2020 MTV VMAs: The Weeknd, Lady Gaga and More Send Powerful Messages

Music’s biggest stars proved they’re ready to rock the vote during Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards! Some of music’s biggest stars were honored during the 2020 VMAs, and many used their voices to encourage fans and viewers to get active, aware, and vote in the upcoming general election.

“I know a renaissance is coming and the wrath of pop culture will inspire you, and the rage of art will empower you,” Lady Gaga told fans while accepting the VMAs inaugural Tricon Award. “Stay safe, speak your mind, and I know I might sound like a broken record, but wear a mask — it’s a sign of respect.”

Now is the time to make a difference.
Use your power. #VoteForYourLife.

Learn more at https://t.co/yVLWPZ2iRI ✔️ pic.twitter.com/YTWcsPH81B

The Weeknd won the night’s biggest award, Video of the Year, as well as Best R&B, though he kept both of his acceptance speeches somber and straight to the point. 

“Thank you, VMAs and MTV,” he said. “I want to thank Kenneth Taylor and Anton Tammi for the video. It’s hard for me to celebrate right now and enjoy this moment. So I’m just going to say, justice for Jacob Blake and justice for Breonna Taylor. Thank you.”

The #VMA for Best R&B goes to @theweeknd for “Blinding Lights." pic.twitter.com/s2VjssMwjA

Host Keke Palmer also encouraged viewers to get to the polls in November’s general election, saying, “Get out and vote, people. We need you,” while presenter Anthony Ramos rocked a “VOTE” face mask after presenting the award for the Best Latin category.

Anthony Ramos rollin’ into the #VMAs like John Laurens in the place to be. pic.twitter.com/h6DLpNm0J2

Sofia Carson presented the Video for Good category, which celebrated artists who put out videos with a strong social message.

“Congratulations to H.E.R., an artist who I admire deeply and who used her video to promote racial inequality and amplify the Black Lives Matter movement,” Carson said after H.E.R.’s acceptance speech. “All artists in the category have shed light on the issues they care most about through the power of their voices, and now it’s time to use yours. Make a difference in your community’s future, in our country’s future. Unmute your voice to speak up about what you believe in. Register to vote. Because your vote is your voice.”

CONGRATULATIONS to @HERMusicx on winning her first-ever #VMA for Video For Good for her powerful music video for ‘I Can’t Breathe.’
Thank you for using your voice for good! ? pic.twitter.com/XEBUo7a55e

And musicians aren’t the only ones encouraging Americans to vote — whether in person or by mail — in November’s general election. Kim Kardashian West and Chelsea Handler joined female politicians like Rep. Maxine Waters to celebrate women’s suffrage as part of the Be Woke. Vote campaign, and Michelle Obama urged viewers to vote for Joe Biden “like our lives depend on it” during her speech at the Democratic National Convention earlier this month.

Even the Duchess of Sussex is encouraging Americans to get to the polls. Meghan Markle recently participated in the United State of Women’s virtual “Couch Party,” titled “When All Women Vote,” to celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment and encourage people to vote.

“When I think about voting and why this is so exceptionally important for all of us, I would frame it as: We vote to honor those who came before us and to protect those who will come after us,” Meghan told viewers. “Because that is what community is all about and that’s specifically what this election is all about.”

“If you’re complacent, you’re complicit,” she added. “In the fraught moment that we find our nation, exercising your right to vote isn’t simply being part of a solution, it’s being part of a legacy.”

See more on the upcoming election in the video below.

Michelle Obama Tells Americans to 'Vote for Joe Biden Like Our Lives Depend on It'

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