The unofficial theme for this year's MTV VMAs was most definitely girl power. From Rihanna's get-out-of-your-seat opening performance to Beyoncé's 16-minute mini concert, the night featured music's top females slaying from start to finish. In the midst of thrilling sets by everyone from Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj to Britney Spears, trophies were handed out to Calvin Harris, Fifth Harmony and big-winner Queen Bey, who scored eight awards including Video of the Year. The "Formation" singer now holds the crown for most wins ever at the annual awards show.
Here, we round up the five most talked about moments from the 2016 MTV VMAs.
BEYONCE GETS IN FORMATION
The singer treated fans to a 16-minute snippet from her Formation world tour show. After making headlines after walking the red carpet with her daughter Blue Ivy, the cast of her Lemonade short film and the mothers of shooting victims Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Oscar Grant, the songstress took the stage to deliver a memorable medley of some of her most powerful songs.
DRAKE LOVES RIHANNA
They've worked together on a series of number one hit songs and have been rumoured to be dating on and off for years, but it appears the time has come for Drake to publicly declare his love and admiration for Rihanna. After buying a billboard to congratulate the singer on her Vanguard honour, the Toronto native suited up to introduce the Bajan beauty and he didn't mince words. "[Rihanna] is someone I've been in love with since I was 22," said the rapper, adding, "She's one of my best friends in the world. She's a living breathing legend in our industry."
RIHANNA PROVES HER ICON STATUS
The 28-year-old got to work during the show, delivering four unforgettable performances. As this year's Michael Jackson Vanguard Award recipient, the singer was given the chance to showcase why she is an icon and boy did she deliver. Kicking off the show with a sassy rendition of hits "We Found Love" and "Where Have You Been," the Barbados native returned later for a dancehall inspired take on "Rude Boy," “What’s My Name” and “Work." After belting out "Needed Me" and "B**** Betta Have My Money," the singer returned to close out the show with a vocally-stunning medley of her songs "Stay," "Diamonds," and "Love on the Brain."
As one of the VMAs most iconic performers, Britney had everyone on the edge of their seats as she returned to the stage for the first time since 2007. With her freshly-released album Glory climbing the charts, a hugely successful residency waiting for her in Vegas and a must-see appearance on Carpool Karaoke under her belt, the pop princess reclaimed her VMAs crown with a stripped down performance of her single "Make Me..."
The rapper delivered a four-minute monologue about art and influence before debuting his NSFW video for his song "Fade." The provocative featurette sees singer Teyana Taylor channelling Flashdance as she dances around an empty gym showing off her enviable physique. In true Kanye fashion, the video ventures into unusual territory when Teyana and her NBA player fiancé Iman Shumpert shower together before laying down in a herd of sheep with their baby girl.