was one of his usual freewheeling, remarkably self-indulgent stream-of-conscious rants that has made him an incendiary, unpredictable figure in pop music. And, love him or loathe him, he’s an exciting watch.

West then introduced the premiere of the Tidal-sponsored visual for “Fade,” a single from his recent hit album “Life of Pablo.”

Starring R&B singer Teyana Taylor, the video featured the singer clad in workout attire and voraciously dancing in an empty gym. West didn’t appear in the clip.

The VMAs have infamously provided the backdrop for some of West’s most scandalous moments.

There was the earth-shattering interruption heard around the world, when a miffed West — woozy off half a bottle of Hennessy — stormed the stage when Swift was named the winner of the female video award instead of his pal Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” at the 2009 ceremony.

“Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’ma let you finish,” he said to a then-19-year-old Swift, “but Beyoncé has one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!” He was met by a wave of boos and flipped off the audience as he returned to his seat.

The two made up and Swift even presented him with his Video Vanguard honor at last year’s awards. (That reunion was short-lived, though after West’s wife, Kim Kardashian West, leaked audio of Swift and West discussing a song in which he planned on dissing her.)

West’s appearance might have stayed clear of courting controversy — but it certainly reminded us of why the rapper can be as exhausting as he is entertaining.

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Calvin Harris didn’t thank Taylor Swift for song she wrote

Calvin Harris won the VMA for best male video.
(Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images)

When accepting an award there are a few people you’re required to thank: God, your mother, the fans, and maybe even the writer. That is, unless you’re Calvin Harris.

The “This Is What You Came For” singer was honored with the VMA for best male video for the same song featuring Rihanna. Though he thanked a number of folks, left off the list was the song’s co-writer Nils Sjoberg. But that’s probably because Sjoberg is actually the pseudonym for his ex-boo, Taylor Swift.

The two experienced a very public breakup back in June. While he once appeared to be “shaking it off,” the omission might say otherwise.

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Cassie’s yellow VMA hair is an inspiration to all

Cassie, the model/actress/dancer/recording artist better known as Diddy’s longtime girlfriend, made a statement with her hella yellow hair at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday.

But some people wondered exactly what statement she was trying to highlight.

It would be a real crime if she kept her style thoughts a secret.

(Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images, left; Tetra Images / Getty Images)

So let’s just hope she tweets about why she chose that color.

( Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images, left; Steve Osman / Los Angeles Times)

Until that happens, we’re going to assume she’s just a big Beyonce fan. Lemonade, anyone?

(Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images, left; Scott Mason/The Winchester Star via AP)

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Beyoncé joined by ‘mothers of the [Black Lives Matter] movement’ on the red carpet

(Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

Beyoncé, party of 13!

The “Lemonade” singer not only hit the red carpet with daughter Blue Ivy in tow, but her entourage included several “mothers of the movement” and other women who appeared in some capacity on her visual album.

Notching 11 nominations for videos from her incendiary 2016 release, Bey, clad in a fluttery Francesco Scognamiglio confection, was flanked by the mothers of police violence victims Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Oscar Grant, and Trayvon Martin. The women fostered the Black Lives Matter movement and several of them appeared in Bey’s video “Freedom” holding portraits of their deceased kin.

Musicians Chloe x Halle, model Winnie Harlow, actress Quvenzhané Wallis and a few others also joined the superstar.

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Calvin Harris and Rihanna win male video VMA for ‘This Is What You Came For’

(Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images)

The other nominees were:

Drake – “Hotline Bling”

Bryson Tiller – “Don’t”

Kanye West – “Famous”

The Weeknd – “Can’t Feel My Face”

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Nick Cannon turns out to the VMAs looking ....freshly showered?

We’re not sure if Nick Cannon’s trying to get Pharrell-level attention with the, um, unique headgear he wore on the VMA red carpet this evening, or if there’s going to be a big show-related reveal later in the evening (please make it be a pair of implanted devil horns, please) but based on what we can say he simply looks like he’s three steps out of a shower.

That’s a (head) wrap, plain and simple.

