TIME Opinion

How to Reclaim the F-Word? Just Call Beyoncé

Beyonce performs onstage at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, Calif.
Beyonce performs onstage at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, Calif. Jason LaVeris—FilmMagic/Getty Images

Beyonce’s brand of empowerment isn’t perfect, but her VMA performance on Sunday accomplished what activists could not: She took feminism to the masses.

Militant. Radical. Man-hating. If you study word patterns in media over the past two decades, you’ll find that these are among the most common terms used to talk about the word “feminist.” Yes, I did this — with the help of a linguist and a tool called the Corpus of Contemporary American English, which is the world’s largest database of language.

I did a similar search on Twitter, with the help of Twitter’s data team, looking at language trends over the past 48 hours. There, the word patterns were more simple. Search “feminist,” and you’ll likely come up with just one word association: Beyoncé.

That’s a product of Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards, of course, in which the 33-year-old closed out the show with an epic declaration of the F-Word, a giant “FEMINIST” sign blazing from behind her silhouette.

As far as feminist endorsements are concerned, this was the holy grail: A word with a complicated history reclaimed by the most powerful celebrity in the world. And then she projected it — along with its definition, by the Nigerian feminist author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie — into the homes of 12 million unassuming Americans. Beyoncé would become the subject of two-thirds of all tweets about feminism in the 24 hours after her appearance, according to a data analysis by Twitter, making Sunday the sixth-highest day for volume of conversation about feminism since Twitter began tracking this year (the top three were days during #YesAllWomen).

“What Bey just did for feminism, on national television, look, for better or worse, that reach is WAY more than anything we’ve seen,” the writer Roxane Gay, author of the new book, Bad Feminist, declared (on Twitter, naturally).

“HELL YES!” messaged Jennifer Pozner, a writer and media critic.

“It would have been unthinkable during my era,” said Barbara Berg, a historian and the author of Sexism in America.

Feminism may be enjoying a particular celebrity moment, but let’s just remember that this wasn’t always the case. Feminism’s definition may be simple — it is the social, political and economic equality of the sexes, as Adichie put it — and yet its interpretation is anything but. “There was only about two seconds in the history of the world in which women really welcomed [feminism],” Gail Collins, The New York Times columnist and author of America’s Women once told me in 2010, for an article I was writing about young women and feminism. “There’s something about the word that just drives people nuts.”

Over the past 40 years in particular, as Berg explains it, the word has seen it all: exultation, neutrality, uncertainty, animosity. “Feminazi” has become a perennial (and favorite) insult of the religious right (and of Rush Limbaugh). In 1992, in a public letter decrying a proposal for an equal rights amendment (the horror!) television evangelist Pat Robertson hilariously proclaimed that feminism would cause women to “leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.”

Even the leaders of the movement have debated whether the word should be abandoned (or rebranded). From feminist has evolved the words womanist, humanist, and a host of other options — including, at one point, the suggestion from Queen Bey herself for something a little bit more catchy, “like ‘bootylicious.'” (Thank God that didn’t stick.)

It wasn’t that the people behind these efforts (well, most of them anyway) didn’t believe in the tenets of feminism — to the contrary, they did. But there was just something about identifying with that word. For some, it was pure naiveté: We were raised post-Title IX, and there were moments here and there where we thought maybe we didn’t need it. (We could be whatever we wanted, right? That was the gift of the feminists who came before us.) But for others, it was a notion of what the word had come to represent: angry, extreme, unlikeable. As recently as last year, a poll by the Huffington Post/YouGov found that while 82 percent of Americans stated that they indeed believe women and men should be equals, only 20 percent of them were willing to identify as feminists.

Enter… Beyoncé. The new enlightened Beyoncé, that is. Universally loved, virtually unquestioned, and flawless, the 33-year-old entertainer seems to debunk every feminist stereotype you’ve ever heard. Beyoncé can’t be a man-hater – she’s got a man (right?). Her relationship – whatever you believe about the divorce rumors – has been elevated as a kind of model for egalitarian bliss: dual earners, adventurous sex life, supportive husband and an adorable child held up on stage by daddy while mommy worked. Beyoncé’s got the confidence of a superstar but the feminine touch of a mother. And, as a woman of color, she’s speaking to the masses – a powerful voice amid a movement that has a complicated history when it comes to inclusion.

