Taylor Swift kicks off MTV Video Music Awards, Cardi B wins best hip-hop

US singer-songwriter Taylor Swift performs on stage during 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on Aug 26, 2019.
US singer-songwriter Taylor Swift performs on stage during 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on Aug 26, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AP) - Taylor Swift went from eye-popping pop star to guitar-strumming singer-songwriter as she opened the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards with a medley of songs from her new album.

She kicked off the show on Monday (Aug 26) with a colourful performance of her gay pride anthem You Need To Calm Down, which featured a large rainbow behind her and several dancers.

She later grabbed her guitar and sang the ballad Lover, the title track from her album released recently.

Cardi B's Money won best hip-hop - the first televised award of the night.

"I can't hear myself," she said as fans chanted her name. "Let me do my speech now."

Swift tied with Ariana Grande as the most nominated act - with 10 nods - at the VMAs, taking place at the Prudential Centre in Newark, New Jersey.

The night also belongs to Missy Elliott.

 
 

The icon became the first female rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame earlier this year and she will become the first female rapper to earn the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award on Monday night.

During the pre-show, MTV announced that Billie Eilish was named push artist of the year while BTS and Halsey's Boy With Luv won best K-pop.