Missy Elliott honored at MTV VMAs; Swift wins top prize

Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus
Lil Nas X, left, and Billy Ray Cyrus accept the song of the year award for “Old Town Road” at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Normani
Normani arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Lizzo
Lizzo performs a medley at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Missy Elliott
Video Vanguard recipient Missy Elliott performs a medley at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Missy Elliott
Missy Elliott poses in the press room with the Video Vanguard award at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Cardi B
Cardi B accepts the best hip hop award for “Money” at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Missy Elliott
Video Vanguard recipient Missy Elliott performs a medley at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift poses with fans as she arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Lizzo
Lizzo arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift, right, takes selfies with fans as she arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
In this Monday, Aug. 20, 2018, file photo, a statue of the MTV Moon Man appears on the red carpet at the MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York. 2019 is the year of Missy Elliott: The rap icon will earn the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the MTV Video Music Awards in New Jersey. Performers include Elliott, Taylor Swift, Lizzo, Normani, Bad Bunny, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, H.E.R., J Balvin, Lil Nas X, Rosalia, Ozuna and Jonas Brothers. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
In this Monday, Aug. 20, 2018, file photo, a statue of the MTV Moon Man appears on the red carpet at the MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York. 2019 is the year of Missy Elliott: The rap icon will earn the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the MTV Video Music Awards in New Jersey. Performers include Elliott, Taylor Swift, Lizzo, Normani, Bad Bunny, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, H.E.R., J Balvin, Lil Nas X, Rosalia, Ozuna and Jonas Brothers. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift performs a medley at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Brady Tutton, Drew Ramos, Chance Perez, Sergio Calderon, Michael Conor
Brady Tutton, from left, Drew Ramos, Chance Perez, Sergio Calderon and Michael Conor, of In Real Life, arrive at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Tana Mongeau
Tana Mongeau arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Jenni Farley, Zack Clayton Carpinello
Jenni Farley, left, also known as JWoww, and Zack Clayton Carpinello kiss as they arrive at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Megan Thee Stallion
Megan Thee Stallion, center, performs at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Bebe Rexha
Bebe Rexha arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
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Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus
Normani
Lizzo
Missy Elliott
Missy Elliott
Cardi B
Missy Elliott
Taylor Swift
Lizzo
Taylor Swift
In this Monday, Aug. 20, 2018, file photo, a statue of the MTV Moon Man appears on the red carpet at the MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York. 2019 is the year of Missy Elliott: The rap icon will earn the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the MTV Video Music Awards in New Jersey. Performers include Elliott, Taylor Swift, Lizzo, Normani, Bad Bunny, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, H.E.R., J Balvin, Lil Nas X, Rosalia, Ozuna and Jonas Brothers. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
Taylor Swift
Brady Tutton, Drew Ramos, Chance Perez, Sergio Calderon, Michael Conor
Tana Mongeau
Jenni Farley, Zack Clayton Carpinello
Megan Thee Stallion
Bebe Rexha

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Missy Elliott, the rapper-singer-songwriter-producer-dancer whose music videos have moved the needle over the last two decades, was honored at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards, where Taylor Swift also took center stage with her gay pride anthem, “You Need to Calm Down.”

Elliott earned the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, and brought her colorful and eccentric music videos to life, from “Work It” to “Lose Control,” on Monday at the Prudential Center in Newark.

She even sported the inflated trash bag she wore with confidence and charisma in the video for “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” in 1997.

“I’ve worked diligently for over two decades and I never thought I would be standing up here receiving this award,” Elliott said.

The 48-year-old game-changer dedicated her award to the dance community and said her music video inspirations included Janet Jackson, Madonna, Peter Gabriel and Busta Rhymes.

She also honored the late R&B icon Aaliyah, with whom she was close and collaborated. The 18th anniversary of Aaliyah’s death was Sunday.

“Aaliyah, I love you. We miss you,” Elliott said in her acceptance speech.

Other performers Monday included former Fifth Harmony member Normani, who won best R&B video and brought skilled dance moves to “Motivation”; Spanish singer Rosalia, who also danced with precision and won best Latin and best choreography awards; and rapper-singer Lizzo, who turned into a gospel singer as she wowed the audience with the upbeat anthem “Good As Hell,” her 2016 song that reached new heights this year. She also sang “Truth Hurts,” which was released in 2017 but became a worldwide hit this year.

The VMAs, which took place in New Jersey for the first time, closed with a superb performance by artists from the Garden State — including Queen Latifah, Redman, Wyclef Jean, Naughty by Nature and Fetty Wap. Rapper-actor Ice-T, who has loudly represented the West Coast, introduced the performance and reminded the audience that he was born in Newark.

Outside the arena, before the show began, a handful of people were arrested for protesting Newark’s water crisis. Elevated levels of lead have been found in the water, leading city officials to distribute water and water filters to residents.

Inside, Swift kicked off the VMAs, going from eye-popping pop star to guitar-strumming singer-songwriter. She gave a colorful performance of “You Need to Calm Down” — which won video of the year — and later grabbed her guitar to sing the ballad “Lover,” the title track from her album released Friday.

“I just want to say that this is a fan-voted award, so I first want to say thank you to the fans, because in this video several points were made, so you voting for this video means that you want a world where we’ll all treated equally,” she said.

Swift and a number of cast members from the video appeared onstage to accept the honor. The video for “You Need to Calm Down,” a song in which Swift calls out homophobes and her own haters, featured a number of famous faces, including Ellen DeGeneres, Laverne Cox, RuPaul and the cast of “Queer Eye.” Before the video’s release, Swift announced that she supported the Equality Act.

