By Lisa Richwine
(Reuters) -Pop superstar Taylor Swift dominated MTV’s annual Video Music Awards on Tuesday, adding nine trophies to her collection as she claimed the top prize for her smash hit song “Anti-Hero”.
The first single from Swift’s 2022 “Midnights” album, “Anti-Hero” depicts a litany of insecurities with a chorus declaring: “It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me.”
“This is unbelievable,” the singer, on a break from her record-setting Eras Tour, said on stage as she held the Moon Person statuette for video of the year. “The fact this is a fan-voted award means so much to me.”
It was the second straight win for Swift in the video of the year category. Last year, she won the prize for her 10-minute version of breakup song “All Too Well”.
Swift’s nine awards on Tuesday tied the record for the biggest VMA haul in one night, MTV said. Her accolades included song, artist and album of the year, bringing her lifetime VMA total to 23, second only to Beyonce.
At the start of Tuesday night’s show at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, the 33-year-old Swift gushed as she received the pop video award from members of 1990s boy band NSYNC, the group that won the same honor 20 years ago.
“I had your dolls!” Swift said to band members including Lance Bass and Justin Timberlake. “You are pop personified. So to receive this from your golden pop hands, it’s too much.”
Among other winners, rapper Ice Spice was named best new artist. Stray Kids, a band put together through a reality show, won the best K-pop award, and SZA scored best R&B video for “Shirt”.
Rema and Selena Gomez won the first VMA for Afrobeats music for their collaboration “Calm Down”.
Performers at the ceremony included Demi Lovato, Lil Wayne, Olivia Rodrigo, host Nicki Minaj and rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs, who received the Global Icon award.
Minaj, who won the best hip hop video trophy, also joined Grandmaster Flash, LL Cool J and other rap luminaries for a multi-song celebration of the 50th anniversary of hip hop that concluded with Run DMC’s “Walk This Way”.
Colombian pop singer Shakira was honored with the Video Vanguard Award for her 20-year career. After performing a bilingual medley of her hits including “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Whenever, Wherever,” the singer saluted her fans.
“Thank you so much for being my army and helping me fight all my battles,” she said.
Later, she and fellow Colombian singer Karol G won best collaboration for “TQG”.
(Reporting by Lisa RichwineEditing by Shri Navaratnam and Miral Fahmy)