Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran take top awards at politics-fueled MTV VMAs

By Ray Downs  |  Updated Aug. 28, 2017 at 6:19 AM
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Aug. 27 (UPI) -- The 2017 MTV Video Music Awards Sunday was a mix of music and politics.

The show, hosted by Katy Perry, began with a performance by Kendrick Lamar, who went into the awards show with eight nominations, the most of any performer this year.

It didn't take long for political statements to be part of the show. Soon after Lamar's performance, Paris Jackson took the stage to announce the winner for Best Pop Video. But before Jackson announced the winner, she referenced the violent protests in Charlottesville, Va. this month.

"We must show these nazi, white supremacist jerks in Charlottesville and all over the country that as a nation with liberty as our slogan, we have zero tolerance for their violence, their hatred and their discrimination," Jackson said. "We must resist."

Later, MTV rebuked President Donald Trump's recent comments about potentially prohibiting transgender people from serving in the military by inviting active duty transgender military service members to the stage.

"Any patriot who is putting their own life at risk to fight for our freedom and stands for equality is a hero at MTV, and to young people everywhere," MTV president Chris McCarthy said to CNN in a statement.

Aside from political statements, music was still the focus of the night. Lamar and Ed Sheeran were the big winners of the night, with the rapper winning Best Video of the Year for "Humble" and the Irish singer-songwriter taking home Best Artist of the Year honors.

"This is only my second-ever VMA," Sheeran said in his acceptance speech. "Thank you to all the fans. Thank you to my record label. Jason Koenig, who made my videos on this album. Yeah, cheers!"

"Humble" also won several technical awards, including Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction.

Khalid beat out several young stars, including Kodak Black, to win Best New Artist. And Pink was presented with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award for her 17-year career that has earned several VMA award nominations.

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