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Madonna Kicks Off VMAs With Cheeky Birthday Message for MTV — Watch

Madonna VMAs 2021

“They said we wouldn’t last, but we’re still here, motherf–ers!” That’s how Madonna addressed the crowd at Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards, which opened with a special tribute to the network’s 40th anniversary.

And who better to wish MTV a happy birthday than the queen of pop (and queen of the VMAs) herself? Some of us will never forget where we were when we saw her kiss Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera in 2003. And that was just one of Madonna’s countless VMA moments worth remembering.

“Around 40 years ago, I came to New York City with nothing but 35 dollars and a pair of dance shoes,” Madonna began. “I told the taxi driver to take me to the center of it all. He dropped me off in Times Square. I was 19 and terrified. But it was just the first step. I knew that someday, with a lot of hard work, I’d be known not just in New York City but all over the world.”

She continued, “Forty years ago, another underdog arrived in New York City hoping to create something revolutionary. An all-music channel premiered in the middle of the night, and it called itself MTV. We formed a bond that changed my life and created a whole new art form. That’s why there’s only one place to be tonight.”

Official video of Madonna’s appearance will be added if/when it becomes available. In the meantime, check out some footage below:

Of course, Madonna wasn’t the only MTV staple to make a special appearance for the network’s big 4-0. Jennifer Lopez also presented the first award of the night, Song of the Year, which went to Olivia Rodrigo for “Driver’s License.” (Click here to watch Rodrigo’s performance of “Good 4 U.”)

In addition to Rodrigo, this year’s VMAs featured performances from Alicia Keys and Swae Lee, Busta Rhymes, Camila Cabello, Doja Cat, Foo Fighters, Justin Bieber and The Kid Laroi, Kacey Musgraves, Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow, Normani, Ozuna, Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker, Shawn Mendes and Tainy, and Twenty One Pilots.

Did you enjoy Madonna’s cheeky appearance at the VMAs? Drop your thoughts in a comment below.