Thursday 26 April 2018

Kendrick Lamar leads the way at politics-heavy MTV awards

The mother of Heather Heyer, who was killed protesting against far-right demonstrators in Charlottesville, launched a foundation in her daughter’s name at the ceremony in Los Angeles.

Gal Gadot and Kendrick Lamar
Gal Gadot and Kendrick Lamar

By Sam Blewett, Press Association Los Angeles Correspondent

Kendrick Lamar was the big winner at the MTV Video Music Awards, where politics took centre stage.

The rapper took home six awards for track HUMBLE, including video of the year, while Ed Sheeran beat him to artist of the year at the ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday.

The ceremony saw the mother of Heather Heyer, who was killed protesting against a far-right rally in Charlottesville, launch a charity to promote her legacy.

Paris Jackson, the model and actress daughter of Michael Jackson, started off the night by denouncing racism and urging fans to unite against “Nazi, white supremacist jerks” in the Virginia city as well as across the US.

Six transgender soldiers and veterans attended The Forum arena after they were invited by MTV bosses in a rebuke against US President Donald Trump who has banned new transgender recruits.

Ms Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, launched the Heather Heyer Foundation to provide scholarships to help people join her daughter’s “fight against hatred”.

She was invited to the stage by the Rev Robert Wright Lee, an ancestor of Civil War general Robert E Lee whose statue was supposedly the centre of the August 12 protest.

He said inspiration for combating hate could be found in the Black Lives Movement, the Women’s March and “especially Heather Heyer who died fighting for her beliefs”.

Lamar, 30, also took home the best hip-hop award for HUMBLE, and four further gongs for those who worked behind the scenes.

Pink, 37, was handed the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award to celebrate her 17-year career.

She too touched on politics by praising androgynous stars who “carry on and wave their flag and inspire the rest of us” despite facing attacks and criticism.

Sheeran, 26, thanked his fans after he was handed the artist of the year award by Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown, who admitted he was her “personal favourite”.

Zayn and Taylor Swift, who premiered her new music video on the night, won best collaboration for their video for I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker).

:: The show will be broadcast in the UK on the MTV channel at 8pm on Monday.

Press Association

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