He kicked off music’s most unpredictable night with enough flare, as beams of light surrounded him as he launched into his “Damn” hit “DNA.” As he traveled down the stage at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., however, his performance heated up fast.
As he got to the main stage, he was greeted by a fighter/dancer engulfed in flames, donned in a black, flame-resistance suit. As the fiery dancer exited the stage, Lamar transitioned into another hit, “Humble,” as a grid behind him lit up in flames, which the men behind him climbed up.
It’s the second consecutive year that Lamar has taken the VMAs stage. In 2016, Lamar performed “The Blacker the Berry” in a passionate, politically charged set.
Also set to perform at the VMAs are host Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Fifth Harmony, Lorde, Thirty Seconds to Mars, and Shawn Mendes. Ed Sheeran took the stage with Lil Uzi Vert after Lamar, covering Vert’s “XO Tour Life.” Pink will be this year’s recipient of the Vanguard Award.
This story will be updated with video of Lamar’s performance after it becomes available.