Host Keke Palmer paid tribute to Boseman at the virtual ceremony, saying, “Before we get into the music tonight, we need to talk about the devastating loss of Chadwick Boseman, an actor whose talent and passion are a true inspiration to all the fans he has touched and all those he has met.
“We dedicate tonight’s show to a man whose spirit has touched so many people. He’s a real hero. Not just on screen, but in everything he’s done. Its impact is eternal. ”
There was also a video tribute to Boseman that included his appearance at the 2018 MTV Movie and TV Awards.
Palmer’s opening monologue also contained references to the tumultuous year, touching on the coronavirus pandemic as well as social unrest caused by the death of George Floyd in May.
“We can never tolerate police brutality,” the actress and singer said from a set near the Empire State Building.
“It’s time for us to be the change we want to see. We have to unite, and music has that power. “
Lady Gaga was the big winner of the evening, taking home four honors, including Artist, Song and Collaboration of the Year, as well as the first-ever Tricon Award, in recognition of her accomplishments in music, fashion and theater .
“I want to share this award with everyone back home tonight. Each is their own form of Tricon, ”she said.
“It hasn’t been an easy year for a lot of people, but what I see in the world is a huge triumph of courage.
“Just because we’re apart right now and the culture may seem less alive in some ways, I know a renaissance is coming and the anger of pop culture will inspire you and the rage of art will inspire you. will empower by responding to difficulties with generosity and love. “
Canadian artist The Weeknd won the Video of the Year award for Blinding Lights. It also won the award for Best R&B Video for the same song.
The VMAs marked the first major U.S. awards ceremony to take place during the coronavirus pandemic. It was filmed without a live audience and with most performances recorded in advance due to sanitary guidelines.
The Black Eyed Peas closed the process, with one of the group members saying ‘Wakanda forever’, the phrase that summed up the black pride generated by Black Panther, as well as ” Black lives matter« .