The 2016 MTV Video Music Awards has been marked as a major milestone for Rihanna. The “Work” singer received the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award and performed four times throughout the awards show on Sunday night.
Over the course of the evening, Rihanna made many fashion statements before closing the night with Drake onstage.
Rihanna kicked off the event by hitting the stage at New York City’s Madison Square Garden to deliver her first performance. Singing a medley of dance hits, including “Please Don’t Stop the Music,” “Only Girl (In the World),” “We Found Love” and “Where Have You Been,” Rihanna wore a pink ensemble paired with pink fur shoes by Comme des Garçons and a custom Hood by Air jumpsuit.
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Later, Rihanna performed a dancehall-inspired medley, featuring “Rude Boy,” “What’s My Name” and “Work.” Rocking a custom, fur-lined bra by Rosamosario and fishnets, she danced in embellished ankle-strap pumps by Manolo Blahnik.
For her third performance, the songstress made a statement in Vetements x Manolo Blahnik thigh-high boots from the Vetements fall ’16 couture collection. (She wore the same style of shoes earlier this month during OVO Fest in Toronto.) She sang her most recent hits, including “Bitch Better Have My Money,” “Needed Me” and “Pour It Up.”
Rihanna slowed it down for her final act with the tracks “Stay,” “Diamonds” and “Love on the Brain.” The Barbadian singer looked elegant in a gown by Alexandre Vauthier Haute Couture and a pair of the designer’s sandals.
Drake soon appeared onstage to present the Video Vanguard Award, saying, “When it comes to performance, they swarm in masses just to be in her presence, and when it comes to fashion and style, she makes it seem so effortless. … What’s most impressive is the person.”
Rihanna thanked her fans, family and her hometown for all of the support over the past 11 years since her 2005 VMA debut.