No, you don’t have to like the way Beyoncé writhes around in that leotard – or the slickness with which her image is controlled – but whether you like it or not, she’s accomplished what feminists have long struggled to do: She’s reached the masses. She has, literally, brought feminism into the living rooms of 12.4 million Americans. “Sure, it’s just the VMAs,” says Pozner. “She’s not marching in Ferguson or staffing a battered woman’s shelter, but through her performance millions of mainstream music fans are being challenged to think about feminism as something powerful, important, and yes, attractive. And let’s head off at the pass any of the usual hand-wringing about her sexuality — Madonna never put the word FEMINIST in glowing lights during a national awards show performance. This is, as we say… a major moment.”

It’s what’s behind the word that matters, of course. Empty branding won’t change policy (and, yes, we need policy change). But there is power in language, too.

“Looking back on those early days of feminism, you can see that the word worked as a rallying cry,” says Deborah Tannen, aa linguist at Georgetown University and the author of You Just Don’t Understand, about men and women in conversation. “It gave women who embraced [it] a sense of identity and community — a feeling that they were part of something, and a connection to others who were a part of it too. Beyoncé’s taking back this word and identifying with it is huge.”

Bennett is a contributing columnist at TIME.com covering the intersection of gender, sexuality, business and pop culture. A former Newsweek senior writer and executive editor of Tumblr, she is a contributing editor for Sheryl Sandberg’s women’s foundation, Lean In. You can follow her @jess7bennett.

TIME celebrities

See Who Wore What at the 2014 VMAs

Including Katy Perry's "ode to Britney and Justin"

Dressing up is half the fun with any awards show, and the Video Music Awards are no exception. As always, big stars posed on the red carpet to show off their newest looks.

In their coverage of the event, People highlighted Taylor Swift’s choice of a Mary Katrantzou romper/unitard, and rapper Iggy Azalea’s cutout Atelier Versace gown. Meanwhile, Katy Perry’s floor-length denim dress was an “ode to Britney and Justin”–the same outfit that Britney Spears wore to the 2001 VMAs when she was still dating Justin Timberlake. Talk about a serious throwback.

[People]

TIME Opinion

9 Feminist Takeaways From the VMAs

2014 MTV Video Music Awards - Roaming Show
Singer Beyonce performs onstage during the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California. Kevin Winter—Getty Images

Men provided mostly forgettable moments

Feminism Doesn’t Mean ‘Man-Hater’

In fact, what it actually means is: the belief that all genders should be equal to each other politically, economically and socially. Thank you, Beyoncé.

Female Breadwinners Are Amazing

A Tumblr blogger put it best: “If Jay Z can support Beyonce’s stance on feminism and not feel threatened by it and cheer on her work with their daughter in his arms then ya’ll motherf*****s ain’t got no excuses.” Amen.

Gender Parity: It’s Possible!

The ladies took home 10 of 16 of the awards, or a whopping 63%.

You Can Use Fashion to Declare Your Independence

Katy Perry and RiFF RAFF dressed as early 00s power couple Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake on the red carpet. Even though it was a couple’s costume, Perry basically used the jean-clad rapper as a prop to state her independence while playing with rumors about her dating life.

Women Can Support Each Other

It was notable to hear Lorde introduce Taylor Swift as her “friend;” for Demi Lovato to tweet that she loves Nicki Minaj; to see female artists collaborating rather than tearing each other down.

Ladies Are Multifaceted, Get Over It

Yep, they can call themselves feminists and do it in a bodysuit.

Embrace the Female Badass

The best presenters of the night were Laverne Cox, Taylor Schilling and Uzo Aduba from Orange Is the New Black, who compared the competitive world of the VMAs to the all women’s prison on their show.

Women Can Rock Out, Too

While announcing the award for Best Rock Video, presenter Trey Songz said — in an eye-roll moment— that “even a lady [was] in the mix.” Well that lady was Lorde, and she was the first woman to ever win in that category. Besides, it’s not like Trey Songz was nominated for anything.

Being a Mom is Empowering

Beyoncé’s tribute to her adorable daughter brought the diva — and likely the entire audience — to tears. Count motherhood among Beyoncé’s many achievements. Women, having it all: check!

