Those who watched, and even those who didn’t watch, are talking about the MTV VMA’s last night. What stood out for many were moments earlier on in the show — flashy moments of a young starlet caught in an in-between moment of youth and adulthood. The VMA’s have always been the playground for child stars to try on adult personas. Britney and the snake. Christina and the denim outfit. This year we had Miley and a foam finger.
I can overlook the moment, because for me, that isn’t the heart of the show. That’s just the flash of the lightbulb before the film is developed.
I want to talk about my favorite moment: The live performance of “Same Love.” There is really only one word for it: shivers.
The first time I heard Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, and Mary Lambert’s “Same Love” was on an episode of The Fosters. I immediately went online to find out more about the song. I read about Macklemore’s uncle and how the hip-hop artist felt a responsibility to bring change to his community and help erase commonly used homophobic slurs.
Macklemore (real name Ben Haggerty) says, “I write songs that challenge myself, they challenge listeners, they might be controversial to some people, songs that push the boundaries of what a rap song sounds like or the subject matter that might be in a rap song.”
He didn’t bring this song to life on his own. One of the most compelling elements of the song is the beautiful and hopeful hook, “She keeps me warm,” sung by the talented Mary Lambert. Mary, an openly gay singer-songwriter, radiates positivity with her voice and she brings an element to this song that cuts through stigmas.
Mary says, “For me, writing the song was a very personal endeavor. It’s talking about my sexuality and my religion. To have that resonate with people — and not just on a wide scale, with the pushing of gay marriage — but on a very personal, real level, with people talking to me about their experience in church and their sexuality, that’s where it really hits home to me. You’re hearing these stories, and you know exactly what that person’s gone through.”
So let’s go back to last night, the moment where the now familiar first bars on a piano bring us in and we see a stage encircled by American flags. The flags lift and there is Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, and Mary Lambert. And when the crowd goes wild, there is our humanity. Our humanity is not our reaction to young starlets, it’s in the reverence to this powerful moment.
It was hearing the reaction of the crowd that made me forget the silliness of the beginning of the show. It was seeing the audience’s heartfelt reactions. It was Jennifer Hudson walking on stage and joining Mary in a heart stopping chorus repeat of “Not crying on Sunday.”
It was a grown up moment, a powerful moment. It was the best moment.
What did you think of the MTV VMA’s?
Image Credit: Pr Photos
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