MTV VMAs 2021: Lil Nas X wins video of the year, Justin Bieber top star-packed night

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The 2021 MTV VMAs featured Lil Nas X and Justin Bieber stealing the show.
Lil Nas X accepts the award for video of the year for "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)" at the MTV Video Music Awards at Barclays Center on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in New York. Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Justin Bieber accepts the award for artist of the year at the MTV Video Music Awards at Barclays Center on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in New York. Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Madonna appears at the MTV Video Music Awards at Barclays Center on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in New York. Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Olivia Rodrigo accepts the award for best new artist at the MTV Video Music Awards at Barclays Center on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in New York. Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Machine Gun Kelly accepts the award for best alternative song for "My Ex's Best Friend" at the MTV Video Music Awards at Barclays Center on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in New York. Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

LOS ANGELES -- Lil Nas X won video of the year at Sundays MTV VMAs on a night that Justin Bieber triumphantly returned to the stage as a performer and as winner of the artist of the year."I do not take this for granted," Lil Nas X said while accepting the night's final award for the music video for his song, "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)."Much of the early show belonged to Bieber, who for his first VMAs performance in six years rappelled from the ceiling of the Barclays Center at the start of the show for an energetic performance of "Stay" with Kid LAROI and then his single "Ghost."The VMAs celebrated MTV's 40th anniversary, mixing moments between early network stars like Cyndi Lauper and show opener Madonna with high-octane performances by newer stars like Olivia Rodrigo, Lil Nas X, Camila Cabello and Chloe.Bieber was the leading nominee going into the ceremony. He took home the best pop honor for "Peaches," a song that featured Daniel Caesar and Giveon - who accompanied him onstage.Sporting baggy clothes and a hoodie, Bieber showed his appreciation for…
By JONATHAN LANDRUM Jr. AP Entertainment Writer
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