2021 Video Music Awards: The Most Viral Moments of the Night (Updating Live)

One of the most buzzworthy awards shows of the year is back — and we got you covered!

The 2021 MTV Video Music Awards have officially kicked off in NYC — and it’s sure to have everyone talking on social media.

Following last year’s socially-distanced ceremony featuring a whole lotta Lady Gaga, Sunday night’s awards show — hosted by Doja Cat — is being held in person and airing live from the Barclays Center.

Heading into the show, Justin Bieber leads the pack with seven nominations total, including Artist of the Year. Behind him is Megan Thee Stallion, who is up for six awards, four of which are for her “WAP” collab with Cardi B. Meanwhile, BTS, Billie Eilish, Doja Cat, Drake, Giveon, Lil Nas X and Olivia Rodrigo are all nominated for five awards apiece.

As in past years, this list of performers is nothing short of legendary. Among those scheduled to hit the stage are Doja Cat, Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes, Chlöe, Lil Nas X, Alicia Keys, Kacey Musgraves, Ed Sheeran, and Justin Bieber, who will be performing at the awards show for the first time in six years. Meanwhile, Machine Gun Kelly and Olivia Rodrigo will be taking the VMA stage for the time. In addition, Foo Fighters are also set to perform and will be awarded the first-ever Global Icon Award.

In the days leading up to the show, Lorde canceled her performance, while Normani was announced as a last-minute addition following a viral fan petition. Nicki Minaj also tweeted on Thursday that she had “pulled out” of planned performance. But let’s be real, it wouldn’t be the VMAs without a little drama!

TooFab will be updating this post throughout the night — check out the most viral performances and moments, below!

Madonna Kicks Off the Show

Who better to get things started for MTV’s 40th birthday but Madonna, who’s been there since the very beginning?

In a pretaped video showing her driving in a taxi around New York City, the Queen of Pop talked about her four-decade long journey in the industry and how her rise coincided with the network’s. “We found each other and formed a bond that changed my life, changed music and created a whole new art form,” she declared, “That’s why there’s only one place to be tonight.”

The camera then cut inside the Barclays, where the 63-year-old pop star hit the stage in a black leather dominatrix getup and proudly proclaimed: “They said we wouldn’t last, but we’re still here motherf—ers. Happy 40th MTV!”

She then simply turned around and walked off, showing off her infamous behind as she left. With that, Justin Bieber and The Kid LAROI launched into the first performance of the night.

Olivia Rodrigo Makes Her VMA Debut

2021 was a huge year for “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” star Olivia Rodrigo, who who dropped three massive singles — “Drivers License,” “Deja Vu” and “Good 4 U” — before dropping her album “Sour.”

She went into the night with five nominations and picked up the first televised award of the night for Song of the Year for “Drivers License,” after her first performance at the VMAs ever. She already won Push artist during the pre-show.

J.Lo Stuns … But Billie Eilish Seems Unimpressed 

Jennifer Lopez was on hand to announce the first award of the night — getting a standing ovation from most of the audience when she hit the stage.

The camera cut to Billie Eilish in the audience, however, and while her brother Finneas was clapping for her, she had no reaction whatsoever.

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