Music

Taylor Swift gets MTV's Video of the Year, 2019's top-selling album

NEW YORK : Pop superstar Taylor Swift lit up MTV's Video Music Awards on Monday, taking home the award for Video of the Year and nodding to her winning song's celebration of LGTBQ rights in accepting her prize.

She was among the top award-getters at the awards show held in Newark, New Jersey.

Swift nabbed the coveted award for her track You Need To Calm Down on the heels of releasing her new album Lover, which has become 2019's top-selling in the US after just two days. She had opened the show with a rainbow-coloured performance of You Need To Calm Down and the title track Lover.

"In this video, several points were made," Swift said to applause during her acceptance speech.

That it won the fan-chosen award shows that "you want a world where we are all treated equally under the law", the 29-year-old said, noting the video ended with a petition in support of the Equality Act, which would prevent discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation.

Hip-hop iconoclast Missy Elliott meanwhile ignited the crowd with a performance befitting her status as the Video Vanguard Award recipient.

After she performed a medley of her greatest hits, rap queen Cardi B dubbed the 48-year-old rapper a "living legend" in presenting her with the prize.

"I promised I wouldn't cry; I cry (at) every award," Elliott said. "I've worked diligently for over two decades."

A notably absent Ariana Grande, who posted a banner first half of the year, won three awards including Artist of the Year.

Breakout artist Billie Eilish, who could not attend because she is on tour in Russia, won the trophy for Best New Artist.

"Videos and visuals have been one of the top priorities in my life," the 17-year-old said in a pre-taped video clip.

"It feels really, really good to be recognised for that."

US rapper and overnight star Lil Nas X won the prize for Best Song thanks to his wildly viral Old Town Road, while Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello won Best Collaboration for Senorita. The duo performed a steamy rendition of that hit, which jumped this week to overtake Eilish and Lil Nas X on the top US singles chart. - AFP

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