Missy Elliott is a True Vanguard

Video Vanguard recipient Missy Elliott performs a medley at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

Missy Elliott brought her colorful, eccentric, and groundbreaking music videos to life when she performed a medley of her hits over the last two decades at the 2019 MTV Music Video Awards, where she earned the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. Elliott ran through well-known songs like “Work It,” ″Lose Control” and more Monday night, even sporting the inflated trash bag she wore with confidence and charisma in the video for “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” in 1997.

“I’ve worked diligently for over two decades and I never thought I would be standing up here receiving this award,” Elliott said at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

The rapper-singer-songwriter-producer-dancer said she wanted to dedicate the award to the dance community: “Y’all are not just props, y’all are the icing on the cake.”

Elliott also honored the late R&B icon Aaliyah, whom she was close to and collaborated with, during her acceptance speech. The 18th anniversary of Aaliyah’s death was Sunday.

“Aaliyah, I love you. We miss you,” Elliott said.

Missy Elliott poses in the press room with the Video Vanguard award at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Halsey, Bebe Rexha, and Taylor Swift were among the audience members who danced wildly as Elliott blazed the stage. Earlier, Swift kicked off the VMAs, going from eye-popping pop star to guitar-strumming singer-songwriter: She gave a colorful performance of her LGBTQ pride anthem “You Need to Calm Down,” which featured a large rainbow behind her and several background dancers, and later grabbed her guitar and sang the ballad “Lover,” the title track from her album released Friday. Swift won the top prize — video of the year — for “You Need to Calm Down.” Swift and a number of cast members from the video appeared onstage to accept the honor.

“I just want to say that this is a fan-voted award, so I first want to say thank you to the fans because in this video several points were made, so you voting for this video means that you want a world where we’ll all treated equally.”

The video for “You Need to Calm Down,” a song in which Swift calls out homophobes and her own haters, featured a number of famous faces, including Ellen DeGeneres, Laverne Cox, RuPaul, and the cast of “Queer Eye.” The video finishes with the words: “Let’s show our pride by demanding that, on a national level, our laws truly treat all of our citizens equally.” And before the video’s release, Swift announced that she supported the Equality Act. “You Need to Calm Down” also won the video for good honor. Todrick Hall, the multi-faceted entertainer who has appeared in some of Swift’s videos, including “You Need to Calm Down,” accepted the honor.

Nessa on Air, Girl Code, and Talk Stoop host Nessa worked the red carpet in style.

Winners list:

Video Vanguard

WINNER: Missy Elliott

Video of the Year

WINNER: Taylor Swift: “You Need to Calm Down”
21 Savage: “a lot” [ft. J. Cole]
Billie Eilish: “bad guy”
Ariana Grande: thank u, next”
Jonas Brothers: “Sucker”
Lil Nas X: “Old Town Road (Remix)” [ft. Billy Ray Cyrus]

Artist of the Year

WINNER: Ariana Grande
Cardi B
Billie Eilish
Halsey
Jonas Brothers
Shawn Mendes

Song of the Year

WINNER: Lil Nas X: “Old Town Road (Remix)” [ft. Billy Ray Cyrus]
Drake: “In My Feelings”
Ariana Grande: “thank u, next”
Jonas Brothers: “Sucker”
Lady Gaga / Bradley Cooper: “Shallow”
Taylor Swift: “You Need to Calm Down”

Best New Artist

WINNER: Billie Eilish
Ava Max
H.E.R.
Lil Nas X
Lizzo
ROSALÍA

Best Collaboration

WINNER: Shawn Mendes / Camila Cabello: “Señorita”
Lil Nas X: “Old Town Road (Remix)” [ft. Billy Ray Cyrus]
Lady Gaga / Bradley Cooper: “Shallow”
Taylor Swift: “ME!” [ft. Brendon Urie]
Ed Sheeran / Justin Bieber: “I Don’t Care”
BTS: “Boy With Luv” [ft. Halsey]

