Relive the Best Musical Performances From This Year’s MTV VMAs

From Olivia Rodrigo to Lil Nas X and beyond.

Last night’s 2021 MTV Video Music Awards was a hot night for music—and celebrity power couples. (We’re still reeling over the fact that Megan Fox and Kourtney Kardashian introduced Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker as their “future babies daddies.”) Justin Bieber led the award show with seven nominations and took to the stage for a special performance of “Stay” and “Ghost” with The Kid LAROI. Emerging artist Olivia Rodrigo also had a big night, taking home three VMAs including Best New Artist, Push Performance of the Year, and Song of the Year for her record-breaking hit “Drivers License.”

After pivoting to a no-audience format last year, MTV returned to its original layout with a live audience front and center. Over 20 artists graced the VMAs stage to perform this year’s top hits, which featured Kacey Musgraves, Lil Nas X, Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendes, and the program’s host, Doja Cat. Watch all of the performances below. 

LaLa and Empire State of Mind by Alicia Keys feat. Swae Lee

Girl From Rio by Anitta

Industry Baby and Montero by Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow

Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See, Scenario, Touch It, Pass the Courvoisier, and Look at Me Now Medley by Busta Rhymes feat. Spliff Star

Don’t Go Yet by Camila Cabello

Have Mercy by Chlöe Bailey

Been Like This and You Right by Doja Cat

Star-Crossed by Kacey Musgraves

Future Starts Now by Kim Petras

Bad Habits and Shivers by Ed Sheeran

Learn to Fly, Shame Shame, and Everlong by Foo Fighters

Stay and Ghost by Justin Bieber feat. The Kid LAROI

Papercuts by Machine Gun Kelly feat. Travis Barker

Wild Side by Normani

La Funka by Ozuna


Summer of Love by Shawn Mendes feat. Tainy

Lifetime and It Gets Better by Swedish House Mafia

Saturday by Twenty One Pilots

Bitch From da Souf, Muwop, and Big Energy by Latto

Trap, Sucks to Be You, and Roses by SAINt JHN

good 4 u by Olivia Rodrigo

Among the winners were Lil Nas X (Video of the Year), Justin Bieber (Artist of the Year, Best Pop, and more), BTS (Group of the Year and Song of the Summer), and Doja Cat and SZA (Best Collaboration). While last night’s 2021 MTV Video Music Awards celebrated this year’s chart toppers and the most influential songs, artists, and collaborations, there’s still a few months left in the year. So, be sure to keep an eye out to see what your favorite artists are up for the rest of 2021. And if you’re ever missing live music, you can always circle back to this roundup to relive the best 2021 VMA performances.