Beyonce, Britney Spears and Kim Kardashian attend the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards in New York. Rough Cut - no reporter narration
NATURAL ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Beyonce dominated the MTV Video Music awards on Sunday, prowling the stage with a 15 minute medley from her "Lemonade" album and taking home eight statuettes, including the top prize - video of the year. On a night when women ruled, Britney Spears returned to the VMA stage for the first time in a decade, and Rihanna performed four times to mark her lifetime achievement award. Beyonce brought the house down at New York's Madison Square Garden, stringing together five of her "Lemonade" album tracks about betrayal, revenge and female empowerment in a song and dance routine that brought a long standing ovation. VMA organizers had announced only three hours before Sunday's show began that Beyonce would perform. The singer arrived on the red carpet accompanied by the mothers of three African-American men who have died at the hands of U.S. police in the past two years. Her politically charged "Formation" beat Adele's 2015 comeback single "Hello," Drake's "Hotline Bling," Justin Bieber's "Sorry" and Kanye West's sleeping nude celebrity look-alikes in "Famous" for video of the year. She also won best female video and prizes for choreography, editing, and long form video in the awards that are voted on by fans. It was Britney Spears' first time on the VMA stage since her controversial 2007 performance when her personal and professional life was falling apart, and follows the release of a new album released last week. Kanye West, who has often hijacked the live VMA show, presented a new video for his single "Fade." West preceded the video with a rambling, improvised speech that touched on poverty, his wife Kim Kardashian, his long-running feud with Taylor Swift, and violence in black neighborhoods. Many of pop music's biggest names, including Justin Bieber, Britain's Adele and Taylor Swift were absent on Sunday.