TIME Opinion

This Year’s VMAs Were All About Empowered Women

2014 MTV Video Music Awards - Show
Honoree Beyonce performs onstage during the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California. Michael Buckner—Getty Images

Beyoncé, Nicki, T-Swift and Iggy get feminist on MTV

From Nicki Minaj’s defiant twerking to Taylor Swift’s sly role-reversal to Beyoncé singing with the word “FEMINIST” emblazoned behind her, empowered women stole the spotlight at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. Not only were their performances the best (sorry, Usher), but their message was clear:

We’re taking over. And we’re not sorry.

Here’s the breakdown:

Nicki Minaj

When Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” video dropped last week, bloggers couldn’t help but notice that not a single man appeared in the video—except for Drake at the very end. (And let’s be fair: His mere presence is justified by her pleasure in teasing him.) Minaj has always done what she wants whenever she wants without any consideration for anyone, let alone the opposite gender. The same is true in this video—all that glorious twerking in the jungle isn’t for the sake of a man but for Minaj herself. And even when Minaj does proceed to give Drake a lap dance at the end of the video, it’s all on her terms. When he finally tries to reach out to touch her bottom, she slaps his hand and struts away, leaving him miserable with his head in his hands.

Her VMAs performance was similar: all her backup dancers were female. And while she didn’t get the chance to utter some of the more choice lines from “Anaconda,” her dancing alone gives us the sense that Minaj could not care less what any man thinks.

View the full performance here.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift, who recently declared herself a feminist, eschewed tradition in her “Shake It Off” performance. In an interesting role reversal, all of Swift’s backup dancers were men while women sang backup and played instruments. It’s not a completely original move: many divas have been carried onstage by an entourage of men before. But when Swift was given the option to jump off a platform into the arms of the guys below her, she decided to walk down the stairs herself instead. The move was a nod to her clumsiness, but T-Swift was also sending the message that she doesn’t need to depend on a man to catch her either.

View the full performance here.

Iggy Azalea & Rita Ora

For those who haven’t seen the music video for “Black Widow,” it’s a re-imagining of Kill Bill, one of the most iconic female empowerment flicks ever made. (And reminiscent of when Lady Gaga and Beyoncé teamed up for the “Telephone” music video, referencing Kill Bill as well as Thelma & Louise). The song has similar themes of women-on-man vengeance, and the music video—along with the VMAs performance—celebrates girl power in a way rarely seen in pop culture. Heck, maybe Iggy Azalea should play Spider-Woman on the big screen.

View the full performance here.

 

Beyoncé

I’ve written before about how Beyoncé’s latest album, “Beyoncé,” is basically a lesson in modern feminism. That continued to be true Sunday night during her finale performance when she sang the anthems that women across the world have had on repeat since the surprise album drop in December. These are songs that remind women not to obsess about looks and perfection (“Flawless”), sexual pleasure ought to be a two-way street (“Blow”) and pleasing your man isn’t an anti-feminist endeavor (“Partition”).

But the peak came during “Flawless,” which began with the recording of Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s call to feminism (which is also featured in the album). Her words flashed in bold letters behind the singer: “We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are. We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition but not too much. Aim to be successful, but not too successful otherwise you will threaten the man.”

The word “feminist” then flashed on the screen and lingered long enough for Beyonce’s silhouette to pull into the frame—and for her to be photographed with the words behind her a few thousand times.

Think about that: feminist sat written in huge letters on a screen behind the most popular pop star in the world on an awards show whose main demographic is tweens and teens. The 2013 VMAs may have been the year of performances that gave us pause for all of the wrong reasons, but this year’s VMAs were something completely different.

TIME Television

The 2014 VMAs: The Good, the Bad, the Beyoncé

Beyonce performs onstage during the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on Aug. 24, 2014 in Inglewood, Calif.
Beyonce performs onstage during the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on Aug. 24, 2014 in Inglewood, Calif. Christopher Polk—MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV

Beyoncé for President

It’s the most magical time of the year for people who like sequins, sparkles and synchronized dance moves. That’s right — it’s the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, and while we didn’t expect any twerking teddy bears this year, we did expect Nicki Minaj, Usher, Maroon 5, Iggy Azalea, Five Seconds of Summer and, of course, Beyoncé herself.

Unlike most awards shows, no one really cares who wins — but the performances certainly provided good fodder for ye olde water cooler tomorrow, or at least helped us better understand what the kids are always talking about around the dinner table. (5 Seconds of who?)

