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Madonna's surprise appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards 2021 has caused quite a frenzy—and no, it's not because she's reunited with Britney Spears for another seductive kiss.
The Queen of Pop stunned the crowds at the VMAs this year with her opening of the iconic show, and viewers have been quick to share their reactions online.
Wearing a dramatic black leather ensemble, the Grammy winner kicked off the legendary production with a celebratory message for the world-famous music channel on its 40th anniversary.
“Happy 40th MTV!” she said after making her grand entrance at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. “Welcome to the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards.”
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“They said we wouldn’t last, but we’re still here mother—kers,” she added in a cheeky nod to the naysayers who doubted MTV's future when it first launched back in 1981.
The exciting intro was prefaced by a pre-taped clip, in which Madonna paid tribute to her tumultuous relationship with the longstanding network and its annual music video awards show. The superstar made her VMAs debut at its inaugural production in 1984 with a risqué performance of her hit song, Like a Virgin, in a career-defining moment that would solidify her A-list status on the international music scene.
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"Around 40 years ago I came to New York City with nothing but $35 and a pair of dance shoes," she recalled. "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 called itself MTV. We found each other and formed a bond that changed my life, changed music, and created a whole new art form. That's why there's only one place to be tonight."
SURPRISE! The #VMAs begin with an introduction from the one and only @Madonna pic.twitter.com/YmWtjabVJ7September 13, 2021
Forty years on, it looks like Madonna is still causing a stir. The Papa Don't Preach singer wowed fans with her Burlesque-inspired outfit, which included a black bodysuit, fishnet stockings, and black platform heels, as well as a luscious blonde wig beneath a black cap.
The showstopping ensemble was complemented by a gold 'Queen' necklace, vampy red nails, and fingerless black leather gloves—and of course, Madonna's signature sultry pose. Fans were quick to hail the legendary musician's unapologetic style choices, with many flooding her Instagram comment section with fire emojis and love hearts.
However, not everyone was keen on the dramatic look. While Madonna undeniably photographs gorgeously, it's no secret she appears far younger than your average 63-year-old. Several people raised suspicions over her fresh-faced glow, with some even speculating that she'd had cosmetic procedures to achieve her smooth complexion.
"Good god she is beautiful but how much plastic surgery has she had?" one fan wrote.
"It's ok to grow old stop trying so hard," another person said.
Others accused the singer of using extensive photo editing to create the flawless image. "I don’t usually come in on these things and I know nobody will probably read this but how many people out there can tell that this is a fake picture?" one fan said.
Madonna has yet to respond to the critics—but knowing Madge, she won't waste much time on them.
Emma is a Lifestyle News Writer for woman&home. Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, she mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.
Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.
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