Missy Elliot’s two decade contribution to music was marked at the VMAs while Taylor Swift’s activism won twice.
Taylor Swift and Missy Elliot dominated the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) as activism past and present was honoured.
Swift scooped the music video of the year award for her gay pride anthem You Need To Calm Down, and took her co-producer Todrick Hall onstage with her to collect the gong.
Hall said: “If you’re a young child that’s out there watching this show who is different, who feels misunderstood, we’ve never needed you more than now to share your art, share your stories, share your truth with the world no matter what you identify as, who you identify as, who you love, this is such a beautiful place.”
The video for the song, which calls out homophobia and those who send her hate messages online, featured famous faces including the Queer Eye fab five, Laverne Cox, Ru Paul and Ellen DeGeneres.
Swift announced she supported the Equality Act before the video was released, and on collecting the award, said: “I just want to say that this is a fan-voted award, so I first want to say thank you to the fans because in this video several points were made, so you voting for this video means that you want a world where we’ll all treated equally.”
She mimed tapping a watch during the comment, which will be seen as a side swipe at the Trump administration.
The video also won video for good, which was presented by Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness, who said: “It’s 2019 and not caring is not cute.”