If you couldn’t be bothered to spend two and a half hours of your limited lifespan on the couch (after all, YOLO) watching young women wear sparkly onesies while lip-syncing their mega-hits, here’s what happened on the VMAs:

Most Important Realization: Um, Sway still exists.

Second Most Important Realization: Your favorite Pretty Little Liar Lucy Hale had two costumes changes by 15 minutes into the pre-show. (Third most important realization? This.)

Best Reason to Fire Your Stylist: Fashion is cyclical and all, but if the VMAs gave prizes for reasons to fire your stylist, they would have handed them out on the Red Carpet, when everyone in the blogosphere simultaneously tweeted that Amber Rose showed up in a nearly identical nearly nude dress to the one Rose McGowan wore to the VMAs in 1998. Then again, her husband Wiz Khalifa wore a shirt printed with a suicide prevention statement, so there’s that.

The First Award: On the Red Carpet, Five Seconds of Summer took home the night’s first award: Best Lyric Video, which is one of those videos you inadvertently click on YouTube thinking it’s the real video. Apparently, they give awards for those now.

Important Hint-Dropping: Gwen Stefani announced that she might be working on new music.

Fingers Crossed: “I won’t fall off the stage… I hope.” — Iggy Azalea

Hanging Up the Unitard: Beloved songbird Miley Cyrus announced that she has retired (retwired?) her twerk, because, “It’s not about twerking — it’s about music.” Guess she’ll have to leave the cultural appropriation to Taylor Swift this year.

Red Carpet Performances: Fifth Harmony weren’t quite famous enough to be allowed to perform inside the Forum, but they did get to bust out their synchronized moves on the red carpet. Similarly, Charli XCX was given the opportunity to perform her hit from The Fault in Our Stars soundtrack, “Boom Clap,” and gave the pre-show performance the respect it’s due by wearing a peignoir and mini-skirt and not giving a damn in the best rock fashion imaginable (and earning our love and respect for life). Sorry, Charli, that everyone is sick to death of “Fancy” — otherwise you might be allowed to play inside with Iggy Azalea.

Creepiest Comment: “Your skin looks nice,” said Sway to Rita Ora. Is he planning on wearing Rita Ora to the next VMAs?

Biggest Head Scratcher for Anyone Over the Age of 17: Who is Becky G? MTV gave the pint-sized star the full-court press and more screentime than J. Lo, but only the tweens know the true greatness of “Shower.”

Best Homage: Katy Perry rolled up to the Red Carpet fashionably late and with none other than grill-sporting rapper RiFF RAFF (a.k.a. Jody Highroller) in tow, wearing matching head-to-toe rhinestoned and studded denim ensembles in an homage to the outfits worn by Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake to the 2001 American Music Awards. Classy, yet also not at all.

The Big Opener: Ariana Grande wore her trademark high ponytail, go-go boots and a sparkly swimsuit romper thing to sing “Break Free,” then was quickly blown off the stage by the fierce beats of a bleeped-out version of Nicki Minaj‘s “Anaconda.” The spectacle was filled with twerking, floor-writhing, booty rubbing and absolutely no snakes. That segued into “Bang Bang,” with Jessie J showing side hip, Grande wearing a different romper-go-go boot pairing and Minaj holding her dress together with her hands. Wardrobe malfunction or fashion forward? We may never know, but we do know that Minaj was the consummate professional and just let the show go on. We also know it was all a bit too much for Rita Ora.

Best Female Video: Katy Perry and Juicy J took the prize for “Dark Horse,” which means Juicy J just needs an Oscar and he will have EGOT’d. (Just kidding!)

Best Safety Video: Taylor Swift performed her latest single “Shake It Off” with a Material Girl-worthy troupe of tuxedoed men. Halfway through the performance, it looked like she was going to get in touch with her inner cheerleader and jump off a platform into the waiting arms of her beaus, but instead decided to walk down the stairs. (It was a nicely dorky shtick.) Safety first, even at the VMAs. Guess someone learned a valuable life lesson from Miguel.

Best Male Video: Ed Sheeran won for “Sing”. Chelsea Handler introduced him. Not much to say beyond that.

Best Pop Video: Ariana Grande took home the Moon Man for “Problem,” and gave a quick shout-out to Iggy Azalea for appearing on the track. Iggy could barely manage a smile.

