For those who tuned in to watch the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards, the evening was more than just another star-studded show — it felt like a blast from the past, an old school type of show in a modern world unplagued by modern nuances. From the natural flow between award presenters and acceptance speeches to the dynamic performances and even the vintage vibe of the commercials, there was a unique blend of nostalgia that made the night unforgettable.
Taylor Swift, the evergreen pop sensation, emerged as the queen of the night, bagging every award she was nominated for that aired. Her 2022 hit “Anti-Hero” stole the limelight and, unsurprisingly, won big, earning accolades for artist of the year, video of the year, and song of the year.
But the night wasn't just about Taylor. There were numerous jaw-dropping moments that left the audience both in awe and teary-eyed. Perhaps one of the most talked-about moments was the reunion of *NSYNC. Joey Fatone, Lance Bass, Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, and Chris Kirkpatrick graced the stage, sending waves of nostalgia through the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
A major highlight was the all-female lineup for the artist of the year nominees, marking a significant step since the category's introduction in 2017. With powerhouses like Beyoncé, Doja, Karol G, Minaj, and Shakira joining Swift, it was a true testament to women's prevailing dominance in the music industry. And speaking of Shakira, the global icon was honored with the Video Vanguard Award, a fitting tribute to her decades-long contribution to the music world.
In a bid to stay fresh and relevant, MTV also introduced a new category this year — Best Afrobeats. This recognition of the rapidly-growing genre underscored MTV's commitment to celebrating global music diversity.
The night wasn't short on powerful performances either. Demi Lovato, Shakira, Olivia Rodrigo, Cardi B with Megan Thee Stallion, and many more lit the stage on fire with their electrifying acts.
Let's not forget about the winners! Here's a breakdown of the accolades:
Video of the Year: Taylor Swift for "Anti-Hero"
Artist of the Year: Taylor Swift
Song of the Year: Taylor Swift for "Anti-Hero"
Best New Artist: Ice Spice
Push Performance of the Year: Tomorrow X Together with "Sugar Rush Ride"
Best Collaboration: Karol G, Shakira with "TQG"
Best Pop: Taylor Swift for "Anti-Hero"
Best Hip-Hop: Nicki Minaj for "Super Freaky Girl"
Best R&B: SZA for "Shirt"
Best Rock: Måneskin for "The Loneliest"
Best Latin: Anitta for "Funk Rave"
Best Afrobeats: Rema & Selena Gomez with "Calm Down"
Best K-Pop: Stray Kids with "S-Class"
The 2023 MTV VMAs were more than just a display of current pop culture trends. They were a beautiful blend of today's hits and yesteryears' sentiments. It was a reminder that while music evolves, the emotions it evokes remain timeless. As the curtains fell, viewers were left with not just catchy tunes stuck in their heads but with cherished memories of an era gone by.