The provocative pop singer was the hot topic at Sunday night’s show: Cyrus eclipsed Lady Gaga’s opening performance of her new single, Katy Perry’s closing rendition of her latest hit and Kanye West’s artsy set. The 20-year-old even grabbed more attention than Justin Timberlake’s performance with his ‘N Sync band mates.
Cyrus twerked and gyrated, stripped and swayed. She sang, too.
She had a helper at the VMAs: Robin Thicke. After performing her edgy hit, “We Can’t Stop,” she sang the first verse of Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and then grinded on the R&B singer in a nude bikini. The wild child also slapped a girl’s butt onstage.
Call it the “Blurred Lines” music video 2.0., which aired live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., for a first time.
“Amazing. I thought it was awesome,” Selena Gomez said of Cyrus’ performance backstage. “I love Robin Thicke, too, so I like that they collabo’d.”
Artist to watch winner Austin Mahone also seemed to enjoy the performance: “I thought it was pretty creative. I thought it was pretty cool.”
Twitter said early Monday that Cyrus was mentioned 4.5 million times on the social network site, ahead of Timberlake’s 2.9 million mentions. Cyrus and Thicke’s performance led in tweets per minute peaks with 306,100.
Though they were attention grabbers and nominated for four moonmen each, Thicke and Cyrus walked away empty handed Sunday night.
Timberlake earned three awards, including video of the year and best male video for “Mirrors.” Days ahead of the VMAs, his rumored reunion with ‘N Sync dominated headlines, and he and his former band mates delivered at the awards show.