The 2016 MTV Video Music Awards belong to Rihanna, as she was crowned with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award that honors all the culture-shifting visuals she's released throughout her career. It is a major moment for the pop star, and tonight she showed just why she was worthy of the coveted crown.
Prior to the performance, in a surprising "aww"-worthy moment, her longtime friend/collaborator/rumored boyfriend Drake presented the award with an adorably loving speech. Rihanna's night was split into four parts to highlight different elements of her sound: Dance, Reggae, Urban and Ballad. For the dance section, the artist sauntered onto the bubblegum pink stage looking like the casually cool icon that she is, donning a high ponytail, a corset and red shades.
She performed a medley of her biggest hits, including "Don't Stop The Music," "Only Girl (In the World)," "We Found Love" and "Where Have You Been." The energy ran high throughout the performance, with Riri and her dancers hitting every move. Watch below via MTV:
The reggae section came with a sweltering mix of hits like "Rude Boy," "What's My Name?" and "Work." Sadly, there was no appearance from frequent collaborator Drake. But Rihanna held her own with her huge dance squad, as they wined and seduced along to the Caribbean-fueled segment:
For her urban medley, she opted for club favorites like ANTI's "Needed Me," "Pour It Up" and "Bitch Better Have My Money." The singer looked like the ultimate badass while rocking boots that landed just underneath her crotch, a fur stole and a pitch-black mullet wig.
Lastly, the artist's ballad section was naturally the most touching. It included Unapologetic hits "Stay" and "Diamonds," as well as her current ANTI single "Love on the Brain." She poured her soul into the heartfelt slow jams, while being backed by a mini orchestra decked in cream outfits.
Rih's special night follows other historical Video Vanguard Award wins by major black artists, with Kanye West last year (his memorable rant revealed he would run for president in 2020) and Beyoncé in 2014. Check back here for updates on Rihanna's Vanguard speech and forthcoming performances.
For more VMAs fun, check out our gallery of this year's red carpet photos and a roundup of the biggest VMAs beefs in history. While you're at it, listen to an episode of Fuse's Pop Chat podcast dedicated to the show below: