A Win for the Music Business with the Return of the 2021 MTV VMAs

A return to in-person awards events is a big boost to the music business.

In the music publishing business, I’m fortunate to get passes to some great music events and see both iconic and up-and-coming artists. One of the best perks this year was getting to attend my first MTV Video Music Awards performance at its return to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, this past Sunday, September 12.

A Hot Ticket for the Nosebleed Section

After last year’s Covid presentation of outside live shots and taped productions, the music awards show came back to some type of normalcy by returning to an indoor venue with attendees wearing masks.

Masked Up for Music

Although our seats were high up in the nosebleed section, the experience was still amazing with the pyrotechnics, grand arena sized sets, and live audience. We got to see it all from a birdeye view and it was an experience not to be missed. It was a three-hour extravaganza filled with fashion, over-the-top performances, and high energy music and dance. The 40th anniversary show was hosted by American rapper and singer, Doja Cat.

Being up so high gave us a great perspective on the entire event. The Foo Fighters and Busta Rhymes performances were stand-outs. Guest appearances by Madonna, JLo, David Lee Roth, and Tommy Lee were also fun surprises.

Perched High above It All

Here’s a little taste of the event with a snippet from Busta Rhymes and his pyrotechnics!

A list of the evening’s award winners:



VIDEO OF THE YEAR: Lil Nas X: “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)”

ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Justin Bieber – Def Jam

SONG OF THE YEAR: Olivia Rodrigo: “Drivers License”

BEST NEW ARTIST: Olivia Rodrigo

BEST COLLABORATION: Doja Cat ft. SZA: “Kiss Me More”

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”


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