Push Artist of the Year

WINNER: Billie Eilish
Bazzi
CNCO
H.E.R.
Lauv
Lizzo

Best Pop

WINNER: Jonas Brothers: “Sucker”
5 Seconds of Summer: “Easier”
Cardi B / Bruno Mars: “Please Me”
Billie Eilish: “bad guy”
Khalid: “Talk”
Ariana Grande: “thank u, next”
Taylor Swift: “You Need to Calm Down”

Best Hip-Hop

WINNER: Cardi B: “Money”
2 Chainz: “Rule the World”[ft. Ariana Grande]
21 Savage: “a lot” [ft. J. Cole]
DJ Khaled: “Higher” [ft. Nipsey Hussle and John Legend]
Lil Nas X: “Old Town Road (Remix)” [ft. Billy Ray Cyrus]
Travis Scott: “SICKO MODE” [ft. Drake]

Best R&B

WINNER: Normani: “Waves” [ft. 6LACK]
Anderson .Paak: “Make It Better” [ft. Smokey Robinson]
Childish Gambino: “Feels Like Summer”
H.E.R.: “Could’ve Been” [ft. Bryson Tiller]
Alicia Keys: “Raise a Man”
Ella Mai: “Trip”

Best K-Pop

WINNER: BTS: “Boy With Luv” [ft. Halsey]
BLACKPINK: “Kill This Love”
Monsta X: “Who Do You Love” [ft. French Montana]
TOMORROW X TOGETHER: “Cat & Dog”
NCT 127: “Regular”
EXO: “Tempo”

Best Latin

WINNER: ROSALÍA / J Balvin: “Con Altura” [ft. El Guincho]
Anuel AA / Karol G: “Secreto”
Bad Bunny: “MIA” [ft. Drake]
benny blanco / Tainy / Selena Gomez / J Balvin: “I Can’t Get Enough”
Daddy Yankee: “Con Calma” [ft. Snow]
Maluma: “Mala Mía”

Best Dance

WINNER: The Chainsmokers: “Call You Mine” [ft. Bebe Rexha]
Clean Bandit: “Solo” [ft. Demi Lovato]
DJ Snake: “Taki Taki” [ft. Selena Gomez, Ozuna and Cardi B]
David Guetta / Bebe Rexha / J Balvin: “Say My Name”
Marshmello / Bastille: “Happier”
Silk City / Dua Lipa: “Electricity”

Best Rock

WINNER: Panic! At the Disco: “High Hopes”
The 1975: “Love It If We Made It”
Fall Out Boy: “Bishops Knife Trick”
Imagine Dragons: “Natural”
Lenny Kravitz: “Low”
twenty one pilots: “My Blood”

Video for Good

WINNER: Taylor Swift: “You Need to Calm Down”
Halsey: “Nightmare”
The Killers: “Land of the Free”
Jamie N Commons / Skylar Grey: “Runaway Train” [ft. Gallant]
John Legend: “Preach”
Lil Dicky: “Earth”

Best Group

WINNER: BTS
5 Seconds of Summer
Backstreet Boys
BLACKPINK
CNCO
Jonas Brothers
PRETTYMUCH
Why Don’t We

Best Power Anthem

WINNER: Megan Thee Stallion: “Hot Girl Summer” [ft. Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign]
Ariana Grande: “7 rings”
DJ Khaled: “Wish Wish” [ft. Cardi B and 21 Savage]
Halsey: “Nightmare”
Lizzo: “Tempo” [ft. Missy Elliott]
Maren Morris: “Girl”
Miley Cyrus: “Mother’s Daughter”
Taylor Swift: “You Need To Calm Down”

Song of Summer

WINNER: Ariana Grande and Social House: “Boyfriend”
Billie Eilish: “Bad Guy”
DaBaby: “Suge”
Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber: “I Don’t Care”
Jonas Brothers: “Sucker”
Khalid: “Talk”
Lil Nas X: “Old Town Road (Remix)” [ft. Billy Ray Cyrus]
Lil Tecca: “Ransom”
Lizzo: “Truth Hurts”
Miley Cyrus: “Mother’s Daughter”
Post Malone: “Goodbyes” [ft. Young Thug]
Rosalía and J Balvin: “Con Altura” [ft. El Guincho]
Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello: “Señorita”
Taylor Swift: “You Need To Calm Down”
The Chainsmokers and Bebe Rexha: “Call You Mine”
Young Thug: “The London” [ft. J. Cole and Travis Scott]

