Life

Ariana Grande basically owned the VMAs 2019, and she wasn’t even there

Posted by
Hollie Richardson
Published
backgroundLayer 1
Add this article to your list of favourites
Ariana Grande at the VMAs

Why wasn’t Ariana Grande at the VMAs? She had a very good reason. But there were plenty of other female winners and performers on hand to lead the night…

Female artists dominated the nominations lists at MTV’S Video Music Awards 2019. Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande paved the way by getting the highest number of nominations. They earned 10 nominations each, with Billie Eilish just behind them with nine nods.

Grande went on to win Artist of the Year, the Song of Summer award with her tune Boyfriend and the Best Art Direction award for her 7 Rings video. Although this was clearly a cause for celebration, Grande wasn’t actually there to pick up her awards ⁠— and the internet wants to know why. 

You may also like

VMAs 2019: Halsey’s red carpet rainbow roots is the political beauty trend we’ll all be copying

The answer is because Grande is currently touring in the UK. She performed at Manchester Pride on Sunday, two years after the terrorist attacks at her concert in the city. Grande told the Pride crowd: “Manchester holds a very special place in my heart. I’m so happy to be with you, so thank you for having me. Sorry, I’m so nervous. I had so much more to say but I’m really very overwhelmed. So thank you.”

You may also like

Taylor Swift has received a response from the White House, and it’s (predictably) infuriating

But there were plenty of other female musicians in attendance at the VMAs who ensured this year’s ceremony was a memorable night for women in music. 

Swift opened the show with songs from her new record-breaking album Lover, before going on to win three awards. And Eilish deservedly picked up the Best New Artist award. Missy Elliott also confirmed her icon status by receiving the Vanguard Award. Oh, and Cardi B  was hailed Best Hip Hop. 

It wasn’t just about the award wins, as the incredible performances of the night proved. 

Lizzo performs at the VMAs 2019.
Lizzo performs at the VMAs 2019.

Lizzo gave a vibrant performance of Truth Hurts and Good As Hell in front of a giant inflatable “booty”. Miley Cyrus gave her first emotional perfomance of Slide Away since announcing her split from husband Liam Hemsworth. And Elliott gave us a live medley of all her hits, including Work It and Get Ur Freak On. Normani, formerly of Fifth Harmony, also set Twitter alight with her first killer performance as a solo artist. 

You may also like

Miley Cyrus is teaching us all a valuable lesson of owning who you are

It was a powerful night for women in music. The fact that Grande was such a big winner on the night without even being physically present proves this.

Sign up for our essential edit of what to buy, see, read and do, and also receive our 11-page Ultimate Guide To Making Your Home Feel Bigger.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Images: Getty

Topics

Share this article

Author

Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

Recommended by Hollie Richardson

People

Ariana Grande has a message for anyone blaming her for Mac Miller’s arrest

"Blaming women for a man’s inability to keep his shit together is a very major problem"

Posted by
Megan Murray
Published
Fashion

Ariana Grande and her iconic ponytail are the new face of Givenchy

Meghan Markle's go-to brand just got a new muse

Posted by
Billie Bhatia
Published
People

Ariana Grande is being made an honorary citizen of Manchester

Give the woman the keys to the city

Posted by
Moya Crockett
Published