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MTV VMAs: Kendrick Lamar dominates as awards show gets political

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The MTV Video Music Awards are always a big night for pop music, but were also dominated by political statements at a fiery show in Los Angeles. Artists spoke out against white supremacy and urged suicide awareness during the awards on Sunday night.

Transgender military personnel attended, days after President Donald Trump signed a directive to ban them.

Kendrick Lamar was the night's big winner, picking up six awards including video of the year for HUMBLE.

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Kendrick Lamar performing

The video, directed by Dave Meyers, takes a wry look at the rapper's growing fame and sees him dressing up as a pope and taking part in a Last Supper.

Ed Sheeran was named Artist of the Year and Fifth Harmony got the Best Pop Video award for Down.

Taylor Swift was a no-show - perhaps wise given her history with awards host Katy Perry - but won best collaboration for her track with Zayn, I Don't Wanna Live Forever. And she debuted the video for Look What You Made Me Do during the awards.

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But it was politics that has grabbed most of the night's headlines.

There was an appearance from the mother of Heather Heyer, killed during a protest against a far-right march in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Susan Bro handed out the Fight Against the System Award, 15 days after Ms Heyer's death. Paying tribute to her daughter, she said: "I miss her, but I know she's here tonight."

All six nominees for the award shared the prize. Somali nominee K'naan, whose cover of a Hamilton track paid tribute to the work of immigrants, wore a mock Make America Great Again slogan written in Arabic.

Michael Jackson's daughter, Paris, also spoke out against the violence in Charlottesville, calling out "Nazi white supremacist jerks".

"We as a nation with liberty as our slogan - we have zero tolerance for their violence, their hatred and their discrimination. We must resist."

Artists mostly avoided referring to the US president directly, but criticised his policies and events.

Katy Perry, who campaigned for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, mocked Mr Trump with the new award:

"Listen, guys, this is one election where the popular vote actually matters... so vote online, but hurry up, before some random Russian pop star wins!"

And four serving transgender service members, along with two veterans, joined stars on the red carpet at The Forum - after getting approval from The Pentagon.

Source: BBC

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