MTV Video Music Awards 2014 highlights

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

Beyonce VMAs
Beyoncé was honored to receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award.

On Sunday night, the biggest names in the music biz rocked it at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards. Who took home the Moonman trophies and who stole the spotlight onstage?

Miley Cyrus, who stirred major controversy last year with her disturbing “twerking” dance routine, seems to have toned down her wild side just a touch. When she won Video of the Year for “Wrecking Ball”, rather than accepting the trophy in person, she sent a young man to accept the award and give a speech on homelessness in America. Maybe there’s hope for Cyrus after all?

However, the real showstopper was Beyoncé, who gave an incredible finale performance and accepted the prestigious Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award. Husband Jay Z and their 2-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, joined the diva onstage after her medley of big hits, where she thanked everyone with tears in her eyes.

As for the opening number, Nicki Minaj kicked off the show with a “Bang Bang” and wrapped the audience in her “Anaconda” song. Although snakes were originally planned for the performance, a 6-foot-long boa constrictor bit a background dancer during rehearsal, so they nixed the serpents. Yowch!

On a less fang-filled note, Ariana Grande brought it hard with soulful vocals as she belted out “Break Free”, and later won Best Pop Video for her song “Problem” with Iggy Azalea. The honor of first award, though, went to Katy Perry, who scored Best Female Video for “Dark Horse” with Juicy J. What about Taylor Swift? Fans of America’s favorite country girl-next-door were not disappointed when she showed off her newfound pop skills in “Shake It Off”.

Then, there was a very emotional tribute to comedian Robin Williams, who passed away 2 weeks ago. Coldplay’s song “A Sky Full of Stars” played while a photo montage of the beloved actor flashed across the screen.

Images courtesy of MTV.