than the queen herself, Beyoncé. On Sunday night (August 25), she took
viewers on an emotional journey with a well-orchestrated medley from her
recent, self-titled album, that ended with tears as she accepted the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award from her husband Jay Z.
What more could we have asked for?
Bey’s set began on a very emotional note, with the cameras zoomed in
tightly on her face, as she sang “Mine” surrounded by dancers with
porcelain skin, and slowly transitioned into “Haunted.” Her first few
songs were the most soul-baring of the night, as she continued with “No
Angel” and “Jealous,” emphasizing the weight of all those lyrics. And
while those emotions came pouring out, the dancers around her went
through several outfit changes, to fit the mood of each track.
By the time Bey got to “Blow,” things started to heat up. For this
number, she and her dancers lined up cabaret style, with the word
“Cherry” lit up behind her in neon letters (you know, “turn that cherry
out”) and she really began to put her hips into it. With the lights
hitting that bedazzled fitted bodysuit, it was nothing short of
And, of course, when “Drunk in Love” came on the crowd really started
to lose their composure. Bey was posted up on a set of steps,
surrounded by dancers who were in headstands around her, only giving the
audience a great rare view…if you know what I mean. Eventually she
sauntered down the stage for that “surfboard” grind and the cameras cut
to Taylor Swift getting busy in the audience.
Aside from Taylor, “Orange is the New Black” star Laverne Cox was
arguably the most excited fan in The Forum, completely losing her mind
to every single track that was performed.
“Rocket” and “Partition” were next, and just like the sexy video for
the latter (which Bey said was inspired by a visit to the Crazy Horse
Cabaret in Paris), she performed some scintillating acrobatics on a
small platform, flipping over and whipping her hair to and fro and then
headed to the stripper poles.
There was still more left, though. Like “Flawless,” which was
the point in the show when Beyoncé really shook off all of the soulful
vibes and just went for all out breaking-it-down. On the song, she makes
an important feminist statement by sampling lines from Nigerian author
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and it was on bold display during her VMA
Lines from the poem were splashed across the screen in bold, pink
letters as she and her dancers took their positions in the dark. “We
teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller,” the
screen read. “We say to girls, ‘You can have ambition, but not too much.
You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you
will threaten the man.”
Now that she was putting it all out there, Bey also slipped in that line from the remix of “Flawless,”
where she declares that “of course sometimes sh– goes down when it’s a
billion dollars on the elevator,” in reference to the fight between Jay
Z and her sister Solange. At that point, we got another shot of Jay Z
and Blue Ivy sitting front row in the audience.
After this Bey kept the crowd lifted with “Yonce,” and “XO,” and then
completed the night’s emotional arc with family footage playing behind
her as she performed “Blue.”
Jay and Blue were so proud, and we knew that because Hov was beaming
when he made his way onto the stage to present his wife with the Michael
Jackson Video Vanguard Award, crowning her “the best living
entertainer.” Beyoncé couldn’t stop the tears from flowing, especially
while her daughter was clapping up a storm on stage.
“I’m so full, I have nothing to say,” she said, all choked up. “I’m
filled with so much gratitude, I just thank God for this moment. I love
ya’ll so much. Blue I love you Blue, my beloved (Jay Z) I love you. My
fans, I love you. MTV, I love you, goodnight.”
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