WATCH: Rihanna opens, closes MTV Video Music Awards 2016
MANILA, Philippines – Beyonce may have walked away with the most number of awards at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, August 28 (Monday, August 29, in Manila), but Rihanna performed the most times during the show – 4 times, to be exact.
Rihanna, who received the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, opened the show with a medley of her hits, including "Don't Stop the Music," "Only Girl (In the World)," "We Found Love," and "Where Have You Been."
Her second performance was a dance hall number to songs such as "Rude Boy," "What's My Name," and "Work."
For her third performance, she sang "You Needed Me" and "Bitch Better Have My Money."
For her last performance, Rihanna went mellow and soul, singing "Stay," "Diamonds," and "Love on the Brain."
Drake, who the singer has long been rumored to be dating, then presented Riri with the Vanguard Award. He spoke about meeting her very early in both their careers, and how Rihanna has stayed the same despite her success.
"We love the music which could change styles from album to album. We love the videos which change their artistic vision from year to year. But most of all, we love the woman who hasn't changed since day one," said Drake. "She's someone I've been in love with since I was 22 years old. She's one of my best friends in the world. All my adult life, I've looked up to her even though she's younger than me. She's a living breathing legend in our industry."
During her speech as she accepted the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award from Drake, Rihanna said the recognition is meaningful not only to her but to her country of Barbados.
"MTV, this is such an amazing night. It's such an amazing moment in my career. When I think about the Vanguard Award and receiving this tonight, all I could think of was my country. They're going to be so proud. This is the first Vanguard to land anywhere close to my country," she said.
"And so you know, my success, it started as my dream. But now my success is not my own. It's my family's. It's my fans'. It's my country's. It's the Caribbean's as a whole. It's women's, it's black women's. So many people feel like their little piece is such a major part of this puzzle, and I have to thank you all for supporting me over and over. Thank you to every director who has taken a chance on me and a chance with my crazy ideas."
Rihanna also said she could not believe the things that have happened in her career, including receiving the award at just 28 years old.
She then thanked her mentors such as Jay-Z, LA Reid, and Jay Brown, as well as her publicity team.
Rihanna also gave a shout out to her close friends who she said "never left me."
"They're here right now, witnessing this. This is a big moment," she said. – Rappler.com