With the 2023 MTV VMAs in the rearview mirror, the time has come to reflect on one of the most important questions from Tuesday evening’s ceremony (Sept. 12): Which performers really brought it to the main stage of the annual awards show?
Throughout the nearly four-hour show on Tuesday, viewers were treated to all kinds of special awards show-specific treats. Taylor Swift, who swept all the top categories, got to meet her childhood heroes when *NSYNC presented her with the award for best pop early in the evening. She also made sure to let the evening’s emcee, Nicki Minaj, know that she was her “favorite Sagittarius.” When accepting his Global Icon award, Diddy (Billboard‘s latest digital cover star) admitted that before he set his sights on taking over the music industry, he had always dreamed of playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Yet, among all the memorable moments from the 2023 VMAs, none stand out quite as much as the show-stopping performances. It’s not an easy group to choose from — the show gave fans a whopping 18 main stage performances, ranging from pop superstars such as Doja Cat’s Suspiria-tinged Scarlet medley and Olivia Rodrigo’s fiery “Get Him Back,” to Latin icons including Shakira giving a tour of her greatest hits before receiving her Video Vanguard Award, or Anitta bringing her favela funk to New Jersey’s Prudential Center.
While Billboard already made our picks for the evening’s best performances, we want to hear from you. Which 2023 VMAs performance was your favorite of the evening? Vote below! (Need a refresher? You can watch all of the performances here.)