MTV’s Video Music Awards are taking place right now at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Many famous people are performing music, presenting awards, or sitting in seats. We at MTV News could not be more excited. Please join us for a very serious, not at all funny live-blog of this momentous occasion.
11:54 Credits roll. So ends the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards — and this liveblog, which consisted entirely of facts.
11:53: Drake and Rihanna exit the stage holding hands.
11:52: "Thank you, Drake, for that amazing speech," she says.
11:52 She shouts out Barbados and black women, among others.
11:50: Rihanna demands that the microphone be raised to her level. The microphone rises.
11:50: Drake presented Rihanna with the 2016 Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. And tried to kiss her and wound up in her neck somewhere.
11:50: "She's someone I've been in love with since I was 22 years old," Drake says. Rihanna rolls her eyes.
11:48: The brief sound of...drums appears?
11:47: Drake is talking about the first time he met Rihanna, on the set of her "Pon de Replay" video in 2005.
11:46: A tuxedoed Drake is walking onstage now.
11:45: Rihanna is now singing "Love on the Brain."
11:42: Rihanna is performing “Diamonds,” also from the album Unapologetic.
11:41: She and her band are matching.
11:40: Rihanna is now performing "Stay" from her 2012 album Unapologetic. She is wearing a massive silver-white dress and is backed by a small orchestra and full horn section.
11:30 On the backstage cam, someone brushes Mary J. Blige’s bangs with a paint brush.
11:33: She thanks her husband, her daughter, her team.
11:22: Beyoncé wins Video of the Year for "Formation" (because of course she did, have you seen that video?).
11:32: Kanye West and Charlemagne are chatting with each other; Kanye is very into it.
11:31: Jimmy Fallon is telling jokes by saying he did things he didn't actually do, like directing Adele's "Hello" video and also Drake's "Hotline Bling" video. He is in character as Ryan Lochte. He is presenting Video of the Year.
11:30: Jimmy Fallon is onstage dressed like Ryan Lochte. Michael Phelps is enjoying this part of the show.
11:24: Confetti falls from the ceiling. Michael Phelps selfies with confetti upon him.
11:20: The Chainsmokers are now performing their No. 1 song "Closer" with Halsey.
11:20: Kim Kardashian West took a selfie during The Chainsmokers' performance, which is a nice tie-in to the act’s breakthrough hit, “#Selfie.”
11:19: Joe Jonas tells all the other Best New Artist nominees that they are incredible. Nick Jonas cheers for his brother from the audience.
11:17: Fifth Harmony present the Moonman for Best New Artist to DNCE (including the guy with the half-mohawk).
11:12: On the audience cam, Kanye West is meeting The Mothers of the Movement with Diddy and Jidenna. West then poses for a photo while Jaden Smith dances in the distance.
11:12: Desiigner is seen on the audience cam having the time of his life with a Champagne flute in his left hand.
11:11: Drake, no longer caught in traffic, is on the backstage cam in a tuxedo reading over his lines.
11:10: (It might have been a selfie.)
11:09: The camera caught Kim taking a picture of Kanye.
11:08: Rihanna is now performing "Bitch Better Have My Money," a non-album single about people who owe her money.
11:06: Rihanna is now performing the Mike Will Made It–produced “Pour It Up” from her 2012 album, Unapologetic.
11:06: Britney walks down the hallway on the backstage cam and stops to watch Rihanna perform “Needed Me” on a monitor.
11:05: Rihanna takes off her coat and reveals an eyeless mink or similar animal cast over her shoulder.
11:04: Rihanna is singing “Needed Me,” from her most recent album, Anti.
11:04: Tracee Ellis Ross introduced Rihanna's third performance of the night.
11:03: Beyoncé thanks "everyone at MTV." You’re very welcome, Beyoncé — any time.
11:02: They present the Moonman for Best Female Video to Beyoncé for "Hold Up." She’s hugging all of the gymnasts, who seem really excited to be hugged by Beyoncé.
11:00: Four members of the U.S. Olympic Women's Gymnastics team are onstage. They won a gold medal in Rio earlier this month and now they are at the VMAs.
10:53 The song ends.
10:52: They are finishing their performance of "Make Me." Even without the shadow-puppet machine, G-Eazy is a lot taller than Britney. Britney flings herself between his prostrate legs.
10:52: G-Eazy is rapping his verse from “Me, Myself, and I.”
10:51: OK, it's just regular-size G-Eazy. Britney is singing the chorus to his hit song "Me, Myself, and I." (Bebe Rexha, who sings this song with G-Eazy, is present in the audience.)
10:51: A gigantic G-Eazy shadow looms ominously over the stage before real G-Eazy appears.
10:50: Giant hands make shadows from behind a backlit scrim.
10:49: Britney Spears is performing her song "Make Me," which features G-Eazy, who is not onstage yet.
10:48: Kim Kardashian West just came out to present Britney Spears's performance, which is next, calling it a “triumphant return” and adding, "It's Britney, bitch!"
