Taylor Swift kicks off MTV’s VMAs with win for best pop video

September 13, 2023 - 10:30 AM
Taylor Swift receives the Best Pop award from NSYNC members Justin Timberlake, Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick, Lance Bass and JC Chasez, during the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, U.S., September 12, 2023. (Reuters/Brendan Mcdermid)

Taylor Swift won best pop music video and song of the year on Tuesday at MTV’s Video Music Awards, two of several trophies she was competing for as the most-nominated artist at the star-studded ceremony.

Swift, on a break from her record-setting Eras Tour, went into the night with a leading 11 nominations. The 33-year-old was competing for artist of the year in a category filled for the first time with all female musicians, from Beyonce to Karol G and Doja Cat.

“Anti-Hero,” Swift’s tale of insecurities with a chorus of “It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me,” landed two of the show’s first awards. The singer appeared thrilled to be handed one of her Moon Person statuettes by members of 1990s boy band NSYNC, the group that won best pop video 20 years ago.

“I had your dolls!” Swift said to band members including Lance Bass and Justin Timberlake. “You are pop personified. So to receive this from your golden pop hands, it’s too much.”

“Anti-Hero” also was in the running for video of the year, a trophy Swift took home in 2022. This time, she faced competition from Miley Cyrus’s survival anthem “Flowers,” among others.

Stray Kids, a band put together through a reality show, won the best K-pop award at the fan-voted honors. SZA scored best R&B video for “Shirt.”

Performers at the ceremony, held at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, included Demi Lovato, Lil Wayne, Olivia Rodrigo and host Nicki Minaj.

Colombian pop singer Shakira was honored with the Video Vanguard Award for lifetime achievement. After performing a medley of her hits including “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Whenever, Wherever,” the singer saluted her fans.

“Thank you so much for being my army and helping me fight all my battles,” she said.

– Reporting by Lisa RichwineEditing by Shri Navaratnam