MTV Video Music Awards performances: Justin Bieber scales mountain before ...

MTV Video Music Awards performances: Justin Bieber scales mountain before ...
MTV Video Music Awards performances: Justin Bieber scales mountain before ...

The 2021 MTV Video Music Awards tried to kick off the pandemic-era ratings slump with fiery performances from pop icon Justin Bieber and rising sensation Olivia Rodrigo.

But before the performances got underway, Madonna made an appearance referencing the start of her legendary career and her move to New York City while removing a trench coat to reveal an edgy black leather outfit.

The annual event was held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, marking the first time in eight years that the venue has hosted the show. 

Strong start: Justin Bieber and the Kid Laroi kicked off the 2021 MTV VMAs with Stay and Ghost, before Olivia Rodrigo gave a rough and raw performance of Good 4 U

Strong start: Justin Bieber and the Kid Laroi kicked off the 2021 MTV VMAs with Stay and Ghost, before Olivia Rodrigo gave a rough and raw performance of Good 4 U

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Justin was a fitting star to open the show, as he leads the list of nominees with seven nominations, including top honor video of the year and best direction for POPSTAR, artist of the year, best cinematography for Holy and best pop song, best editing and best collaboration for Peaches.

During his high-energy opening, Justin and the Kid Laroi climbed a large mountain set erected on the stage to give the song an extra epic feel. 

But Justin turned the energy down a notch when he segued into his months-old song Ghost, which injected a healthy dose of emotions into the proceedings.

He looked ultra casual in a set of dark overalls over a black hoodie. 

Special guest: But before the performances got underway, Madonna made an appearance referencing the start of her legendary career and her move to New York City

Special guest: But before the performances got underway, Madonna made an appearance referencing the start of her legendary career and her move to New York City

Leather fan: She removed a trench coat to reveal an edgy black leather outfit

Leather fan: She removed a trench coat to reveal an edgy black leather outfit

Altitude: The Kid Laroi began singing Stay atop a large mountain set erected on the stage

Altitude: The Kid Laroi began singing Stay atop a large mountain set erected on the stage

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Low key: But Justin turned the energy down a notch when he segued into his months-old song Ghost, which injected a healthy dose of emotions into the proceedings

Low key: But Justin turned the energy down a notch when he segued into his months-old song Ghost, which injected a healthy dose of emotions into the proceedings

No fuss: He looked ultra casual in a set of dark overalls over a black hoodie

 No fuss: He looked ultra casual in a set of dark overalls over a black hoodie

Olivia Rodrigo completely changed the mood of the show when she took the stage just as Bieber departed for a rocking version of her angry breakup song Good 4 U.

The track, which was a tribute to '90s grunge music, featured her in a mini dress with a voluminous skirt and gloves laced up to her elbows.

The actress and singer was joined by an army of backup dancers who were masked to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

New mood: Olivia Rodrigo completely changed the mood of the show when she took the stage just as Bieber departed for a rocking version of her angry breakup song Good 4 U

New mood: Olivia Rodrigo completely changed the mood of the show when she took the stage just as Bieber departed for a rocking version of her angry breakup song Good 4 U

Edgy: The track, which was a tribute to '90s grunge music, featured her in a mini dress with a voluminous skirt and gloves laced up to her elbows

Edgy: The track, which was a tribute to '90s grunge music, featured her in a mini dress with a voluminous skirt and gloves laced up to her elbows

The crowd: The actress and singer was joined by an army of backup dancers who were masked to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus

The crowd: The actress and singer was joined by an army of backup dancers who were masked to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus

Doja Cat made her first appearance after the opening songs, marking her first time hosting the VMAs.

She pointed out that MTV was celebrating 40 years on the air.

After Bieber had departed, his wife Hailey Bieber appeared in a stunning sheer white bodycon dress to announce a performance from country-crossover Kacey

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