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Drake wins hip-hop video award for ‘Hotline Bling’

Drake was stuck in traffic and unable to accept the VMA for hip hop video in person.
Drake was stuck in traffic and unable to accept the VMA for hip hop video in person.
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

The other nominees were:

Desiigner – “Panda”

Bryson Tiller – “Don’t”

Chance the Rapper – “Angels”

2 Chainz – “Watch Out”

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Rihanna’s VMAs Vanguard performance split into mini-sets

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Kim Kardashian shreds it on the VMA white carpet

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.
(Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images)

What’s there to say about Kim Kardashian’s VMAs look except, well, what we here in the office said when we first saw Kim Kardashian’s VMAs look:

  • “It looks like she just pulled it out of a clutch and put it on.”
  • “What’s with the beach hair?”
  • “It’s like the dress was a table, and she split it down the middle and put a extra leaf in.”
  • “A stocking with a big run down the middle.”
  • “She sort of looks trashy but she also looks really hot.”
  • “I think she looks so frikkin’ hot.”

Mrs. Kanye West had polled her Twitter followers about what she should wear at the Sunday awards shows. Looks like she went with popular sentiment.

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Here’s what we know about Britney Spears’ VMA comeback

Heading into the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards, all eyes were on Britney Spears.

The pop star, arguably one of the awards show’s most prolific performers, was set to make her return to the VMA stage nearly a decade after she fizzled onstage.

Spears is set to perform her sexy new single “Make Me” with G-Eazy, and producers are promising a showing that’s not “a typical performance.”

“She’s been a pro,” VMA executive producer Jesse Ignjatovic said about Spears’ return. “She’s been doing this for quite a long time and knows how to perform and pull off a VMA-caliber performance. She’s got a hit with ‘Make Me.’ And with Britney she’s always looking at what she can do differently and how she is going to separate herself as an artist. It’s a big look.”

Her longtime manager, Larry Rudolph, shrugged off a question of whether the pop star felt any pressure about her return to the VMA stage.

“She’s been on that stage many times. She hadn’t wanted to do them for awhile [because] she wanted to focus on other things, but she decided she wanted to do them again so we’re doing them again,” he said.

“The VMAs are special. I don’t want to lump them in with every other award show. She’s like the queen of the VMAs,” Rudolph continued. “Probably three or four of the most iconic moments in MTV history are of her at the VMAs. We’re very mindful of that and respectful of the platform.”

As for what fans can expect from the singer who has done everything from slink around onstage with a python to lip-lock with Madonna?

“The choreography is going to be something that people really respond to,” Ignjatovic teased. “It’s different and not a typical performance. She’s got such a history with MTV, to have her back on the show its got everyone excited.”

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2016 VMAs: No dress-shirt required

(Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images)

A hallmark of the rock ‘n’ roll approach to dressing up is to wear a suit jacket or blazer but jettison the dress shirt traditionally worn underneath. Or simply wearing a shirt (and no jacket) and declining to button it all.

Based on the arrivals so far tonight it seems to be a look that won’t be going away anytime soon. Among those we’ve spotted sporting the jacket-layered-over-bare-skin look so far: Jeremy Scott (shown above at far left in a multi-colored Moschino suit of his own making); Britney Spears’ arm candy for the night, G-Eazy (in a red silk western shirt that clearly has buttons that aren’t being used); and Cassie, who wore a gray double-breasted blazer with six gold buttons that are spending the night unemployed.

The biggest surprise was the very pregnant girlfriend of MTV “Catfish” star Nev Schulman. Laura Perlongo arrived in only a necklace and jacket.

(Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

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Pop divas hit the VMA red carpet

Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande and Britney Spears were among the pop music elite that hit the red carpet for the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

Take a look at their red carpet looks below, then check out what other celebrities made an appearance on the carpet here.

(Larry Busacca / Getty Images for MTV)
(Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images)
(Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images)

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Comeback performer Britney Spears is more ‘ready,’ less ‘oops’

Britney Spears opens the MTV Video Music Awards in 2007.
(http://www.trbimg.com/img-57c3803d/turbine/la-et-britneyspears-mtvvmas-2007/600)

She’s doing it again! Britney Spears is ready to perform on the Video Music Awards stage, marking her first such return to the MTV stage since her infamous 2007 show-opener. You know the one: pre-breakdown Brit, with the bad hair, bad vocals and lackadaisical showmanship.

“So ready for this night,” the singer tweeted in advance of the VMAs.

The boa-slinging songstress, who is in her third year of residency in Las Vegas’ Planet Hollywood and has launched many a comeback since that ill-fated outing, is historically among the awards show’s many iconic performers and has been touted as one of Sunday’s biggest headliners. She’s slated to perform “Make Me,” the first single from her just-released ninth album “Glory,” with G-Eazy.

“She’s been on that stage many times. She hadn’t wanted to do [the VMAs] for awhile [because] she wanted to focus on other things, but she decided she wanted to do them again so we’re doing them again,” Spears’ longtime manager Larry Rudolph told The Times last week.

