Host Keke Palmer acknowledged the death of “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman during the show’s opening.
Palmer called him “an actor whose talent and passion is a true inspiration to all the fans he touched and everyone he encountered.”
“We dedicate tonight’s show to a man whose spirit touched so many,” she said. “He is a true hero, not just onscreen, but in everything he did. His impact lives forever.”
Amid the global coronavirus pandemic, live audience members were replaced by shadowy masked viewers on rooftops or, in the case of Colombian singer Maluma, people spaced apart at a drive-in (which actually turned out to be a promotion for a car maker).
The first performance of the night was The Weeknd, who performed “Blinding Lights.”
The show’s performances were held at locations all over New York City.
BTS sang their first all English language language single, “Dynamite.” Miley Cyrus gave us some “Wrecking Ball” nostalgia with her rendition of “Midnight Sky.”
The first award of the night for best collaboration went to Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande for their hit single “Rain of Me.”
Gaga accepted wearing possibly one of the most impressive masks ever seen on an awards show — and it was not her only one of the night.