The 2016 MTV VMAs Sunday night have showcased some of the best performances we’ve seen from both breakout artists and longtime favorites. This year Rihanna has been one of the most entertaining, anticipated performers and has reminded us that she’s always full of impressive surprises and the ability to weave in and out of different genres and performance styles without ever compromising her fierceness.
Even losing to Beyoncé in the Best Female Video category didn’t put the slightest damper on the Vanguard Video Award winner’s epic night. Prior to Rihanna’s third performance of the night, Tracee Ellis Ross delivered a brief introduction speech, praising her for conquering “everything she has set her mind to.”
“Rihanna is a boss in every sense of the word,” said Ross. “She embodies control, rebellion and an escape from boring expectations.”
Ri then stepped into the spotlight for another medley that was vastly different in tone than her previous two — a little bit darker and slower in pace, she performed “Needed Me,” “Pour It Up” and then ended it with “Bitch Better Have My Money.”
Calvin Harris summed it up earlier in his acceptance speech when he called Rihanna a “superstar” who brings “magic” to her projects.