Keeping Up With the Presenters: Kim Kardashian-West (ahem) introduced her “friend” Sam Smith to perform his song “Stay with Me,” and now it’s impossible not to dream of a Sam Smith appearance on Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

Best Political Moment: Common came out to remind the gathered tweens and celebs and assistants to the stars that “hip-hop has always presented a voice for the revolution” and requesting a moment of silence for Mike Brown. The sentiment was solid, but in that crowd, the cameraman had no choice but to cut to Snoop Dogg flashing a peace sign.

Best Hip Hop Video: While there was some hope that Kanye West would win and Kim would accept the award and make a poignant speech on his behalf, Drake took the title of Best Hip Hop Video for “Hold On We’re Going Home,” but couldn’t make it to the show, so Common took the Moon Man home with him and will definitely give it back later when Drake starts returning his calls.

Best Presenters: The cast of Orange Is the New Black came out in their glammed-up best to introduce Usher and used the opportunity to remind the fittingly captive audience that the VMAs are a lot like prison.

Best Rock Video: Sitting next to her BFF Taylor Swift, Lorde attempted to graciously accept her Moon Man for “Royals,” but spent the entire time on stage staring into the wrong camera, asking which was the right camera, swearing, apologizing for swearing, and generally reminding the world that she is just 17 years old. Also, didn’t “Royals” come out in 1902? How is it still eligible? Also also, is “Royals” a “rock” song? Anyway, hopefully Lorde will never get any better at accepting awards.

Best Way to Make Your Audience’s Parents Feel Old: Two humans born in the ’90s — Chloe Moretz and Dylan O’Brien— introduced a group of children born in the ’00s (well, not quite) — 5 Seconds of Summer — to play .

Artist to Watch: Besting actual rising artists Sam Smith and Charli XCX, Fifth Harmony took the title of Artist to Watch, so apparently everyone should start watching them, right now. They fittingly thanked “Simon Cowell and God.”

Worst Segue: Out of nowhere the show cut to an incredibly brief (23 seconds!) montage of photos of Robin Williams while Coldplay’s “Sky Full of Stars” played before abruptly cutting to a style file about Iggy Azalea’s hairdo.

Cutest Audience Cutaway: While Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora performed “Black Widow” the camera cut to Charli XCX singing along to every word. There was also a quick cut to Taylor Swift dancing, which is undoubtedly in GIF form and heading to a Buzzfeed post near you.

Most Bored Audience Award: While Charli and Taylor were having fun, Katy Perry and Sam Smith were not feeling it:

 

Best Throwback: Maroon 5’s inaugural VMA performance seems like a nice time to take a little trip down memory lane to that time in 2011 when Adam Levine tweeted this:

Technically speaking, the band performed outside the Forum, so that line in the sand still sands.

Video of the Year: After a very unappreciated (albeit unfunny) Jimmy Fallon monologue, the award for Video of the Year was presented to Miley Cyrus for “Wrecking Ball.” While Cyrus was in attendance, she opted not to pick up the award herself. Instead, she pulled a Marlon Brando (Google it, kids), sending a well-spoken young man named Jesse on stage in her stead to raise awareness for the plight of homeless youth. While Cyrus sat on the sidelines and cried like a proud stage mom, Jesse read a speech and directed fans to Cyrus’s Facebook page to make donations. This is quite a change from Cyrus’s performance at last year’s VMAs.

Beyoncé Time: Despite being shut out in every category, Beyoncé delivered a mind-bogglingly perfect medley of tracks from her self-titled album, dancing around the stage in a bejeweled bodysuit that Ariana Grande just wishes she could fill. As Jay Z and Blue Ivy watched from the sideline, Beyoncé was clearly having more fun than anyone in the room. She giggled while singing “surfbort,” smiled into the camera while straddling a stripper pole, invited the audience to singalong to “Drunk in Love,” got the crowd on their feet to clap along, and laughed while singing the “Flawless” remix with her baby dancing along in the front row. (Blue can show this video to her therapist to prove that she had a very normal childhood.) To cap it all off, Jay brought Blue Ivy on stage with him to present his wife with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, dubbing her the “greatest living entertainer.” If that wasn’t enough, Blue said, “Good job Mommy,” and the audience couldn’t help but start chanting “Beyoncé! Beyoncé!” and even Queen Bey couldn’t hold back the tears at that point, thanking everyone while genteely dabbing her tears away and gesturing her husband backstage with a head nod.

