The phenomenal performance, however, had one hiccup. Though not against showing some flesh (see: the cover art for "Anaconda"), Nicki spent the better part of "Bang Bang" clinging to her mini dress to avoid a wardrobe malfunction.
Before the trio took to the stage for the banging finale, Nicki pulled off a vivid performance of “Anaconda,” dressed in a jewel-encrusted green bra and matching short-shorts. True to the booty-centric lyrics of her latest hit, Nicki spent most of her time performing choreography that accentuated her legendary posterior.
Speaking of outfits, there were some cheeky highlights on this year’s VMA red carpet. Before the broadcast, Katy Perry teased her outfit choice in a tweet, writing, “WE’RE GOIN FO DA BEST WORST DRESSED TODAY #THISISHOWWEDOVMAS.”
The 29-year-old “This Is How We Do” singer made a memorable arrival in an orange Lamborghini decked out in a patchwork denim gown. She brought along her very own Justin Timberlake in the form of rapper Riff Raff, also donning a full denim ensemble (both Versace) in homage to Justin andBritney Spears' unforgettable jean-centric outfits at the 2001 American Music Awards.
American model, singer and actress Amber Rose injected the show with her own dose of nostalgia, sporting a dress made entirely of stringy silver chains. It was a nearly naked look reminiscent of Rose McGowan’s shocking show-all style at the 1998 VMAs.
And while the stellar show was fun and full of suspense, there were brief periods of solemnity that tied it all together. Common took to the stage and requested that he and the audience share in a moment of silence for Ferguson, Missouri’s Michael Brown, who was recently shot and killed by an armed police officer. Even Miley Cyrus relinquished her time at the podium, giving the spotlight to a former homeless youth named Jesse after she was announced as the winner of “Video of the Year.” Jesse used the stage time to discuss the plight of teen homelessness, which is a reality for more than 1.6 million teens living in the United States today.
And lastly, because no award show is complete without her, Beyoncé wowed audiences with a 15-minute medley that spanned the majority of her eponymous, massively popular visual album. The 32-year-old “XO” singer combined a number of projections with rigorous choreography, and one young fan in particular couldn’t help from rustling in her seat for the opportunity to dance along.
While Beyoncé sang "Flawless," her daughter, Blue Ivy, was seen mimicking the video's signature hand movements. The show ended with Jay Z and Blue joining Beyoncé on stage for a heartfelt hug and to present the tearful pop sensation with the Michael Jackson Vanguard Award.
Blue's little claps and "go mommy" cheer were music to the ears of pop fans everywhere!