Here’s hoping she leaves the oops and the drama in the past.

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Watch live: The MTV VMAs are streaming here

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Fashion Flashback: In 1999 Lil’ Kim wears one of the most memorable VMA looks of all time

(Vinnie Zuffante / Getty Images; Scott Gries / Getty Images)

As the VMA white carpet wraps up, the looks from years past have been all but forgotten. But there are a couple that we will never forget -- no matter how hard we try.

One of the most unforgettable looks of all time has to be Lil’ Kim’s atrocious lavender car-wreck of an outfit -- essentially a nipple-pasties-as-formal-wear look.

And we weren’t the only ones who noticed. During the show, presenter Diana Ross greeted Kim onstage by giving her exposed breast a little jiggle.

One for the ages, indeed.

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Nicki Minaj masters the art of strategic skin-baring on the VMA red carpet

Nicki Minaj managed to have it both ways on the VMA red carpet, she technically achieved a nearly safe-for-work level of covered-up in a form-fitting blue dress with a mermaid-worthy fish-tail hem, but at the same time managed to be extremely revealing thanks to side cutouts at the hips and decolletage, and some serious trussing on the top half.

(Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

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Lance Bass’ red carpet jacket says a lot: ‘Love trumps hate’

(Chris Pizzello / Associated Press)

Lance Bass had something to say on the MTV Video Music Awards red carpet on Sunday: “Love trumps hate.”

And we’re sure the message on his jacket had nothing to do with the presidential election, right?

“The #VMA red carpet has always been a great place to make a statement,” the ‘NSync alum said on WhoSay and Twitter, thanking designer Rey Ortiz. “Thank you @fashionbyreyortiz for helping me voice mine! #LoveTrumpsHate.”

OK, we’re pretty much sure the message is all about the presidential election, since that phrase is straight out of the mouths of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

(Ortiz also has a much more blunt fashion statement against GOP nominee Donald Trump on his Twitter feed, which is @reyortizfashion. But if Bass wore that one on the carpet, no family-friendly publications would have run a photo.)

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Beyonce and Blue Ivy play the ultimate fantasy dress-up on the 2016 VMA red carpet

(Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP (left) Larry Busacca / Getty Images (center) Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images(right))

Beyonce goes full angel wings and daughter Blue Ivy is dressed as a priceless princess -- in pale peach sneakers, no less -- on the 2016 VMAs red carpet on Sunday.

The dresses aren’t the only fairy-tale part of the looks, both are clad in Lorraine Schwartz jewelry -- Queen Bey in some $13 million all by herself.

We haven’t received official word on the provenance of Beyonce’s dress, but according to the interwebs it is Francesco Scognamiglio F/W 2016 couture.

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How many awards will Beyoncé win?

Beyoncé is the top nominee heading into the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards with 11 nods total, including the top prize video of the year for “Formation.”

The song, which was released unannounced on the eve of her 2016 Super Bowl appearance, was praised for its assertive and unapologetic lyrics and imagery.

In additional to video of the year, “Formation” landed five additional nominations for pop video, direction, cinematography, editing and choreography.

Beyoncé's other nominations are for “Sorry” for cinematography, “Hold Up” for female video and art direction, “Freedom” for collaboration (with Kendrick Lamar) and “Lemonade” for long-form video.

The 16-time winner took away one award of her five nominations at last year’s event.

Check out a couple of her nominated videos below (warning: adult language and imagery).

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How big is Drake’s love for Rihanna? Billboard-size

Rihanna and Drake perform at the Grammy Awards in 2011.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Nothing says you’re crushing on someone like a hundreds-of-square-feet love note, which is exactly what Drake bought for Rihanna the other day.

“Congratulations to Rihanna from Drake and Everyone at OVO,” it reads, referencing OVO Sound, the label founded by the “Hotline Bling” singer.

Congrats are definitely in order, as Rihanna will be honored with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at Sunday’s MTV Music Video Awards.

“When he extra [heart],” Bad Gal Riri wrote Friday on Instagram, captioning a shot of the blue board filled with white cursive writing and the OVO owl logo.

Drake “still loves her and never stopped. Rihanna is the one that’s been not wanting to settle down in the past,” a source told E! News in July, suggesting that the two were dating. “They are having fun spending time with each other. Their music together got them close again.”