“You Need to Calm Down” also won the video for good honor. Todrick Hall, the multi-faceted entertainer who has appeared in some of Swift’s videos, including “You Need to Calm Down,” accepted the honor.

“If you’re a young child that’s out there watching this show who is different, who feels misunderstood, we’ve never needed you more than now to share your art, share your stories, share your truth with the world no matter what you identify as, who you identify as, who you love. This is such a beautiful place,” said Hall, who co-executive-produced the video.

Swift won three honors, tying with Ariana Grande and Billie Eilish for most wins of the night. Grande, named artist of the year, and Eilish, who won best new artist, didn’t attend the VMAs. BTS also didn’t attend the show, hosted by comedian and actor Sebastian Maniscalco, but they won two honors: best group and best K-pop.

Other winners included Cardi B, who took home best hip-hop for “Money”; Jonas Brothers’ “Sucker” won best pop; “Senorita,” which Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello performed during the show, won best collaboration and best cinematography; and the Chainsmokers and Bebe Rexha’s “Call You Mine” won best dance.

Megan the Stallion, who performed during the pre-show, won best power anthem with her new hit, “Hot Girl Summer,” featuring Ty Dolla $ign and Nicki Minaj.

Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Old Town Road,” the longest-running No. 1 song in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, won song of the year and best direction.

“This is my first award ever,” the 20-year-old newcomer said.

Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

MTV Moon Man
MTV Moon Man arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Lil Nas X
Lil Nas X performs “Panini” at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Cardi B
Cardi B accepts the best hip hop award for “Money” at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Kevin Jonas, Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas
Kevin Jonas, from left, Joe Jonas and Nick Jonas, of the Jonas Brothers accept the best pop award for “Sucker” at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Monica
Monica poses in the press room at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus
Lil Nas X, left, and Billy Ray Cyrus accept the song of the year award for “Old Town Road” at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Rosalia
Rosalia performs a medley at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Normani
Normani arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Lizzo
Lizzo performs a medley at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Bebe Rexha
Bebe Rexha poses in the press room with the award for best dance video for “Call You Mine” at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift, right, accepts the video for good award for “You Need to Calm Down” at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Missy Elliott
Missy Elliott poses in the press room with the Video Vanguard award at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Queen Latifah, John Travolta
Queen Latifah, left, and John Travolta present the video of the year award at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Drea de Matteo, Vincent Pastore
Jamie-Lynn Sigler, from left, Drea de Matteo and Vincent Pastore present the best pop award at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Missy Elliott
Missy Elliott accepts the Video Vanguard award at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Missy Elliott
Video Vanguard recipient Missy Elliott performs a medley at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift performs a medley at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift performs a medley at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Brady Tutton, Drew Ramos, Chance Perez, Sergio Calderon, Michael Conor
Brady Tutton, from left, Drew Ramos, Chance Perez, Sergio Calderon and Michael Conor, of In Real Life, arrive at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Keke Palmer
Keke Palmer arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
LeToya Luckett
LeToya Luckett arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Tana Mongeau
Tana Mongeau arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Jenni Farley, Zack Clayton Carpinello
Jenni Farley, left, also known as JWoww, and Zack Clayton Carpinello kiss as they arrive at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Megan Thee Stallion
Megan Thee Stallion, center, performs at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
DJ Khaled
DJ Khaled arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Bebe Rexha
Bebe Rexha arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Bad Bunny
Bad Bunny arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift poses with fans as she arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Shawn Mendes
Shawn Mendes arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Alison Brie
Alison Brie arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
J Balvin
J Balvin arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Taylor Swift, right, takes selfies with fans as she arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP/Charles Sykes)
Lizzo attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on Aug. 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Getty Images/Dimitrios Kambouris)
Lizzo arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Evan Agostini)
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – AUGUST 26: Lance Bass attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Getty Images for MTV/Astrid Stawiarz)
Taylor Swift arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Evan Agostini)
Taylor Swift arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Evan Agostini)
Megan Thee Stallion arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Evan Agostini)
DJ Khaled arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Evan Agostini)
Amara LaNegra attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on Aug. 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Getty Images for MTV/Jamie McCarthy)
Bianca Leonor Quinones, left, and 6lack arrive at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Evan Agostini)
Zara Larsson attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on Aug. 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Getty Images for MTV/Astrid Stawiarz)
Johnny Venus and Doctur Dot of EarthGang attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on Aug. 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Getty Images for MTV/Jamie McCarthy)
MTV Moon Man arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Evan Agostini)
Ava Max arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP/Charles Sykes)
Christopher Velez, Richard Camacho, Erick Brian Colon, Zabdiel De Jesus, and Joel Pimentel, of CNCO, arrive at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Evan Agostini)
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MTV Moon Man
Lil Nas X
Cardi B
Kevin Jonas, Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas
Monica
Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus
Rosalia
Normani
Lizzo
Bebe Rexha
Taylor Swift
Missy Elliott
Queen Latifah, John Travolta
Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Drea de Matteo, Vincent Pastore
Missy Elliott
Missy Elliott
Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift
Brady Tutton, Drew Ramos, Chance Perez, Sergio Calderon, Michael Conor
Keke Palmer
LeToya Luckett
Tana Mongeau
Jenni Farley, Zack Clayton Carpinello
Megan Thee Stallion
DJ Khaled
Bebe Rexha
Bad Bunny
Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift
Shawn Mendes
Alison Brie
J Balvin

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