The MTV Video #Music Awards 2016 saw girl power triumphing with performances from pop queens Beyonce, Britney Spears and Rihanna. Clad in a golden, revealing leotard Britney Spears strutted her way to a competent, if rather derivative performance of her latest single Make Me Ooh mashed-up with G-Eazy radio hit Me, Myself And I. As always, she made up for the mandatory lip-syncing with lots of eye candies, a sexually charged act, and energetic choreography, even grabbing G-Eazy's crotch while cavorting between his legs. It's being hailed as the return of good old Britney, and rightfully so especially if compared to her disastrous performance at the 2007 VMAs.

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All of this was right after Beyonce performed a 15-minute long medley off her Lemonade album, a concentrated marathon of music, styles and costume changes that showed her prowess as this generation's ultimate live performer. To top the night off Rihanna, with 4 different performances during the night, displayed her chameleonic talent as pop princess, disco doll, ballad singer and dance hall diva.

Beyonce crowned all-time VMA queen

By the end of the night, Beyonce had amassed another 8 VMAs to a whopping career total of 24, beating Madonna's all-time record of 20. This brings to light the tireless quest of finding a new "Madonna", intended as a new true queen of pop of the 21st century. 

"And I'm not a second-rate queen, getting kicks with a crown"  Madonna sang as Evita in the 1996 movie hit, and perhaps that's what each one of these new queens should start thinking of themselves too. Beyonce is one of the three #Celebrities who had inherited Madonna's lesson better, in terms of hard working and the disciplined construction of a larger than life persona.

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Still, one very fundamental Madge-ic element is lacking, as it is also in her peers Britney and Rihanna, and that is the meaning of (a) performance. Or at the very least a suggestion of it having any meaning of sort.

VMAs now and then

Britney's old-fashioned, suggestive entry from behind a white sheet projecting her shadow, slightly recalled of the good heydeys of Michael Jackson and Madonna. The pointless choreography, with the rushed movements of her arms and pelvic thrusts, killed a moment that could have risen to a fever pitch had she done it the Madonna way.

When Madonna entered the stage at the 1989's VMAs, her shadow gyrating on a chair and reproducing the feminine plastic poses à la Marlene Dietrich, she was already expressing herself at the second 0.1 of the song as well as instantly getting the message through and transfixed in the mind of the mesmerised TV viewers. 

Beyonce's performance, for all its craft and effects, paraded nothing to comment about. No content, no punctum, no feeling of uneasiness or possible doubt left on the viewer.

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The moment it was over, we were already waiting for Britney. 

Rihanna seems more intentional in her straight-forward attitude, and she never gave the idea she might be interested in pop queen competitions of sorts. It's a shame, as this also seems to prevent her from reaching a higher level of effectiveness and sophistication as a pop act. The laziness in properly miming the songs strikes a difference with Madonna's attitude to pretend to sing even the most auto-tuned effect, for the sake of the credibility of the performance (see her performance of Bye Bye Baby at the 1993's VMA). For all these reasons, despite all the record-breaking stuff, the quest for a new queen remains open.

  #Gossip