Fashion Trailblazer

WINNER: Marc Jacobs

Best Direction

WINNER: Lil Nas X: “Old Town Road (Remix)” [ft. Billy Ray Cyrus] (dir. Calmatic)
Billie Eilish: “bad Guy” (dir. Dave Meyers)
FKA twigs: “Cellophane” (dir. Andrew Thomas Huang)
Ariana Grande: “thank u, next” (dir. Hannah Lux Davis)
LSD: “No New Friends” (dir. Dano Cerny)
Taylor Swift: “You Need to Calm Down” (dir. Drew Kirsch and Taylor Swift)

Best Visual Effects

WINNER: Taylor Swift: “ME!” [ft. Brendon Urie] (visual effects: Loris Paillier & Lucas Salton for BUF VFX)
Billie Eilish: “when the party’s over” (visual effects: Ryan Ross, Andres Jaramillo)
FKA twigs: “Cellophane” (visual effects: Matt Chandler, Fabio Zaveti for Analog)
Ariana Grande: “God is a woman” (visual effects: Fabrice Lagayette, Kristina Prilukova & Rebecca Rice for Mathematic)
DJ Khaled: “Just Us” [ft. SZA] (visual effects: Sergii Mashevskyi)
LSD: “No New Friends” (visual effects: Ethan Chancer)

Best Editing

WINNER: Billie Eilish: “bad guy” (editing: Billie Eilish)
Anderson .Paak: “Tints” [ft. Kendrick Lamar] (editing: Elias Talbot)
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” (editing: Calmatic)
Ariana Grande: “7 rings” (editing: Hannah Lux Davis & Taylor Walsh)
Solange: “Almeda” (editing: Solange Knowles, Vinnie Hobbs, Jonathon Proctor)
Taylor Swift: “You Need to Calm Down” (editing: Jarrett Fijal)

Best Art Direction

WINNER: Ariana Grande: “7 rings” (art direction: John Richoux)
BTS: “Boy With Luv” [ft. Halsey] (art direction: JinSil Park, BoNa Kim (MU:E))
Lil Nas X: “Old Town Road (Remix)” [ft. Billy Ray Cyrus] (art direction: Itaru Dela Vegas)
Shawn Mendes / Camila Cabello: “Señorita” (art direction: Tatiana Van Sauter)
Taylor Swift: “You Need to Calm Down” (art direction: Brittany Porter)
Kanye West / Lil Pump: “I Love It” [ft. Adele Givens] (art direction: Tino Schaedler)

Best Choreography

WINNER: ROSALÍA / J Balvin: “Con Altura” [ft. El Guincho] (choreography: Charm La’Donna)
FKA twigs: “Cellophane” (choreography: Kelly Yvonne)
LSD: “No New Friends” (choreography: Ryan Heffington)
Shawn Mendes / Camila Cabello: “Señorita” (choreography: Calvit Hodge, Sara Biv)
Solange: “Almeda” (choreography: Maya Taylor, Solange Knowles)
BTS: “Boy With Luv” [ft. Halsey] (choreography: Rie Hata)

Best Cinematography

WINNER: Shawn Mendes / Camila Cabello: “Señorita” (cinematography: Scott Cunningham)
Anderson .Paak: “Tints” [ft. Kendrick Lamar] (cinematography: Elias Talbot)
Billie Eilish: “hostage” (cinematography: Pau Castejon)
Ariana Grande: “thank u, next” (cinematography: Christopher Probst)
Solange: “Almeda” (cinematography: Chayse Irvin, Ryan Marie Helfant, Justin Hamilton)
Taylor Swift: “ME!” [ft. Brendon Urie] (cinematography: Starr Whitesides)