The Latest: Racism denounced from VMAs stage by Lee relative
Aug. 28, 2017
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards, which are being presented Sunday night in Inglewood, California (all times local):
An ancestor of Civil War general Robert E. Lee and the mother of a woman killed earlier this month in Charlottesville, Virginia, have taken the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards to denounced white supremacists.
Rev. Robert Wright Lee and Susan Bro each denounced racism and white supremacists in speeches that were met with resounding applause inside The Forum in Inglewood, California.
Bro, whose daughter Heather Heyer was killed earlier this month while protesting white supremacists rallying in Charlottesville, announced from the stage Sunday that MTV had chosen to honor all six videos nominated in its "Best Fight Against the System" category.
Bro also announced she had established a foundation in her daughter's name to provide scholarships to activists.
Lee introduced Bro and said his distant uncle had become a symbol for white supremacists and that everyone needed to stand up to hate groups. He called upon the assembled celebrities and viewers at home to "confront racism and white supremacy head on."
He credited the Black Lives Movement and women who marched in the Women's March as helping combat hate.
The speeches were just one of several moments when the VMAs addressed politics and the course of the country.
Pink has been honored at the MTV Video Music Awards, but not without delivering a rousing performance of several of her hits — and a heartfelt speech to her daughter.
Ellen DeGeneres presented Pink with the Michael Jackson Vanguard Award, noting she has sold nearly 50 million albums worldwide and also recorded the theme song to "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."
Pink accepted the honor with a powerful speech about her 6-year-old, who Pink says recently told her she was the ugliest girl in her class and she looked like a boy.
Pink says, "We don't change. We take the gravel in the shell and we make a pearl. And we help other people to change so they can see more kinds of beauty."
After the speech, host Katy Perry appeared on stage and said Pink's words moved her to tears before tearing off her wig.
Before receiving the honor, Pink delivered a high-energy medley of her hits. The performance opened with her singing in a lowrider convertible and then riding around the stage on a lawnmower. The camera at one point cut to a shot of Pink's daughter, Willow, watching the performance in awe.
Jared Leto has delivered a speech fondly remembering late Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Leto, an actor and lead singer of the band 30 Seconds to Mars, says Bennington was a close friend who showed him that it was possible to pursue one's dreams and still be kind and caring.
Leto says of Bennington, "I see his face, which was always smiling. I think about his heart, which he wore on his sleeve."
The actor-singer also spoke about late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, who was a close friend of Bennington. Cornell died in May and Bennington died in July. Both men's deaths were determined by authorities to be suicides.
Leto urged anyone contemplating suicide to seek immediate help.
His homage to Bennington ended with a video clip that featured part of Bennington and Linkin Park's 2010 VMAs performance outside the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.
Taylor Swift's newest music video has arrived and it opens with the pop star emerging from a grave.
Swift's music video for "Look What You Made Me Do" premiered during the MTV Video Music Awards. The video begins with shots of a cemetery and a decomposed Swift crawling out of a grave before shifting to several more glamorous looks.
The macabre opening plays on one of the key lines from the song, in which Swift says the old version of herself can't come to the phone because she's dead.
The video ends with Swift appearing as several characters from the music video, and her life. The various Swifts snipe at one another in an airplane hangar in front of a plane with the word "reputation" — the title of her next album — painted on the sign.
Swift dropped her new single on Friday and quickly set a Spotify streaming record and a YouTube record for its lyric music video.
Katy Perry has arrived at MTV's Video Music Awards straight from space — at least the space above the stage.
Perry was lowered from the ceiling wearing a shiny silver spacesuit. The pop star is hosting from the Forum in Inglewood, California.
She said that even though times have been "terrible," music brings people together.
Perry says, "Even in the apocalypse, we deserve a great soundtrack."
The VMAs are a performance-heavy show. Kendrick Lamar kicked off Sunday's ceremony with a fiery set, and Ed Sheeran performed soon after him. Perry is slated to perform her song "Swish Swish" later in the show with special guest Nicki Minaj.
Kendrick Lamar has kicked off the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards with a searing laser-filled performance of his song "DNA."
Lamar appeared on stage to voices discussing police brutality.
Moments later, Lamar shared the stage with a performer who danced while engulfed in fire.
As Lamar's performance transitioned into his anthemic hit "Humble," bars on the stage behind him lit up in fire.
It's a big night for Lamar, who is the leading nominee for eight honors, including video of the year for "Humble."
Katy Perry says she's pretty sure she's going to say the wrong thing while hosting the MTV VMAs.
Perry said on the network's official pre-show Sunday that she gets very nervous speaking publicly and has a tendency to say something that will offend people. She says her solution for the evening will be to "ignore all the haters."
Despite her jitters, Perry says she's looking forward to getting into some trouble.
Perry won't just be talking — she says she will perform her song "Swish Swish" with Nicki Minaj.
Singer-songwriter Jack Antonoff has taken a moment to pose for photos with a group of transgender military service members before taking the stage during the MTV VMAs pre-show.
Six transgender soldiers and veterans walked the carpet Sunday in an effort to highlight their service amid President Donald Trump's recent policy to ban transgender recruits.
Antonoff says it would be "absolutely insane not to" support transgender members of the military.
He says of the policy change, "It's absolutely heartbreaking; a massive step backwards, as is every day with Trump."
It's been a big week musically for Antonoff, who collaborated with Taylor Swift on the new single she dropped on Friday. The video for "Look What You Made Me Do" is set to premiere during the VMAs.
The mother of a woman killed while protesting a rally of white supremacists in Virginia will present an award at Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards.
MTV announced Sunday that Heather Heyer's mother, Susan Bro, will present the award for "Best Fight Against the System," an award added to this year's ceremony to highlight the work of activists.
Heyer was killed earlier this month when a driver rammed a car through a crowd of demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Bro announced on Saturday that she had created the Heather Heyer Foundation to provide scholarships to social activists.
Bro's presentation won't be the only political element to the VMAs. A group of transgender service members and veterans are planning to walk the arrivals line and do interviews to highlight their service. Their high profile appearance comes in the wake of a directive from President Donald Trump to ban new transgender military recruits and re-assess what to do with current transgender military members.
Among the early arrivals to Sunday's ceremony were Lorde and Lil Yachty.
Taylor Swift isn't nominated for an award, but she could own the night at the MTV Video Music Awards.
The pop star who made headlines all week as she teased her new single will debut a music video at the show Sunday. She dropped the juicy song, "Look What You Made Me Do," on Friday, causing a stir online as fans and others deciphered the lyrics, with many interpreting it a diss toward Kanye West.
Others felt Swift's song took shots at Katy Perry, who is hosting the VMAs. It was not clear if Swift is attending the show, to be held at the Forum in Inglewood, California.
Others, too, will be in the spotlight at the VMAs. Kendrick Lamar is nominated for eight awards, including video of the year.