The centerpiece of Sunday night's MTV Video Music Awards was a 15-minute performance from none other than Beyoncé. The singer treated viewers to a medley of songs from her album Lemonade, and in true Queen Bey fashion, she blew everyone away.
It's no wonder she walked away with seven awards, including Video of the Year, considering the striking imagery conveyed in her performance. The story of her music was brought to life on stage in much the same way as in her visual album, and it was clear she had an important message to share.
The medley began with a haunting performance of "Pray You Catch Me," during which Beyoncé was surrounded by several figures who appeared to be shot dead, collapsing onto the stage in a red spotlight. Beyoncé then fell into the arms of a man dressed in a hoodie, an apparent reference to Trayvon Martin and the Black Lives Matter movement.
The message was strengthened by the fact that Beyoncé brought Martin's mother to the show, in addition to three other "Mothers of the Movement": women whose sons were killed by police.
Following that powerful opening, Beyoncé then got the crowd pumped as she transitioned into "Hold Up," "Sorry," "Don't Hurt Yourself," and finally, "Formation."
As is to be expected from any Beyoncé performance, there was of course plenty of fierce choreography.
She even used her trusty baseball bat to smash one of the cameras.
It was a performance to remember, and it ended on a note of empowerment, as her dancers got in "formation" to create the female symbol.