Rihanna was honored with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the 2016 MTV Awards, and she was the highlight of the show. Rih’s presence was felt throughout the night, and no doubt, she has a bevy of iconic visuals to more than justify being celebrated with such a prestigious MTV award.
But she also had to take the stage a whopping three times–and her last performance had to kill.
Rih-Rih had a tall order for her final performance at the 2016 MTV VMAs. Not only had she been named the recipient of the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award; she’d also performed twice already that night. And on top of all of that–she had an electric Beyonce performance to contend with. She’d gone pink and bubbly for her first medley performance, then kept things dancehall the second time around.
But for her final outing on the VMA stage, Rihanna decided to go darker.
“Rihanna is a boss in every sense of the word,” said black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross, introducing the pop diva. “She embodies control, rebellion and an escape from boring expectations.”
Rihanna walked out dressed in all black, with a cape flowing and thigh-high boots. She kept things more downbeat for this last set; performing “Needed Me” and “Pour It Up” with foreboding backlighting and smoky surroundings; she then slipped into her anthem “Bitch Betta Have My Money” with her cadre of goth dancers surrounding her.
It was another memorable performance, capping what was undoubtedly a dope night for Rih-Rih.