2023 MTV Video Music Awards: See Shakira, Lil Wayne &

master mentalism tricks

New Jersey’s Prudential Center became the center of the music universe on Tuesday, September 12, as recording artists converged and cheered each other on at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards, with the one and only Nicki Minaj as emcee.

Lil Wayne and Olivia Rodrigo opened the festivities — one with an explosive medley and another with a show-stopper — and that was just the warm-up. Check out those acts and more performances below.

Lil Wayne

Weezy opened the show in fiery fashion, performing “Back That Azz Up,” “Uproar,” and “Kat Food.” (And yes, that is a Missy Elliott Sample you hear.)

Olivia Rodrigo

Rodrigo brought the house down — literally — as the set collapsed around her during her rendition of “Vampire.” It was all an act, though, and she came back on stage to sing “Get Him Back!”

Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion

In case the percussion wasn’t a dead giveaway, these two rap stars brought the “Bongos” — and no microphones were harmed in the making of this performance.

Demi Lovato

True to the hard-rock angle of her upcoming remix album Revamped, Lovato gave sharper edges to her pop hits “Heart Attack,” “Sorry Not Sorry,” and “Cool for the Summer” on the VMAS stage.


No, Kaliii wasn’t performing “Area Codes” from another area code — she lit up VMAs’ Doritos Extended Play Stage. It was a short performance, but she got more airplay later in the broadcast with a performance of “K Toven.”


The Brazilian singer told us who she “Used to Be,” she brought the “Funk Rave” to the stage, … and then she got a “Grip”!

Doja Cat

This rapper certainly got our “Attention” — and that of audience member Tiffany Haddish — with her first VMAs song. Then she had a chance to “Paint the Town Red” and to exorcise some “Demons.”


This year’s Video Vanguard Award honoree blessed the audience with a medley of her greatest hits, including “She Wolf,” “Te Felicito,” and “Whenever, Wherever.” And no, her hips still aren’t lying.

Nicki Minaj

Attn: Barbz — this year’s VMAs host sang her song “Last Time I Saw You” and then debuted a new, unnamed single from her upcoming album, Pink Friday 2.

Karol G

Pecs and six-packs surrounded this reggaetón superstar as she performed a medley of “Oki Doki” of “Tá OK” — and that’s oki doki with us.

Renee Rapp

In case you didn’t know it, this star of The Sex Lives of College Girls has a music career! She performed her single “Too Well” on the Extended Play Stage, and later in the broadcast, she sang “Pretty Girls.”

Sean “Diddy” Combs

Diddy started his Global Icon Award medley with a new track — “Another One of Me” from his upcoming release, The Love Album: Off the Grid — before segueing into hits like “I’ll Be Missing You,” “It’s All About the Benjamins,” and “Bad Boy for Life,” and Keyshia Cole and his son King joined him on stage.

Peso Pluma

This 24-year-old became the first música Mexicana star to perform at the MTV Video Music Awards when he performed “Lady Gaga” on Tuesday night, according to Rolling Stone.

Stray Kids

Not long after winning the VMA for Best K-Pop, this eight-member group performed their winning song, “S-Class,” which helped their album 5-Star debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in June.

The Warning

Fans of this Mexican hard rock band probably wanted “More” after the group’s Extended Play Stage performance. Luckily, they got another chance to shine, performing “Evolve” later in the broadcast.

Metro Boomin, Future, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, Swae Lee & Nav

Metro hit the VMAs stage with some of his friends, performing “Superhero (Heroes & Villains)” with Future and “Calling” with A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, Swae Lee, and Nav.

Fall Out Boy

Marking their first VMAs performance since 2007, this pop-punk band performed their updated spin on Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” on a flaming stage outside the arena.


Anitta came “Back For More” on Tuesday, returning to the stage with one of K-Pop’s most successful groups.


Damiano David, lead singer of this Italian rock band, went from vocalist to videographer, helping to film the group’s VMAs performance himself.

Kelsea Ballerini

The country-pop star sang “Penthouse (Healed Version),” a single she introduced in May as a reworked version of a single she released in February.

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Doug E. Fresh, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, LL Cool J & Darryl “DMC” McDaniels

At the end of the show, hip-hop legends celebrated a half-century of the genre with a medley of their greatest hits. (And now that NCIS: Los Angeles is done, maybe we’ll get another LL Cool J album one of these days!)

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