Since the days of “Just Dance” back in the golden era of the mid-2000s, I have been a proud Little Monster, aka a fan of Lady Gaga. I’ve never failed to digest a Lady Gaga album on the day of its release, and when Chromatica arrived I already ordered multiple copies. (Yes, I even bought the Target Exclusive version that includes 3 additional tracks.) I share this because I don’t know that many know of my fandom for Lady Gaga to the same degree that people know I am the loudest Ariana Grande fan, Arianator, in the room.
I quite literally majored in the rhetoric of Ariana Grande at my undergrad. My senior thesis included a dedication to Ariana Grande and her seminal album thank u, next that got me through the turmoil of my last year in college. That is all to say that earlier this summer when “Rain on Me” was announced by Lady Gaga featuring Ariana Grande, I could not contain my excitement. This dance track was quite literally a cultural reset during quarantine.
Tonight, another cultural landmark has been reached as Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande united for the 2020 MTV VMAs to deliver the first TV performance of “Rain on Me.” As soon as the performance went live, I have relished in this culmination of pop artistry. Whether you have yet to or you saw it, these are my top 5 moments from Gaga & Grande’s performance of “Rain on Me” at the 2020 MTV VMAs.
Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande Deliver Iconic Face-Masked Performance of ‘Rain on Me’ at 2020 MTV VMAs
1. Lady Gaga’s MTV VMA performance begins with an ode to 1999 award show
Lady Gaga’s name is synonymous with the VMAs after the many jaw-dropping stunts she’s pulled. From ending The Fame era with an artful and gory critic of fame culture to the meat dresses, Gaga has cemented herself as a VMA icon. But what I’ve always loved Lady Gaga’s artistry because of how she pays homage to pop history. The opening bit on the television, inside of our TV, includes footage from the 1999 MTV VMAs and announces a lineup of Diana Ross, Britney Spears, and NSYNC. A blast from pop’s past.
2. Lady Gaga’s face mask steals the 2020 VMAs show
Leave it to Lady Gaga to not only deliver a perfect socially distant performance but do it with some of the most stylish face masks and PPE ever. "I was wearing face shields before it was a thing," Gaga said on Twitter Sunday night (Aug. 30). Honestly, Gaga has always been a style icon. I would not be surprised, or upset, if she released some more Chromatica inspired helmets. (I missed getting a mask!)
3. Ariana Grande sashaying into her “Rain on Me” VMAs Performance
Even though there was no way I could be witnessing these queens performing in person, I’m sure they heard me screaming when the “Rain on Me” united on stage. When Ariana Grande coolly slides in from the back of the stage, and with pony tails, you heard the nation scream, “Yas!”
4. Ariana Grande Hitting a Whistle Note and Lady Gaga Cheering her on during "Rain on Me" PERFORMance
The bridge on “Rain on Me” remains one of my favorites in all of pop music because we get a flavor of both signature Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande. Lady Gaga gives us some sultry delivery lyrics taking us to the climax of this song. “Rain on me, tsunami” coos Gaga. And then Ariana Grande delivers perhaps one of her greatest whistle tones ever! Lady Gaga even turns to her, for a spit second of silence, as she cheers on her fellow singer. We have no choice but to stan legends supporting legends!
5. Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande end 2020 MTV VMAs performance walking away hand in hand
Back to my point of legends stanning legends, the beauty of “Rain on Me” exists in how organic Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s artistry works. From the song where the two vocalists carry their weight to the video and its stunning visuals, this performance is the culmination of pop perfection. In re watching the video, I caught a glimpse of Gaga and Grande walking away hand in hand. This subtle sign of support and friendship is the cure my heart and soul needed for my quarantine blues.
What was your favorite moment from the 2020 MTV VMAs? Comment below or let me know on social media Instagram/Twitter @Willsshowem
Thanks for reading these Words by Will!
Author William Samayoa
Marketer by profession and storyteller by passion. L.A. raised, proud Latino, and pop culture enthusiast.