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Calls for End of Hate, Racism at MTV Awards

28 August, 2017

This is What's Trending Today.

The MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday night in Los Angeles included performances by popular musicians of the last 12 months. A number of musicians also denounced racism and discrimination after recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Katy Perry hosted the event featuring singers and music groups, including Kendrick Lamar, Fifth Harmony, Miley Cyrus, and Lorde.

Lamar opened the show with a hot version of his song, "Humble" that included back-up performers dancing on a wall of fire. They wore special suits that kept them from getting burned.

"Humble" went on to win one of the night's biggest awards: Best Hip-Hop Video.

Critics, including Rob Sheffield of the music magazine Rolling Stone, wrote about the show. Sheffield said Perry's attempts at comedy in her role of host fell flat and her performance of her song "Swish Swish" felt "labored and witless."

He was more excited to see British rock singer Rod Stewart's appearance during the band DNCE's version of "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" Stewart first recorded the song in 1978 and joined Joe Jonas on stage.

Sheffield was also impressed by Lorde, who could not sing because of an illness. Lorde came on stage and danced along to a recorded version of her song "Homemade Dynamite."

Other performances of note came from the British girl-group Fifth Harmony and new rap artist Cardi B. Fifth Harmony performed its hit "Down" without Camila Cabello, who left the group in late 2016. Cardi B impressed fans with "Bodak Yellow," one of the top rap songs of the summer.

The music event also featured political comments from singers and special guests.

Robert Wright Lee is a religious leader and a descendant of Confederate Civil War general Robert E. Lee. He introduced Susan Bro, saying he is "working to confront racism and white supremacy."

Susan Bro, mother of Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer, left, and Rev. Robert Wright Lee, a descendant of Robert E. Lee, present the award for best Fight Against the System at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Susan Bro, mother of Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer, left, and Rev. Robert Wright Lee, a descendant of Robert E. Lee, present the award for best Fight Against the System at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Bro is the mother of Heather Heyer. She was killed when a white supremacist drove his car into a crowd of activists protesting their presence Charlottesville, Virginia.

Bro presented the Fight Against the System Award and announced the Heather Heyer Foundation, which will help people fight hate.

Michael Jackson's eldest daughter, Paris, presented the Best Pop Video award to Fifth Harmony. She also condemned the "violence, hatred and discrimination" from the white supremacist groups.

Singer and actor Jared Leto honored singers Chis Cornell and Chester Bennington, who committed suicide over the summer.

And that's What's Trending Today.

I'm Dan Friedell.

Dan Friedell wrote this story for VOA Learning English based on reports by The Associated Press and Rolling Stone. Hai Do was the editor.

Did you watch the MTV show? What did you think? We want to know. Write to us in the Comments Section or on 51VOA.COM.


Words in This Story

feature – n. an interesting or important part

host – n. a person who talks to guests on a television or radio show

witless – adj. very foolish or stupid

descendant – n. someone who is related to a person or group of people who lived in the past

white supremacist – n. a person who believes that the white race is better than all other races and should have control over all other races

confront – v. to oppose or challenge (someone) especially in a direct and forceful way