The Weekend won Video of the Year and Best R&B single for "Blinding Lights."
The Black Eyed Peas gave the final performance of the night, singing "Vida Loca" alongside Nicky Jam and Tyga. The group then brought out "I Gotta Feeling" as a virtual UFO flew across the New York City skyline.
Keke Palmer, the host, performed herself at a drive-in theater that Maluma performed at earlier. Palmer performed her song "Snack." CNCO then took over at the same location and performed "Beso."
Lady Gaga was honored as the first-ever Tricon award winner. Gaga was celebrated for her music and film career along with her activism. Gaga said she failed multiple times as a musician and actress, and noted how philanthropy has become a big part of her career.
Doja Cat, who won Best New Artist, started her performance by paying tribute to MTV News. The singer wore a revealing outfit that also contained gemstones as she sang "Say So" followed by "Like That." The set resembled a strange, alien planet.
H.E.R. won Video for Good for "I Can't Breathe," her song and video about George Floyd, racial injustice and police brutality.
Gaga also took home Artist of the Year. She showed up to accept the award wearing a silver dress with white fur. Gaga also had silver hair and a silver mask on as she told fans about believing in yourself.
Gaga and Ariana Grande rocked the show with a performance of their song, "Rain on Me." Gaga started the mini concert off with "911." The pop star was shown watching a 1990s version of the VMAs before she left a bedroom on a stripper pole.
Grande then joined her for "Rain on Me." The duo were surrounded by dancers on a dark stage. Gaga transitioned to a piano shaped like a brain for "Stupid Love" and was later joined by dancers again. She ended things by returning to the bedroom and going back to sleep.
Grande and Justin Bieber won Best Music Video from Home for "Stuck With U." The video was filmed at Grande and Bieber's homes and featured clips of fans.
Gaga and Grande won "Song of the Year" for "Rain on Me."
Maluma, who won Best Latin for "Que Pena," sang "Hawai" while on a motorcycle before he was joined by dancers wearing masks onstage. The performance center was similar to a drive-in movie theater with fans seated inside of cars.
Taylor Swift won Best Direction for "The Man." Swift directed the video herself and thanked her team for believing in her.
Lady Gaga and Arianna Grande won Best Collaboration for "Rain on Me." Gaga and Grande lead all artists with nine nominations each.
Miley Cyrus performed her new song "Midnight Sky." Cyrus was engulfed in a red light followed by a blue light. She then walked up a set up stairs and rode a disco ball, a callback to her music video for "Wrecking Ball."
DaBaby took the stage and performed "Peep Hole," "Blind" and "Rockstar." The rapper appeared in handcuffs and in the back of a police car while performing "Blind."
The Weeknd kicked off the show by performing "Blinding Lights" on a rooftop overlooking Manhattan. The singer was joined by a helicopter that flew by. The performance ended in fireworks.
Keke Palmer hosted the VMAs. The actress dedicated the show to actor and Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman right before the broadcast started.
Palmer also called for the end of systemic racism and stated that music has healing powers.
The ceremony was moved from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn due to the COVID-19 pandemic.