It’s a wonderful day to be a Swiftie, or a music lover for that matter. If you are wondering why, you may want to come up from under the rock. Taylor Swift's Anti-Hero, which we thought was the ultimate song of the year (when it released), actually turned out to be the song of the year. The track bagged the Song of the Year and Video of the Year awards, among others, at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards, held at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, last evening. In all, the singer won in nine categories (yes, you read that right).
Swift's nine awards are only one behind the all-time single-night record held by Peter Gabriel, who had taken home ten awards in 1987. The wins take her career’s VMA tally to 23, second only to Beyoncé, who has won 30 VMAs and reigns supreme on the VMAs leaderboard.
Anti-Hero, which ruled the BillBoard Hot 100 for eight straight weeks, was Swift’s fourth win in the best video category after her previous wins for Bad Blood (2015), You Need to Calm Down (2019), and All Too Well: The Short Film (2022). She also won for best direction, her third in the past four years following The Man (2019) and All Too Well: The Short Film (2022).
She also took home best pop for the second time, artist of the year, album of the year (for Midnights), Show of the Summer, best cinematography, and best visual effects.
Other big winners
Nicki Minaj won a record fifth award for best hip-hop for her track Super Freaky Girl. She previously won for Super Bass (2011), Anaconda (2015), Chun-Li (2018), and Do We Have a Problem (2022).
Shakira became the first South American artist to win the coveted Video Vanguard Award, which celebrates innovations in music videos. She also performed a 10-minute medley of her biggest hits that received a standing ovation. Selena Gomez also entered her name into history books as she, and Rema, became the inaugural winner in the new best Afrobeats category for their track Calm Down.
As far as K-pop goes, Jungkook of BTS won his first award for his recently-released song SEVEN ft. Latto. He won in the Song of the Summer category. On the other hand, BLACKPINK won the Group of the Year award, along with the Best Choreography award for Pink Venom.
Winners from the night
Video of the year: Taylor Swift—Anti-Hero
Artist of the year: Taylor Swift
Song of the year: Taylor Swift—Anti-Hero
Best new artist: Ice Spice
Push performance of the year: April 2023: Tomorrow X Together—Sugar Rush Ride
Best collaboration: Karol G, Shakira—TQG
Best pop: Taylor Swift—Anti-Hero
Best hip-hop: Nicki Minaj—Super Freaky Girl
Best R&B: SZA—Shirt
Best alternative: Lana Del Rey featuring Jon Batiste—Candy Necklace
Best rock: Måneskin—The Loneliset
Best latin: Anitta—Funk Rave
Best K-Pop: Stray Kids—S-Class
Best Afrobeats: Rema & Selena Gomez—Calm Down
Video for good: Dove Cameron—Breakfast
Best direction: Taylor Swift—Anti-Hero. Directed by Taylor Swift.
Best cinematography: Taylor Swift—Anti-Hero. Cinematography by Rina Yang.
Best visual effects: Taylor Swift—Anti-Hero. Visual effects by Parliament.
Best choreography: Blackpink—Pink Venom, Kiel Tutin, Sienna Lalau.
Best art direction: Doja Cat—Attention. Art direction by Spencer Graves.
Best editing: Olivia Rodrigo—vampire. Edited by Sofia Kerpan and David Checel.
Show of the summer: Taylor Swift
Group of the year: BLACKPINK
Song of the summer: Jung Kook featuring Latto—Seven
Album of the year: Taylor Swift—Midnights