INGLEWOOD, California - With some twerking and shaking, the leading ladies of pop music dominated the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) on Sunday, while an emotional Miley Cyrus and a touching moment between Beyonce and her family led the Moonman award wins of the night.
Cyrus, who set tongues wagging last year with her raunchy "twerking" during her VMAs performance, won the night's top prize for video of the year for Wrecking Ball, in which she cavorts naked on a wrecking ball.
She opted not to collect her award, instead sitting in the audience and holding back tears while sending a homeless young man named Jesse to collect it.
Earlier on the red carpet, she said she had "retired" her explicit, grinding dance moves. While Cyrus has retired the twerk, rapper Nicki Minaj brought her rump-grinding to kick off the show with hip-hop song Anaconda, scantily clad and twerking against a jungle-themed backdrop.
Since its launch in 1984, Viacom-owned MTV's VMAs has become synonymous with irreverence and unscripted moments that have become part of music history, and all eyes were on whoever delivered the most outrageous or unplanned stunt.
Beyonce delivered the night's most touching moment when accepting the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award for her lifetime achievement in music from her husband, rapper Jay Z, who called her the "greatest living entertainer".
Jay Z, carrying the couple's daughter, Blue Ivy, then shared a kiss on stage with his wife, who was overcome with emotion, saying: "I have nothing to say, I am so full from gratitude."
The singer performed a mini-concert of her hits, including Haunted, Drunk In Love, Partition and Blue, her ode to her daughter.
Beyonce picked up three other awards: best collaboration for Drunk In Love with Jay Z, and best cinematography and video with a social message for Pretty Hurts.
Other winners of the fan-voted awards included Katy Perry, who landed the best female video Moonman for the Cleopatra-themed music video for Dark Horse.
British singer Ed Sheeran won best male video Moonman for Sing, Lorde won best rock video for Royals, and Grande won best pop video for Problem, which features Azalea.
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