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Taylor Swift, Ashley Graham and Lil Nas X showed some skin on the star-studded red carpet as MTV celebrated music videos and the artists who created the sounds of the year at the Video Music Awards in New Jersey.
Lizzo, BLACKPINK and Kane Brown took center stage as the red carpet was buzzing with A-list stars ahead of the show at the Prudential Center, which marks the return of the live program for the first time since 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic shutdowns, which forced productions to restructure awards ceremonies.
Swift, 32, was draped in sparkling stones with a collar of diamonds wrapped around her neck to match baubles glittering across her arms in the gorgeous Oscar de la Renta number. She wore her dark blonde hair parted down the middle and tied back, with her signature bright red lipstick highlighting her flawless features.
The “Good as Hell” singer wore a black Jean Paul Gaultier Couture strapless gown with billowing fabric bunched across her chest, which draped down into a dramatic train. Her makeup artist, Alexx Mayo, slicked her hair back away from her face, and she wore triple gold hoop earrings to match a lip ring.
BLACKPINK, the globally beloved K-Pop group including Lisa, Jisoo, Jennie, and Rosé, won their first moon man with the “Best Metaverse Performance” for “BLACKPINK The Virtual | PUBG.”
“We had so much fun on this project, so we’re very glad that everyone enjoyed it,” Rosé said during an interview on the carpet before the show.
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Lil Nas X went completely shirtless for the event, and was fitted in a Harris Reed ensemble complete with a massive hat and skirt.
Ashley Graham wore a gorgeous black dress with cutouts perfectly positioned across her body, and sparkling cane details custom made by Houghton by Katharine Polk.
The “Bachelorette” star Rachel Lindsay rocked a little black dress with fringed tassels as she posed for snaps before heading into the show, while “Bachelor Nation” co-star Tayshia Adams, opted for jewel tones as she slipped into a silky green number with a thigh-grazing slit.
Host LL Cool J made his way down the carpet wearing a smooth black leather ensemble, complete with a matching T-shirt, black combat boots and sunglasses. His co-host, Jack Harlow, caught the leather memo and wore a chocolate brown suit with lenses to compliment the trendy color palette.
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Harlow told pre-show host Kevin Kennay that he was “hungry and focused” heading into the big night.
“I haven’t won a lot of awards,” Harlow admitted before saying he was “hoping to clean up tonight” with eight nominations and the most decorated artist of the evening.
When asked to describe his upcoming performance, he used the word, “unforgettable.”
Artist Sabrina Carpenter rocked a sparkling floral Moschino gown with a halter neckline on the black carpet before chatting with correspondent Tate McRae.
“I’m just so excited to be here, dressed up a little,” Carpenter said. “It’s like the most exciting and scary thing in the world.”
She said she was most excited to see the K-Pop group BLACKPINK perform, and admitted, “I’m a huge BLACKPINK” fan.
The Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award is bestowed upon an artist who has consistently released videos that have had a significant impact on videos released by other artists, and pop culture in general. This year, the award is going to rapper Nicki Minaj.
“Nicki has broken barriers for women in hip-hop with her versatility and creative artistry,” Bruce Gillmer, president of music, music talent, programming and events at Paramount+, said in a statement. “She has shifted the music industry and cemented her status as a global superstar with her crossover appeal, genre-defying style and continuing to be unapologetically ‘Nicki.'”
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Minaj is not only receiving the coveted award, but she is also making her comeback to the VMAs stage after being absent for four years. She is expected to perform a medley of her biggest hits and is excited for her fans to tune in.
“I’m receiving the Video Vanguard Award at the 2022 #VMAs!” she wrote on Instagram. “You DO NOT !!!! I REPEAT!!!! You do NOTTTTTT want to miss my performance.”
Kane Brown exclusively told Fox News Digital “it’s a huge honor” to make history as the first male country music artist to perform at the awards show.
“I feel like we all have moments and memories from watching the show’s performances and collaborations,” he said. “It’s such an iconic show to be a part of, and I just feel really honored that they asked me. I can’t give too much away, but I can say that they can expect it to be something they haven’t seen before.”
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When speaking with Fox News Digital, Brown had a hard time deciding which artist he is most excited to see, and which performer he would like to collaborate with in the future.
“I don’t even know if they have revealed the whole lineup yet, but there are too many amazing performances that are happening to pick one,” Brown explained. “I love doing collaborations. I always feel like different artists always have different things to contribute, and it’s such a great space creatively when you can get in a room and learn and grow from each other and create something that their fans and yours are proud of too.”
Artists nominated for the most coveted award of the night, Video of the Year, include Doja Cat for “Woman,” Drake for “Way 2 Sexy,” Ed Sheeran for “Shivers,” Harry Styles for “As It Was,” Lil Nas X and Harlow for “Industry Baby” and Olivia Rodrigo for “brutal.”
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Fox News’ Lori Bashian contributed to this report.