28 Aug 2017 17:14 IST

Lamar wins big at VMAs, Sheeran bags artist of the year

Jared Leto also paid tributes to his friends Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell

As Kendrick Lamar and Ed Sheeran bagged the top honours at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), the ceremony saw pertinent issues such as politics, body shaming and mental health being discussed.

Lamar stole the show bagging two top honours, including video of the year, while Sheeran took home the artist of the year trophy.

Lamar, who led the night with eight nominations, was recognised for his track Humble, which also won in five other categories namely, best hip-hop video, best cinematography, best direction, best art direction and best visual effects.

The 30-year-old singer, opened the star-studded musical night with his power-packed performance on the award-winning Humble and DNA.

Singer Khalid was named the new artist of the year.

“This is crazy, this is ridiculous,” said Khalid, 19, as he accepted the trophy.

“I’ve got to thank the city of El Paso for standing behind me. This isn’t just for me — this is for the city,” he added.

Best pop video award went to Fifth Harmony for Down featuring Gucci Mane, while Twenty One Pilots won the best rock video for Heavydirtysoul.

Singer Pink was honoured with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. She also belted hits such as Just Give Me a Reason, So What, Perfect and new single What About Us.

The 37-year-old singer delivered an emotional speech, while accepting the award, which she dedicated to her six-year-old daughter, Willow.

The pop star recounted a story about when she recently drove Willow to school.

“She said to me out of the blue, ‘Mama, I’m the ugliest girl I know’ And I said, ‘Huh?’ And she said, ‘Yeah, I look like a boy with long hair.’ And my brain went to, ‘Oh my God, you’re six. Where is this coming from? Can I kick a six-year-old’s (butt)?’”

Pink then went home and made her daughter a PowerPoint presentation, which featured “androgynous rock stars” Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Prince, Annie Lennox and Freddie Mercury to show there are “other kinds of beauty“.

Musicians Kesha and Logic addressed the issue of mental health at the VMAs. The Tik Tok singer did not perform at the event but appeared at the show to make a powerful statement about suicide prevention.

She introduced Logic’s performance of “1-800-273-8255,” a song which gets its name from the suicide prevention hotline.

An emotional Kesha said, “It has been said that if you knew who walked beside you, you would never experience fear and doubt again The truth is piercing and the truth is what matters. The truth is none of us are alone.”

Logic was joined by suicide attempt survivors and singers Khalid and Alessia Cara, who bagged the award for best dance video ( Stay).

The singer crooned the lyrics: “I don’t wanna be alive/I just wanna die today” and “I want you to be alive/You don’t got to die today“.

After delivering a tear-jerking yet empowering performance, Logic said, “I don’t give a damn if you’re black white or anything in between. We’re all born equal, but we’re treated unequal.”

The host for the evening, singer Katy Perry remarked how the world today seems eerily similar to the dystopia drama The Handmaid’s Tale.

The Chained To The Rhythm hitmaker also made a reference to the last year’s US Presidential Elections, adding that viewers should vote so a “Russian” artist would not win.

“Listen guys, this is one election where the popular vote actually matters. So vote online,” Perry said.

Actor Paris Jackson also spoke out against racism and white supremacy in wake of US President Donald Trump’s controversial remarks.

Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer, who was tragically killed while protesting at the August 12 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, made an appearance at the awards show.

“Only 15 days ago, my daughter was killed as she protested racism. I miss her, but I know she’s here tonight,” she then announced the winners of the best fight against the system award.

All nominees in the category were declared winners, which included Logic featuring Damian Lemar Hudson ( Black SpiderMan), The Hamilton Mixtape ( Immigrants), Big Sean ( Light), Alessia Cara ( Scars To Your Beautiful), Taboo featuring Shailene Woodley ( Stand Up/Stand N Rock #NoDAPL) and John Legend ( Surefire).

Actor-singer Jared Leto also paid moving tributes to his friends, legendary artistes Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell at the ceremony.