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VMAs 2022: Red Hot Chili Peppers Rock Out for Global Icon Honor

Group also won the best rock video trophy later in the broadcast for 'Black Summer'
(Photo by Arturo Holmes / Getty Images)

The Red Hot Chili Peppers stormed through performances of “Black Summer” and “Can’t Stop” tonight (Aug. 28) at the MTV Video Music Awards as part of a Cheech and Chong-introduced segment honoring the group with the Global Icon award. It was the Chili Peppers’ first performance on the VMAs since 2000.

“I did want to thank the sassy mistress known as MTV for supporting us for a thousand years or more,” frontman Anthony Kiedis said after the performance (during which, surprisingly, only Flea was shirtless). “Really, really, really, I want to thank Flea and John and Chad Smith for giving me a purpose in my life for the last 40 years. I would have been a free-floating disaster in space if not for these boys.”

Said Smith, “there’s another musical icon, global icon, and his name is my brother Taylor Hawkins. I want to dedicate this to Taylor and his family. I love them, and I miss him everyday. Fly on, Hawk.” Added Flea, “to everyone of you out there watching on TV and here, I love you,” before rattling off a strong of nonsensical things he also loves (cockroaches, trees, etc.). Guitarist John Frusciante did not speak on the mic, with Kiedis instead saying his smile does all the talking.

At the tail end of the broadcast, “Black Summer” won the best rock trophy, with Kiedis and Flea engaging in a comic “thank-off” of collaborators such as producer Rick Rubin. The Peppers recently released “Tippa My Tongue,” the first single from their second Rubin-produced double-album of this year, Return of the Dream Canteen. The project is due out on Oct. 14.

The group’s stadium tour with opening acts Thundercat and The Strokes continues Tuesday in Miami.