Singer Miley Cyrus poses backstage after winning Video of the Year for "Wrecking Ball" during the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards in Inglewood, California Aug. 24, 2014. Kevork Djansezian/Reuters
Miley Cyrus has won the Video of the Year award at the MTV Video Music Awards for her hit Wrecking Ball.
The skin-and-soul-baring video reportedly has nearly 700 million views on YouTube since debuting last September.
Unlike last year's VMAs, when Cyrus twerked and danced shockingly onstage, she took a back seat Sunday night by sending her guest, who said he was homeless, onstage.
However, the highlight of the show came courtesy of Beyoncé, who closed the evening with an epic nearly 20-minute performance. She was joined onstage by her husband and daughter, which brought her to tears.
Beyoncé sang and danced in a metallic leotard — while Blue Ivy and Jay Z watched from their seats — as the diva declared: "MTV, welcome to my world."
The family was onstage together as Beyoncé accepted the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award. Jay Z called her the "greatest living entertainer."
A teary-eyed Beyoncé thanked her fans and looked at her daughter and husband, telling them she loved them.
Nicki Minaj helped open the MTV Video Music Awards with a Bang as she brought her Anaconda video to life with a rump-shaking performance and had a wardrobe malfunction when she performed with Ariana Grande and Jessie J.
- Miley Cyrus: Video of the Year/Wrecking Ball
- Fifth Harmony: Artist to Watch/Miss Movin On
- Lorde: Best Rock Video/Royals
- Drake: Best HHip-Hop Video/Hold On
- Ariana Grande: Best Pop Video/Problem
- Ed Sheeran: Best Male Video /Sing
- Katy Perry: Best Female Video/Dark Horse
- 5 Seconds of Summer: Best Lyric Video/Don't Stop
Minaj first wore a green top and shorts, rapping, dancing and exciting the crowd — except Rita Ora, who stared blankly when the camera panned by. But when Minaj performed Bang Bang, the rapper was far more subdued as she held the front of her outfit together after a long split appeared.
Grande kicked off the show with a performance of her EDM hit, Break Free in a Beyoncé-inspired leotard.
Toronto rapper Drake brought home the Top Rap Video award.
'Call to action'
MTV president Stephen Friedman said in a statement just hours before the show that the network would air a 15-second spot focusing on race in hopes of spurring a discussion about the events surrounding the Aug. 9 shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer.
Michael Brown became an instant symbol of racial injustice as protesters flooded into the streets of Ferguson, Mo. The federal government has launched an investigation.
"It's a call to action to our audience that we have to confront our own bias head-on before we can truly create change," Friedman said.
The announcement only added to the buildup to what is annually one of music's most dramatic and unpredictable awards shows.
Days before the big show, Azalea slipped offstage while performing Fancy at a MTV benefit concert, later posting the video on Instagram and making fun of herself. At a rehearsal, a show worker fell from one of the winding, sloping platforms on the stage at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., which reopened in January after a $100-million makeover.
And rap mogul Suge Knight was wounded in a shooting early Sunday at a West Hollywood nightclub for an unofficial pre-VMA party hosted by Chris Brown.
The back-to-back drama made the popular awards trend on social media even before an award was handed out, though trophies often take a back seat at the VMAs, which are all about the moments.
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