Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Beyonce, Adele, Chris Brown, Pitbull and Ne-Yo all sharing the same stage in one night provides for an evening of musical genius and exhilarating performances. I experienced this first hand last night at the MTV Video Music Awards. Chris Brown flew around the Nokia Theater, Beyonce announced the “love growing inside of her,” and Jay and Kanye’s collaborative efforts were debuted during their “Otis” performance. The evening was one of surprise, energy, and innovation. Lady Gaga defined what it means to be an entertainer, and yet again, exceeded everyone’s expectations.
So often we hear about the personal triumphs and tragedies of stars like Britney Spears, but in a different tone, the VMAs celebrated the artist for her extraordinary career. Britney changed the music industry, and in the great words of Gaga, it wouldn’t be the same without her. With both her personal and professional lives back on track, Britney received the recognition she so deserves, by being awarded MTV’s Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.
Watching the VMA’s live is a completely different experience than watching it on TV. Through the magic of television, the show is cut and produced in such a way that captures the evening at it’s best. What you don’t see is the innumerous amount of MTV staff fretting about during commercial breaks, preparing for the next award presentation or performance. Somewhat less glamorous than you would expect, backstage at the VMA’s is small and very private, with each artist given his or her own dressing room to prep for presenting or performing. Attending the VMAs with all access was like looking under the hood of a car and seeing the industry through a sharper lens.
In the same light, hanging backstage and bumping into Britney Spears, Kelly Rowland, Zoe Saldana and Justin Bieber would normally seem surreal, but given the casual environment behind the scenes, it was suprisingly normal. Britney was headed towards her dressing room accompanied by sister Jamie Lynn, Zoe was having a quick pre-show bite in the VIP lounge, and the Biebs was flooded with interviews before taking his seat next to girlfriend Selena Gomez. The humanity of the “talent,” as they are commonly referred to as, is a side we rarely get to see.
A common theme throughout the night was one that encouraged aspirational young artists. When Lady Gaga accepted her award for best female video, she assured her “little monsters” that they too can realize their dreams. It is likely that Gaga is so adored by her fans for this exact reason. Though she may possibly be the most iconic artist of our generation, she remains grounded, humble, and utterly thankful for all of the success she has had. Put your claws up!
[celebrity images sourced from mtv.com]
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