With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging on, almost every event – including the MTV Video Music Awards – has had to go virtual since March. But, the lack of live performances has birthed a new music industry obsession in the form of livestream concerts.
Therefore, it’s only fitting that the VMAs came up with a brand new category to reflect these unprecedented times, and that category is: best quarantine performance.
From the One World: Together at Home concert series for charity to MTV events like Prom-Athon and Unplugged at Home, the world’s biggest artists have helped ease the loneliness of isolation with memorable virtual concerts. But, only one of the six VMAs nominees – Chloe x Halle, CNCO, DJ D-Nice, Lady Gaga, John Legend and Post Malone – will win the title of best quarantine performance.
Below, watch each virtual concert and determine who you think should win the VMA before the winner is announced Sunday night.
Chloe x Halle – “Do It” (from MTV Prom-Athon)
Breakout duo Chloe x Halle performed their hit song “Do It” during MTV’s Prom-Athon virtual event in partnership with When We All Vote on May 22. In front of gold “2020” balloons, the musical sisters delivered showstopping vocals and subtle choreography for high school students that were unable to attend prom due to the coronavirus pandemic. Watch their performance starting at 3:13.
CNCO – MTV Unplugged at Home
Latin-American boy band CNCO made an appearance on MTV’s Unplugged at Home series on May 8 to perform their songs “De Cero” and “Honey Boo.” Though all five members were quarantining in different places, the acoustic format of the show allowed each of their voices to shine despite the distance.
DJ D-Nice – Club MTV Presents: #DanceTogether
D-Nice has been a pillar of virtual performances with his quarantine parties on Instagram live. For MTV’s #DanceTogether event benefiting Save the Music, he put together a stellar DJ set with cameos from LL Cool J, Rickey Thompson and Liza Koshy. Watch a snippet from Club MTV below.
Lady Gaga – “Smile” (from One World: Together at Home)
During the One World: Together at Home fundraiser for coronavirus relief presented by Global Citizen and the World Health Organization, Lady Gaga performed a cover of Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile.” Accompanied only by a piano, Gaga’s rendition was both heartwarming and playful due to her powerhouse vocals and several tempo changes.
John Legend – #TogetherAtHome Concert Series
For the #TogetherAtHome concert series, John Legend sang classics like “Love’s in Need of Love Today” by Stevie Wonder and “Stay With You” outfitted in just a robe. Legend’s wife Chrissy Teigen also made an appearance in a towel as he serenaded her with “Everybody Knows.” Watch Legend’s full hour-long set below.
Post Malone – “Nirvana Tribute”
In the music crossover the world never knew it needed, Post Malone performed a full set of Nirvana covers on April 24 to benefit the World Health Organization. Joined by Travis Barker on drums, bassist Brian Lee and Nick Mack on guitar, Malone gave impressively spot-on vocals to songs like “Drain You,” “Come as You Are” and “Heart-Shaped Box.” In total, the livestream raised over $4.3 million for coronavirus relief.