Kanye West

The run-up to this year’s edition of MTV’s VMAs had its fair amount of hype about what Lady Gaga would wear/win and how would Kanye West and Taylor Swift reconcile after last year’s “I’ma-let-you-finish” moment. (For all the winners, check here.)

But beyond that buzz, we witnessed great performances—one surprisingly beautiful, the other way too short—from two female singers who should be way more famous on these shores, and a genuinely dramatic and—for Kanye, at least—triumphant finale.

The show closed with Yeezy’s “Runaway,” a clever eff you-and-I’m-sorry anthem, which turned out to be a perfect way to quash the alleged Taylor Swift beef and still stay true to his cocky self.

  • Watch him and a Pusha T cameo right after Aziz Ansari stops cracking up:
  • But long before Mr. West did his thing, Florence and the Machine put on a show that was a refreshing antidote to the dance-heavy routines of populist performers like Usher, Justin Beiber, and Nicki Minaj, with that embarrassingly soot-faced will.i.am. Even better—no lip-synching from frontwoman Florence Welch as she sung a rousing live version of “Dog Days Are Over.” Get to know her a little better in this “Entertainment Weekly” interview here.

    And just before the show cut to commercial at one point, Swedish singer Robyn got just a blip of recognition as TV audiences saw her sing a snippet of “Dancing on My Own.” Too bad, because the girl once considered to be pop star material like Britney, now is an indie favorite who does dance-pop edgier, smarter, and more fun than most of her peers. The following “more-please” performance keeps her comfortably on the mainstream fringes though, which is a good thing. The full-length video of the track follows. Watch it. Her latest album, “Body Talk, Pt. 2”, dropped last week. Cop that.

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