NEW YORK (AP) — Taylor Swift debuted the eye-popping music video for her new song at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards, which featured the singer dressed like a zombie in one scene and surrounded by slithering snakes in another.
The video for "Look What You Made Me Do" played Sunday at the Forum in Inglewood, California, in the first hour of the awards show. The video for the track, rumored to be a diss toward Kanye West, also featured Swift in a tub of diamonds, a cat mask, and a car that crashed (she was holding a Grammy). The clip ended with a dozen of Swifts — in memorable outfits she's worn in the past — portraying how the singer felt the media has portrayed her throughout the years.
Last year Swift and West's feud hit a new height when Kim Kardashian West released audio recordings that she said proved Swift gave her husband the go-ahead for a Swift reference in the song "Famous." Swift wiped her social media pages clean last week and caused a frenzy online with video snippets of slithery snake parts.
It was the biggest moment of the VMAs — so far.
Paris Jackson also turned some heads when she spoke about the recent rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
"We must show these Nazis, white supremacist jerks ... we have zero tolerance for their violence, their hatred and their discrimination," the 19-year-old daughter of the late Michael Jackson said before presenting best pop video. "We must resist!"
Fifth Harmony, who lost a group member last year, won the prize for their hit, "Down," featuring rapper Gucci Mane.
Ally Brooke and Dinah Jane of the group, who released a new album last week, were in tears as they accepted the award alongside Normani Kordei and Lauren Jauregui.
"This is honestly so unreal. Thank you to God and thank you to our families," Jane said.
Show host Katy Perry opened the VMAs saying she just arrived from space to Earth and was dressed as a shiny, silver astronaut.
Kendrick Lamar followed with an explosive performance featuring his sharp raps and ninjas dancing near fire. The rapper performed the hits "Humble" and "DNA," sporting a red jacket, red pants and white shirt, with a red lights beaming around him. He worked the stage while Pink, Calvin Harris, Logic and others nodded along.
At one point, one of the ninjas was on fire and danced near Lamar while he rapped.
Lamar is the leading nominee with eight, including video of the year for his anthemic No. 1 hit, "Humble." Bruno Mars' "24K Magic," DJ Khaled and Rihanna's "Wild Thoughts," the Weeknd's "Reminder" and Alessia Cara's "Scars to Your Beautiful" are also up for the top prize.
"Despacito," which was snubbed in the video of the year category, lost the only award it was nominated for: song of summer. Lil Uzi Vert's Top 10 hit, "XO Tour Life," won the prize.
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's international hit is the most viewed video on YouTube and currently No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. MTV said Universal Music Latin Entertainment didn't submit the video, while the record label said they weren't asked to send in the clip.
Ed Sheeran followed Lamar with a performance of his hit, "Shape of You." He was later joined by Lil Uzi Vert.
Other performers include Miley Cyrus, Lorde, Fifth Harmony with Gucci Mane, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Logic with Khalid and Post Malone. Pink, who will also perform, will receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.
Rod Stewart will sing a reworked version of his hit "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" remotely from Las Vegas with pop band DNCE; Demi Lovato will also perform remotely from Vegas.
Khalid and Cardi B, whose song "Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)" is No. 3 on the Hot 100 chart, performed during the pre-show. Teyana Taylor — the star dancer of Kanye West's "Fade" video and one of the video's choreographers — won best choreography for the clip.
Transgender members of the military walked the red carpet. On Friday, President Donald Trump directed the Pentagon to extend a ban on transgender individuals joining the military.
MTV eliminated gender categories like best male and female video at this year's VMAs, and they announced the artist of the year award. Nominees include Lamar, Mars, Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Lorde and the Weeknd.
Acts scoring nominations include the Chainsmokers, Migos, Harry Styles, Selena Gomez, Fifth Harmony and Big Sean.