10:47: Fifth Harmony tell Ty Dolla $ign that they love him “so much.”
10:47: A shirtless Ty Dolla $ign looks incredulous at his win.
10:46: The Moonman for Best Collaborative Video goes to Fifth Harmony and Ty Dolla $ign for "Work from Home."
10:45: DJ Khaled and Jay Pharoah are simulating having an uncomfortable conversation.
10:43: Tove Lo and Bebe Rexha are presenting the winners of the professional categories.
10:43: Kim scrolls on Kanye’s phone
10:42: Perhaps he is reading this factual liveblog.
10:42: Meanwhile, on the backstage cam, Kanye West takes a break from scrolling through his phone to watch what appears to be Rihanna’s VMA promo spot for MTV on the small television before returning his attention to his smartphone. He then shows Kim. He is scrolling down. Perhaps he is looking at Twitter.
10:41: Ansel Elgort and Michael Phelps shake hands on the audience cam.
10:38: 2 Chainz shakes his head slowly in disbelief that Beyoncé is as Beyoncé as she is.
10:38: Key and Peele are having trouble speaking because they are so moved by Beyoncé's performance.
10:35: Beyoncé and her dancers get in "Formation."
10:34: Beyoncé is posing within a ring of fire and her performance is still not over.
10:34: Kanye and Kim are alone on the dressing room cam going over her lines.
10:33: "Beckys" in the audience keep wilding out.
10:32: She's now donning a fur jacket for "Don't Hurt Yourself."
10:32: The crowd joined in singing the line “Becky with the good hair.”
10:29: Beyoncé begins to sing "Sorry," looking straight into the camera the whole time.
10:28: The staging in this performance is next-level (fact).
10:28: It looked for a second like she was about to perform "Countdown," but she kept performing "Hold Up."
10:27: MTV is having a good time.
10:26: "Hello, MTV, are you having a good time?" —Beyoncé.
10:26: Beyoncé is performing "Hold Up."
10:26: Dancers in metallic dresses form a circle around Beyoncé.
10:25: A black man in a black hoodie embraces her, lets her go.
10:24: Backup dancers in white gowns appear from the smoke to stand solemnly behind her.
10:23: Beyoncé performing "Pray You Catch me," the first song on her visual album Lemonade.
10:23: Flames being projected onto Beyoncé's white dress.
10:23: Words being projected onto Beyoncé's white dress.
10:23: Strobe lights and smoke.
10:22: Beyoncé and Serena are friends.
10:21: Serena Williams has taken the stage to introduce Beyoncé.
10:20: Ariana Grande and Mac Miller are talking very closely.
10:16: Nick Jonas looks happy. His pants are super tight and maybe leather.
10:16: Now Nick Jonas has moved to a stage outside Madison Square Garden atop a fire truck. The truck is stationary. The band is rocking hard.
10:15: Ty Dolla $ign is performing outside a Duane Reade between bouncing low-rider cars.
10:15: Nick Jonas acknowledges the presence of famed rapper Ty Dolla $ign.
10:14: Joanne the Scammer, from Twitter, is at the diner.
10:14: Nick Jonas just slid across multiple kitchen tables.
10:13: Nick Jonas sits on the countertop. He is clothed, so it is reasonably sanitary.
10:13: Wait, no, he’s across the street from Madison Square Garden at the Tick Tock Diner, which is a famous diner across the street from Madison Square Garden.
10:12: Nick Jonas is backstage in the kitchen, singing his new single “Bacon.”
10:11: Rita Ora just grabbed Ansel Elgort’s face and said “look at this face.”
10:10: Rita Ora and Ansel Elgort are onstage to introduce the next performance.
10:09: Mac Miller is cleaning Ariana Grande’s glasses with his sweatshirt.
10:05: On the audience cam, Mac Miller hugs Kim Kardashian West.
10:04: Lots of iconic Rihanna “pussy patting” in this performance.
10:03: Rihanna is performing her No. 1 hit song “Work.”
10:02: She is wearing a do-rag over her t-shirt. This doesn’t sound possible but it is with her.
10:01: A huge crowd of dancers is moving behind Rihanna.
10:00: Rihanna began with a basement party performance of “Rude Boy” to the beat of Chaka Demus and Pliers’s classic “Murda She Wrote.”
10:00: Naomi Campbell introduced her friend, Rihanna, who is performing next.
9:59: Several sheep.
9:59: The video ends with Teyana Taylor having a cat face and having a newborn baby rest atop a sheep.
9:58: It also references Janet and Michael Jackson.
9:57: The video looks kind of like Flashdance.
9:56: The video for Kanye West’s song “Fade,” from his album The Life of Pablo, is playing right now on MTV.
9:54: Kanye is pointing out famous people in the audience, calls Chance the Rapper “the future,” and also mentions 2 Chainz and identifies all of them in the same class of influencers.
