2021 VMAs: Cyndi Lauper and Billie Eilish Turned VMAs Stage Into a Platform for Women’s Rights

Before presenting Justin Bieber, Daniel Caesar, and Giveon with the Best Pop Video award for “Peaches” at the 2021 VMAs, Cyndi Lauper took the opportunity to address the issue of women’s rights. Referencing her 1983 hit “Girls Just Want To Have Fun,” the pop icon delivered a brief, yet impactful message from the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn.

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“I won a moon person at the very first VMAs in 1984. Things are a little different now,” Lauper shared from the stage. “Yeah, girls wanna have fun. But we also want to have funds, equal pay, and control over our bodies. You know, fundamental rights.”

She followed up with ET off-stage about her enduring efforts to support women. She shared, “I worked really hard to get ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’ to represent all girls so that all girls could see themselves. I wanted to capture that, and I’ve got to say, we were the little engine that could. I was up for seven awards that year, didn’t win one.”

While presenting at this year’s award show, Billie Eilish also received her own moon from her longtime idol, Avril Lavigne, for “Your Power.” The pop phenom was presented with the award for Video for Good which honors artists for their ability to spread positivity through their music. Following Lauper’s lead, Eilish took the opportunity to extend that messaging during her acceptance speech.

“I just want to say that we need to protect our young women at all costs. For real,” she said. “We also need to remember that we all have power, and we have to remember to not abuse it.”

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