The one true winner of the VMAs was undoubtedly Beyoncé, who performed a powerful medley of songs from the surprise self-titled album she dropped at the tail-end of last year. It was a fitting move for the MTV ceremony, since when when Beyoncé was released, it came complete with a video for each track. Queen Bey delivered an emotionally stunning set, channeling soulful R&B despair into "Mine," "Haunted," and "Ghost," before launching into the glossy-eyed, innuendo-laden romps of "Drunk In Love" and "Partition." In her fiercest moment, Bey took on "***Flawless" as the word "FEMINIST" shone brightly in the background behind her.
During her epic, sixteen-minute, year-long retrospective our Houston heroine never once lost steam and in fact outperformed every other act of the night; her ballads were mined from something deep (we saw her tear up at least once), her sultry strip-teases were free from the show's other displays of twerk and cliché, and her backup dancers were just people to fill the stage (except for those French twins, whom she shockingly kept up with).
After "XO," a song she dedicated to her fans, the singer was presented with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award by her husband Jay Z and their daughter Blue Ivy. Heartwarming as it may have looked, the display seemed like the couple's curated reply to their current, much-talked-about relationship dramas. (Note: Solange was nowhere to be seen and Jay Z sat next to Kelly Rowland during his wife's time on stage.) But that doesn't mean it's fake — the singer used VMAs stage to announce her pregnancy back in 2012. And it's hard to care too much about such quibbles after watching the Queen sing louder, work harder, and booty-drop lower than every other artist at the show.
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BEYONCE FEELS HER SONGS LIKE WE FEEL HER SONGS #VMAs2014— SPIN (@SPINmagazine) August 25, 2014
This is now officially the BMAs. Sorry not sorry #VMAs2014.— SPIN (@SPINmagazine) August 25, 2014