MTV VMA 2021 Winners

More than 38 years since the inaugural VMA awards ceremony, and 40 years since the launch of the music television network, the MTV Video Music Awards were held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York Sunday night (Sept.12).

Videos by American Songwriter

Hosted by Doja Cat, who donned a plethora of outfit changes throughout the night (even some chicken feet-inspired footwear), the annual event was filled with artists who were part of the earliest days of MTV, including presenters Cyndi Lauper and David Lee Roth. Opening the show, Madonna offered a montage of her MTV history and stepped out on stage to set the tone of the evening. “And they said we wouldn’t last,” she said. “But we’re still here, motherf—ckers. Happy 40th MTV.”

Throughout the ceremony was a mix of presenters including Avril Lavigne, 50 Cent, N’SYNC’s Lance Bass, 98 Degrees’ Nick Lachey, and some members of the sports world including MMA fighter Conor McGregor and Olympian Simone Biles.

The big winner of the night Lil Nas X took home multiple awards including the big one, Video for the Year for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).” Olivia Rodrigo wasn’t too far behind, picking up two “Moon Man” awards for Best New Artist and Song of the Year for “Drivers License.”

Foo Fighters also picked up the first-ever Global Icon Award, while Justin Bieber was crowned Artist of the Year and BTS were christened Group of the Year.

Across genre, cinematography, art direction, and beyond, here is the list of winners from the 38th annual MTV VMAs.


Video of the Year
Lil Nas X / “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”

Artist of the Year
Justin Bieber

Song of the Year
Olivia Rodrigo / “Drivers License”

Best New Artist
Olivia Rodrigo

Push Performance of the Year
Olivia Rodrigo / “Drivers License”

Best Collaboration
Doja Cat ft. SZA / “Kiss Me More”

Group of the Year

Best Pop
Justin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar, Giveon / “Peaches”

Best Hip-Hop
Travis Scott ft. Young Thug & M.I.A. / “Franchise”

Best Rock
John Mayer / “Last Train Home”

Best Alternative
Machine Gun Kelly ft. Blackbear / “My Ex’s Best Friend” 

Best Latin
Billie Eilish & ROSALÍA / “Lo Vas A Olvidar”

Best R&B
Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic / “Leave The Door Open”

Best K-POP
BTS / “Butter”

Video For Good
Billie Eilish / “Your Power”

Best Direction
Lil Nas X / “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” (Directed by Lil Nas X and Tanu Muino)

Best Cinematography
Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, SAINt JHN, WizKid / “Brown Skin Girl” (Cinematography by: Benoit Soler, Malik H. Sayeed, Mohammaed Att Ahmed, Santiago Gonzalez, Ryan Helfant)

Best Art Direction
Saweetie ft. Doja Cat / “Best Friend” (Art Direction by Art Haynes)

Best Visual Effects
Lil Nas X / “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” (Visual Effects by: Mathematic)

Best Choreography
Harry Styles / “Treat People With Kindness” (Choreography by Paul Roberts)

Best Editing
Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic / “Leave The Door Open” (Editing by Troy Charbonnet)

Global Icon Award
Foo Fighters

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