9:54: Kanye is talking about the “artists [and] merchants” who inspire him, including “Truman,” “Ford,” “Jobs,” and “West.”
9:51: Kanye pointed out Amber Rose in the audience.
9:51: Kanye said, “I put Ray J in it, bruh.” Kim Kardashian West laughed.
9:50: Kanye pauses between sentences. He is about to say something about his music video for “Famous.”
9:50: Kanye is always wishing for Beyoncé to win.
9:49: Kanye came here to present his new video, “but before I do that, I'mma talk.” Applause.
9:48: “I am Kanye West” —Kanye West
9:48: Kanye is standing onstage. The crowd is chanting “Yeezy.” He has not said anything yet.
9:48: We are back from commercial. The song “Famous” by Kanye West is playing but Kanye is not performing yet.
9:45: On the backstage cam, Rita Ora is talking to Ansel Elgort while Naomi Campbell is practicing her lines into the dressing room mirror.
9:41 Chance is rapping along to the audience camera while Future performs raps.
9:40: The dancers SheLovesMeechie and Toosie are onstage dancing behind Future.
9:39 Future’s metallic high-tops are reflecting the lights on the stage and so it looks like he is wearing Lite Brite shoes.
9:39: Future is fucking up some commas ... without saying the word “fuck.”
9:38: Michael Phelps is reminiscing about a time he listened to and enjoyed Future’s “Stick Talk.”
9:37: Michael Phelps is now on the stage. “As a music fan, I am so excited to be here,” says Michael Phelps, a music fan.
9:36: “Thank you. I love you, MTV.” —Calvin Harris
9:36: Calvin Harris is accepting his Moonman from a studio somewhere in England. He has the Moonman in his hand.
9:35: Alicia Keys is presenting the Moonman for Best Male Video. The Moonman for Best Male Video goes to Calvin Harris for his song “This Is What You Came For” which features Rihanna.
9:34: Alicia Keys is performing an inspiring song/poem about peace.
9:32: Alicia Keys just called New York City “the best place in the world.”
9:32: Alicia Keys is now onstage in a red dress. She is taking the applause.
9:31: They are making faces and saying “meme.”
9:31: Back from commercial. Key and Peele are “changing the world, one tweet at a time.”
9:26: Jordan Peele is in character as a successful social influencer and he just claimed to live with his mother.
9:25: Jaden Smith is clapping warmly for Ariana and Nicki.
9:24: Nicki did her verse.
9:23: Ariana has mounted a pommel horse for her lead-in to Nicki Minaj.
9:23: Ariana Grande’s performance involves a strenuous routine on an exercise bike. Pink, like Rihanna’s.
9:22: Frankie Grande is enjoying his sister’s performance.
9:21: Chance the Rapper introduced Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj, who are performing “Side to Side.”
9:20: Nicki Minaj is drinking water backstage through a straw.
9:19: We are back from commercial. Hailee Steinfeld is telling viewers how to vote for the Best New Artist award.
9:16: Kanye West looks happy on the lobby cam. Full-teethed smile.
9:13: Ariana Grande is performing next.
9:12: Drake is “stuck in traffic.” Not metaphorically.
9:12: Kim Kardashian West looked up at the ceiling. Drake was not there.
9:12: The Moonman for Best Hip-Hop Video goes to Drake for "Hotline Bling." That can only mean one thing.
9:09: Kim Kardashian West is typing on her phone.
9:10: Puff Daddy just mentioned his Bad Boy Family Reunion tour. Tickets on sale now.
9:09: Puff Daddy just welcomed everyone to the VMAs.
9:08: Jay Pharoah made a joke. Kanye did not laugh.
9:07: The VMAs correspondents include Nicole Byers, Jay Pharoah, and the biracial comedy duo Key and Peele.
9:06: As she says often, Alicia Keys is not wearing makeup.
9:06: Keegan-Michael Key just mimed eating an ear of corn while he said something was “corny.”
9:05: Key and Peele are making jokes.
9:05: Rihanna had me snow-blind and love-blind and possessed by the demon spirit of EDM. By the spirit of Hood By Air. By the spirit of Nick Jonas applauding.
9:04: Kanye and 2 Chainz are embracing on the audience cam. He also has a hug for Meek.
9:04: Rihanna’s performance is over. Nick Jonas appreciated the performance. He is applauding.
9:03: Rihanna seems to be going through the EDM side of her catalogue.
9:03: Rihanna is currently wearing a top by Hood By Air.
9:02 Frankie Grande is WERKING it and bowing at Rihanna.
9:02pm: The name of the song is just “We Found Love,” no “Hopeless Place,” sorry.
9:02pm: — wait, now she’s performing “We Found Love in a Hopeless Place.”
9:01pm: Now she is performing “Only Girl (In the World),” her famous hit song from 2010.
9:00pm: Rihanna just began performing "Please Don’t Stop the Music,” her famous hit song from 2007. The stage is pink.
8:59pm: The VMAs are about to start.