by ILana Martin
Jennifer Hudson, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, and many others graced the stage last night at the first Video Music Awards to be held in Brooklyn. It was a wild and festive show, exceeding expectations.
Lady Gaga opened the show with a standout performance including seven costume changes. They didn’t affect her vocal performance, however. She sang with great style and intonation as her dancers helped her change from nun to vixen to classic Gaga super-dame.
Macklemore delighted and sang in good taste with Jennifer Hudson, making fans swoon with their tempered duet on the chorus and vamp of “Same Love.”
Hands down the best male singer of the night, Bruno Mars sang his new single, “Gorilla.” His vocal control—through excellent mouth posture and gritty vocal texture—had the crowd on their feet and felt organic and special. Ending on his knees with Prince-like screams and fire exploding behind him onstage, Mars wowed the crowd and proved himself deserving of his superstardom.
Katy Perry, a fine singer, sang in a mock boxing ring under the Brooklyn Bridge. Her hit “Roar” was received wonderfully. A crowd watched her intently as she delivered a balanced and fiery vocal performance. Her true energy and vocal athleticism was unmatched by any other female performer of the night.
Drake gave a heartfelt performance that was lackluster vocally, but heavy on originality and meaning.
Justin Timberlake accepted an award for “Mirrors” and performed for almost twenty minutes, bringing the crowd to its dancing feet. It was a special night for Timberlake, who had his parents in the crowd and sang in a clear, soulful falsetto.
The crowd enjoyed the show and had a fantastic time. One of the longest running annual award shows that MTV has produced had one of its best installments ever in Brooklyn.
ILana Martin is the founder of New York’s Vocal Workout Singing School. As a performer, she’s sung with Barry White, Patti LaBelle, D’Angelo, Stevie Wonder, and many others.