When it comes to pop collaborations, some big-name blockbusters are all thunder and no lighting. Not so with “Rain on Me”; this Chromatica standout lights up the dance floor with electrifying hook after electrifying hook. The pair’s moves Sunday night were nothing to mess with either; Gaga, while in a bondage-like outfit, strutted across a stage made to look like an otherworldly planet. Grande, meanwhile, twirled effortlessly in enormous white heels.
In addition to “Rain on Me”, the MTV VMAs Artist of the Year also performed “911” and “Stupid Love”. For the latter single, Gaga kicked things off by playing a piano shaped like a brain (really!), before stepping into a green and glowing spaceship-like structure for a fully choreographed breakdown.
Altogether, Gaga swapped through three wardrobe changes in just a matter of minutes. She closed her set by imploring viewers to “Be brave!” and “Mask up!”
Check out Gaga’s full medley performance below.
During the pandemic, Lady Gaga emerged as one of the earliest adapters to the new livestreaming world. She roped in Eddie Vedder, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and more for her One World: Together at Home Concert, and later participated in Barack and Michelle Obama’s YouTube Virtual Graduation Ceremony. She also charged into the culture wars after the brutal murder of George Floyd, saying the black community is “met with no compassion by the leaders meant to protect them.”
As for Ariana Grande, she recently joined onto another blockbuster collaboration, linking up with Justin Bieber for “Stuck With U”. Her songs have also recently received quarantine covers from Brie Larson (“Be Alright”) and Moses Sumney (“thank u, next”).
Hosted by Keke Palmer, this year’s VMAs were originally supposed to take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, the evening’s performances were filmed with “limited or no audience” at different locations across New York City. Other performers include BTS, The Weeknd, and Miley Cyrus.