In short: God save the Queen.

TIME Television

Watch Beyoncé and Jay Z Try to Shut Down Divorce Rumors at the VMAs

The couple kissed after he presented her with her lifetime achievement award

 

Rumors have been swirling for months that power couple Beyoncé and Jay Z have hit the rocks during their On the Run Tour and are headed for a split. But Jay and Bey tried to put those suspicions to bed (in a not-particularly-subtle way) at the MTV Video Music Awards, when the rapper and the couple’s daughter, Blue Ivy, presented mom Beyoncé with her lifetime achievement awards.

Jay Z and Blue Ivy watched Beyoncé perform songs from her latest album before taking the stage to honor the pop star; then Beyoncé cried as she took her award from her husband and her young daughter. The two locked lips, dispelling any notion, for the moment at least, that there’s trouble in paradisea show of marital bliss for all the world to see. Well played, Jay and Bey. Well played.

“I have nothing to say, but I’m filled with so much gratitude,” Beyoncé said. “I thank God for this moment. I love y’all so much. Blue Blue, I love you. My beloved, I love you. My fans, I love you. MTV, I love you. Goodnight.”

TIME Television

Watch Beyoncé Perform Her Entire Album (Basically)

2014 MTV Video Music Awards - Roaming Show
Singer Beyonce performs onstage during the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California. Kevin Winter—Getty Images

Beyoncé's show-stopping performance saw her performing most of the songs from last year's surprise album in a few short minutes

 

When you’re accepting the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, your performance better be something big — say, performing a medley of the majority of your “visual album” in roughly 20 minutes. Beyoncé closed out the show by running through most of the songs on her self-titled surprise release, which dropped at the end of last year with an accompanying music video for each song (as vanguards do).

With the exception of her jewel-encrusted leotard, Beyoncé’s performance was otherwise unflashy — in the best way. She passed on costume changes and complex stage designs for simple showmanship and solid choreography while husband Jay Z and daughter Blue Ivy looked on from the crowd. If you ever wonder why devoted fans deify her with nicknames like Queen Bey and Beysus, this performance makes it clear.

And if you wanted to know anything about the state of Beyoncé’s marriage (or at least what they want you to think), take a hint from Jay, who presented her with the award while planting a kiss and calling her “the greatest living entertainer.” Um, what breakup?

TIME Television

Who Was the Guy Who Accepted Miley Cyrus’ Award at the VMAs?

Cyrus had a homeless youth accept the award for her

 

After she won Video of the Year for “Wrecking Ball” at the 2014 VMAs, Miley Cyrus opted not to walk onto the stage to accept her trophy — but rather, she sent someone in her place: Cyrus had a homeless youth accept the award for her.

While Jimmy Fallon held the microphone, the young man named Jesse explained how those watching could donate to My Friend’s Place, a homeless center for young people in Hollywood, while Cyrus wept watching in the audience.

Miley explained further on her Facebook page:

Help me raise awareness and funds to end youth homelessness! This is just the beginning for me, but we’re going to get started now by focusing on My Friend’s Place, a homeless center for young people in Hollywood.

You can support the cause by making a donation here:www.prizeo.com/miley! For every $5 donation, you’ll be entered to win a trip for 2 to Brazil to hang out with me at my show in Rio de Janeiro on Sept 28th. You’ll get the full VIP experience, including 2 of the best seats in the house.

 

TIME Television

Watch Highlights From the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards

Featuring Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift, Sam Smith and others

The MTV Video Music Awards are more about the performances than the actual trophies, so if you missed the show—or just want to relive Nicki Minaj’s glorious wardrobe malfunction—check out the highlights below.

TIME Television

The VMAs Tribute to Robin Williams Was Exactly 23 Seconds Long

Yes, seriously

 

The VMAs tend to be highly organized, with introductions for every award and every act. But Robin Williams’ tribute went unannounced, lasted only 23 seconds, consisted of a few pictures and ended immediately without applause or explanation. Also, it was set, somewhat inexplicably, to Coldplay.

Expect the late comedian to get a much longer tribute at the 2014 Emmys.

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