One Direction, Rihanna top spark-free VMAs
From left, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles and Zayn Malik, of musical group One Direction, walk onstage to accept the best new artist award at the MTV Video Music Awards on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Mark J. Terrill/Invision/AP)
One Direction had the girls screaming, Frank Ocean gave a soft, poignant performance and Chris Brown and Drake were in the same venue with not a bottle thrown. Save for a saucy Rihanna number and a few off-color jokes, the MTV Video Music Awards were a rather tame affair this year.
Perhaps that's to be expected with a group of teenagers at the center of things.
Rihanna started the show with a sexy medley performance before capping it with a win for the night's top honor, video of the year.
Rihanna performs at the MTV Video Music Awards on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Mark J. Terrill/Invision/AP)
One Direction owned the rest of the show. The heartthrob British boy band quickly changed the focus Thursday night, winning three awards and stealing the attention from Rihanna.
"We've grown up watching this show and to even be here is an honor," Niall Horan said from the stage.
Rihanna kicked off the party sitting regally upon a throne as she performed her new song "Cockiness (I Love It)" with A$AP Rocky and two groups of dancers. She then made her way into the pit at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and launched into her hit "We Found Love" as she weaved through the crowd, touching hands with dozens of fans.
Lil Wayne accepts the award for best hip-hop video for "Hyfr"at the MTV Video Music Awards on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Mark J. Terrill/Invision/AP)
"Doesn't my girl Rihanna look sexy tonight?" Katy Perry asked the crowd after the performance.
The camera was on her all night — when it wasn't highlighting One Direction. The group quickly took the overall spotlight, bringing high-pitched screams from the crowd upon winning best pop video. It was the night's first televised award and one of five top-nominee Rihanna was up for. They also won best new artist and the most share-worthy moonman.