Music

Watch the Weeknd perform above Manhattan's skyline for the 2020 MTV VMAs

The singer performed 'Blinding Lights,' which won video of the year at the 1st major U.S. awards show of the coronavirus pandemic.

The singer performed 'Blinding Lights' at the 1st major U.S. awards show of the coronavirus pandemic

The Weeknd opened the 2020 MTV VMAs with a performance on a 300-metre-high deck overlooking Manhattan. (MTV/YouTube)

The Weeknd won two MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, Aug. 30, but one of the most memorable moments of the broadcast was his performance 300 metres above Manhattan — and in front of an impressive display of fireworks.

Set up at the currently closed tourist attraction the Edge in New York City's Hudson Yards, the Weeknd, a.k.a. Abel Tesfaye, performed his hit "Blinding Lights," from his fourth studio album After Hours. Tesfaye appeared to have a bloody face, which is consistent with how he's been showing up to events since the rollout of his new album began earlier this year. (He appeared with similar makeup at his March appearance on Saturday Night Live.)

While Tesfaye might have appreciated his awards, which were given out at the first major American awards show to take place in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, his mood was sombre.

"It's really hard for me to celebrate right now and enjoy this moment, so I'm just going to say, 'Justice for Jacob Blake and justice for Breonna Taylor," he said, referring to the recent police shooting of Blake, and the police killing of Taylor.

Watch the Weeknd's full VMAs performance below.

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