In addition to the Video Vanguard Award, she’s up for female video and collaboration for that music, “Work,” featuring Drake. So if she wins there, he wins too. Of course, Rihanna’s competing against herself in the collaboration category, as she’s featured on Calvin Harris’ “This Is What You Came For,” which is up for the collaboration award as well.

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Key & Peele will offer up play-by-play commentary on the VMAs

MTV has drafted comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele as play-by-play commentators for the Video Music Awards, and the position is not new to the comedians.

As the promo above indicates, the duo -- as characters Lee (Key) and Morris (Peele) -- took on announcing roles for Squarespace as counterprogramming to the Super Bowl, joining other periphery events like Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl, Hallmark Channel’s Kitten Bowl and National Geographic’s Fish Bowl.

This time taking on the roles of @TheShamester and @LizardSheeple, Key and Peele will serve as the evening’s pseudo hosts for the VMAs alongside DJ Khaled, Jay Pharoah and Nicole Byer.

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Britney Spears’ most memorable VMA moments

Perhaps one of the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards’ most anticipated events is Britney Spears’ return to the VMA stage as a performer. It will mark the first time the singer has performed at the VMAs since 2007, and while Spears’ opening performance of “Gimme More” nine years ago was definitely not one of her finer VMA moments, it’s hard to deny that it was memorable. Will this year’s performance be redemption for Spears?

To commemorate her return to the VMA stage, here is a quick look back at some of Spears’ most memorable VMA moments.

1999: The first time is always one to remember. Spears made her VMA stage debut performing “Baby One More Time” — fittingly in a faux school setup — which immediately preceded ‘NSync’s performance of “Tearing Up My Heart.”

2000: Spears’ performance of "(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and “Oops!… I Did It Again” saw her shed her teen pop persona when she ripped off her more conservative black suit to reveal a sparkly nude bodysuit in an act that challenged anyone who would deny she was very much an adult in control of her image.

2001: Spears strutting on stage with a live python draped over her shoulders is a VMA image that has endured her many career ups and downs since that performance of “I’m a Slave 4 U” 15 years ago.

(Scott Gries / Getty Images)

2003: Somehow Spears topped her 2001 performance with this outing that saw her take the stage with Madonna, Christina Aguilera and Missy Elliott for a medley of songs and a steamy lip-lock.

(Kevin Winter / AFP/Getty Images)

2007: In a time in which Spears was making headlines more for events in her personal life than her music career, came this performance of “Gimme More” that critics and fans alike universally panned.

(Matt Sayles / AP)

2011: While Spears herself did not perform, as the recipient of the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, she did get to watch a choreographed tribute of her biggest video hits. Plus she was this close to re-creating her 2003 kiss with presenter Jo Calderone/Lady Gaga.

What was your favorite Britney moment?

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Will Nick Jonas bring a stripped-down performance to the VMAs?

(Mike Lowrie / Getty Images)

Nick Jonas will be one of the many performers during this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, and he’s been practicing a lot lately.

He and his former “Camp Rock” costar Demi Lovato have been embarking on a joint concert tour — coming to Los Angeles Sept. 17 at the Forum for the locals. The duo wanted to scale back some of the pop pageantry that seemingly goes with many of today’s young stars and their stage shows.

Their inspiration was none other than the Boss, Bruce Springsteen.

“I left that Springsteen show and was like, ‘We’ve got to think like this,’” said Jonas of the stripped-down sets that Springsteen is famous for playing.

“Demi and I had a conversation where we said, ‘We have to make this the opposite of every pop show we’ve seen in the last 10 years.’”

Nick Jonas

We’ll see if this minimalist approach extends to the raucous stage of the VMAs.

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VMAs flashback: Van Halen reunites, then breaks up again

Former Van Halen band mates David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen, at right, embrace as they are reunite onstage at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York in 1996. Band mates Michael Anthony, left, and Alex Van Halen are also present
(Bebeto Matthews / Associated Press)

At the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards, one of the greatest bands both thrilled the VMAs audience and dashed hopes for a reunion when Van Halen made its first public appearance together since breaking up over ten years prior.

The crowd excitedly received the original members: guitarist Eddie Van Halen, vocalist David Lee Roth, drummer Alex Van Halen and bassist Michael Anthony. But a spat backstage during the show led them to continue their separation another 10 years until Roth rejoined the band in 2006 for a huge tour. During their estrangement with Roth, the band continued to make music – fronting Sammy Haggar, and for a one-year stint, Gary Cherone – as lead singers.

Van Halen is one of only five rock bands that have had two studio albums sell more than 10 million copies in the U.S.