MTV Awards 2021: Extra sparks fly on pink carpet than on stage

Olivia Rodrigo

By Mark Savage
BBC music reporter

image source, Getty Images
image captionPop newcomer Olivia Rodrigo won three prizes, including song of the year

The MTV Video Music Awards returned to New York on Sunday, with major wins for pop stars old and new.

Sparks flew before the ceremony when Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor and rapper Machine Gun Kelly were involved in an altercation on the red carpet.

Olivia Rodrigo then won best new artist and best song for Drivers License, while Justin Bieber won best artist.

The main award, video of the year, went to Lil Nas X for his single Montero (Call Me by Your Name).

“Let’s go, gay agenda”, hollered the rapper, who has made LGBT-positive messaging and imagery a central component of his music.

The 22-year-old, whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill, also gave one of the night’s best performances, segueing from a marching band introduction to a lurid pink prison scene where, for good measure, he stripped to his boxer shorts and twerked in a shower.