Harry Styles accepts MTV VMA virtually despite being ‘just down the road'
Harry Styles apologised to fans for his absence at the 2022 MTV VMAs despite being “just down the road,” as he became the first big British winner of the night.
The 28-year-old superstar picked up album of the year at the annual ceremony, which clashed with his performance at Madison Square Garden in New York.
This year’s VMAs are taking place less than an hour away at the Prudential Centre in Newark, New Jersey.
Styles’ win followed that of fellow pop sensation Taylor Swift, who was awarded best longform video for All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version).
The video, which features Stranger Things star Sadie Sink and Teen Wolf star Dylan O’Brien, went viral earlier this year after fans speculated the song was based on Swift’s break-up with actor Jake Gyllenhaal.
The venue exploded as Swift took to the stage and thanked young stars Sink and O’Brien, adding that the production team had “put their entire hearts” into the video.
“Before this I had directed and written my own music videos, but I had never made a short film,” she told screaming audiences.
“We put our entire hearts into this making something worthy of the love you fans have shown.
“Thanks for this beautiful indication that we did something right, love you guys.”
All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) is also nominated for the coveted video of the year at this year’s VMAs.
The show was opened with a surprise performance from music superstar Fergie, who sang her hit songs Glamourous and First Class with Jack Harlow.
The former Black Eyed Peas singer wore a sparking silver top reading “first class” in red lettering, as other music legends including Swift looked on from the audience.
Moments later Harlow was handed the first award of the night, best collaboration, alongside Lil Nas X for their track Industry Baby.
He is also presenting the show, which celebrates the best music videos with its coveted “Moonman” astronaut trophies, alongside hip hop stars Nicki Minaj and LL Cool J.
Minaj, who received the video vanguard award, performed an explosive medley of her songs as she made her entrance.
The US rapper said she had “never ever written a speech in her life”, but went offstage to retrieve her phone to read her notes as she accepted the award from members of her fan club, the Barbz.
Later, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were presented with the global icon by US comedy-stoner duo Cheech and Chong.
The band’s bassist Flea dedicated the band’s award to the late drummer of the Foo Fighters, Taylor Hawkins.
“There’s another musical legend and his name is Taylor Hawkins… I miss him every day,” he told the audience.
“Fly on brother.”
The show was interspersed with strange appearances from Johnny Depp who was projected onscreen as the ceremony’s famous Moon Man.
Floating above the stage, he was heard to say “I needed the work” as the ceremony was opened.