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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Big Tributes and Big Dreams in The Big City

It was a New York state of mind as last Sunday’s 2009 VMA’s at Radio City Music Hall embraced a fun filled night of stunning performances, shocking behaviors, and a sassy British host, Russel Brand. The show opened up with a personal remembrance of the late King of Pop from another iconic pop legend, Madonna herself. The crowd stood silent as she recounted memories of their late night dinners and intense conversations. She compared similar childhoods and careers paths, but repeatedly titled Michael Jackson as the ‘King.’

‘Long live the King,’ Madonna told the crowd, which included Joe and Jermaine Jackson.

The night progressed with a remarkable Tribute to Michael Jackson, with a full stage of famous choreographers and renowned dancers that never missed a beat. They danced with perfection to the infamous songs of ‘Thriller,’ ‘Bad,’ and ‘Smooth Criminal.’ And just when the emotions could not become any higher, the music video ‘Scream,’ began to play.

The stage became filled with white as the sibling duet of ‘Scream’ began to play on the screen. The entire audience got up on their feet waiting for the arrival of Ms. Janet Jackson. It was her first performance since her late brother’s death this past June. The glass door shattered as she came through the fog with a serious face and serious intention to dance as hard as she could. The most exhilarating moment was Janet dancing in sequence with her brother’s image in the background. When the number was over, she held her head up, bowed, and walked off the stage, leaving nothing but the sound of screams in the audience.

At that point nothing could take away from the moment of missing the late great ‘King of Pop.’ Except one.

It was the first award of the night, Best Female Video. Nominees included the ‘Queens of Pop’, such as Beyonce, Pink, Lady Gaga, and Taylor Swift. With a tough pool of musical talent such as that, it was the young angelic face of Taylor Swift that won the crown. As Swift began her acceptance speech with a shaky sweet voice, it was not even 10-seconds in before rap artist Kanye West charged the stage and stole her microphone, to give her some backhanded words of encouragement. ‘I’m sorry, and I’m going to let you finish’hellip;but Beyonce did one of the best videos of all time,’ West said. ‘One of the best videos of all time!’ With a quick cut to the next act, as well as Swift’s microphone, she was directed off stage to get ready for her performance on the’ F train.

Performances of the night continued to top one after the other. Best new artist winner, Lady Gaga, did her first performance at the VMA’s which began as a theatrical rendition of her hit single ‘Paparazzi.’ She crossed boundaries as she came on stage with her eccentric costume, and played the piano with one leg on the keys. But as the ending to her already notable performance, fake blood cascaded from her costume, and she was lifted in the air by her arm and faked her death. The crowd was taken aback by the gory dramatics. Pink also had a high performance, with an entire trapeze act and a hot pink pasty on one of her breasts. Green Day, which won three awards, rocked out and spontaneously made hundreds of fans join them on stage, which was not a thrill for the bouncers that almost threw fans off stage.

Beyonce performed ‘Sweet Dreams’and ‘Single Ladies,’ with her barely there sequin costume, surrounded by over 50 platinum wearing dancers which included the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes. Mrs. Carter took the award of the night for Video of the Year. Her acceptance speech was brief, as she surprisingly called country singer sensation, Taylor Swift to come out on stage, and claim back her five minutes of fame. The two ladies in red shared a hug and laughs and perfectly ended the earlier spectacle of Mr. West’s shocking behavior, who was removed and booed,with even the slightest mention of his name.

With an array of huge moments at the award show, the biggest was the anticipated trailer of Micheal Jackson’s ‘This is it,’ which premiered with sneak peek footage of the icons personal practices of his London tour, due in theatres on October 28, 2009.

As a great end to a rather dramatic night, only Jay Z could enter the VMA’s with a presidential entrance and a closing performance of ‘Empire State of Mind,’ featuring the beautiful Alicia Keys. Tossing his signature NY Yankees fitted hat into the crowd, the two native New Yorkers made the room rock, with a background of some of New York’s most stunning skylines. It was truly a night with bright lights in the big city.

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