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Madonna Showed Up at the VMAs in One of Her Iconic Lingerie Looks to Remind Us Who Started All This

Without Madonna, there would be no VMAs — and without the VMAs, no Madonna. Or so — roughly — goes the thesis of Madonna’s surprise appearance at tonight’s VMAs celebrating 40 years of MTV, and 40 years of Madonna making headlines at the VMAs. In 1984, she wore a lingerie wedding dress for an, uh, intimate performance of “Like A Virgin” at their very first show; in 2003, she blew the world’s mind by kissing Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. In 2021, Madonna naturally couldn’t resist being there for MTV’s big birthday as she made a surprise appearance to introduce opening act Justin Bieber and Kid Laroi in a black latex bra and corset, policeman cap, and long Burberry trench.

“And they said we wouldn’t last,” Madonna addressed the VMAs crowd: “but we’re still here motherf***ers.” Which sums up the Queen of Pop’s attitude overall nicely.

Madonna also shared the trailer for her new concert movie Madame X out in October, which showed the singer arriving at Times Square in a taxi. “I came to New York City with nothing but 35 dollars and a pair of dance shoes,” the voiceover says. “I was 19 and terrified.”

“Forty years ago, another underdog arrived in New York City hoping to create something revolutionary. An all music channel premiered in the middle of the night and called itself MTV. We found each other and from from then on changed my life, changed music and created a new art form. That’s why there’s only one place to be tonight,” the voice continued — as we saw Madonna arrive on the VMAs stage.

Madonna has won a total of 20 VMAs awards across her career, and tonight’s appearance was a reminder of how this grand tradition began: with Madonna half-out of a wedding dress rolling around on stage. Remember whose shoes you’re filling, Olivia Rodrigo!

Before you go, click here to see the most over-the-top VMAs looks in MTV history.
Lady Gaga

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