Taylor Swift wins top prize, announces new album at 2022 MTV Video Music Awards

Taylor Swift took home the top prize for video of the year at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday before closing out the show with a surprisingly big announcement: Her new album.

The pop star's 10th studio album Midnights will be released on Oct. 21

Taylor Swift arrives at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on Sunday. The pop star won the night's top prize, video of the year, and announced her new album, Midnights. (Eduardo Munoz/Rueters)

Taylor Swift took home the top prize at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday before she closed out the show with a surprisingly big announcement: Her new album.

"I thought it would be a fun moment to tell you that my new album comes out Oct. 21," said Swift after she won video of the year for her project All Too Well: The Short Film (10 minute version), which claimed best long form video and direction. "I will tell you more at midnight."

Swift said on social media that her upcoming 10th studio album would be called Midnights, which she says will involve "stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life." Her upcoming album comes after she released Folklore and Evermore. Both projects came out five months apart two years ago. Folklore won album of the year at the 2021 Grammy Awards.

Taylor Swift accepts the award for best longform video at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

'We put our entire hearts into this' 

The pop star's reveal came at the end of her acceptance speech where she praised the other women in the category — which included Doja Cat and Olivia Rodrigo.

"I know with every second of this moment that we wouldn't be able to make this short film if it weren't for you — the fans," Swift said. "I wouldn't be able to re-record my albums if it wasn't for you. You emboldened me to do that."

Swift spoke earlier about creating her first short film, giving thanks to several including actors Sadie Sink and Dylan O'Brien who starred in the project.

"We put our entire hearts into this," said Swift.

Jack Harlow, Fergie open show

Rapper Jack Harlow made his mark throughout the entire show. He kicked off the ceremony with a performance inside a mock airplane walking down the aisle while performing his hit song First Class, which sampled Fergie's Glamorous.

The rapper arrived onstage with Fergie — who wore a sparkling silver dress with the red words "First Class" — while she sang her 2006 jam.

Rapper Jack Harlow poses backstage with his awards at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards. (Caitlin Ochs/Reuters)

"Thank you to Fergie for coming out with me tonight and clearing this song," said Harlow after First Class won the award for song of the summer later in the show.

"The beauty of this song is that people don't realize it's so hip-hop because of the sampling. To bring Fergie into the mix in this way means the world to me. It's truly full circle. Glamorous was one of the most important songs of my childhood."

During the show, actor Johnny Depp made a surprise appearance as MTV's Moon Man nearly three months after the verdict in his defamation trial with his former wife Amber Heard. The 59-year-old actor appeared to float from the ceiling while wearing the iconic astronaut outfit with his face digitally inserted into the helmet.

"And you know what? I needed the work," Depp told the audience at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Lizzo accepts the Video For Good award for About Damn Time at the VMAs as Bebe Rexha looks on. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

Lizzo had Taylor Swift dancing out of her seat while she performed her new single 2 Be Loved (Am I Ready). Lizzo won the Video For Good award for About Damn Time.

Harlow's name was called to come right back onstage to collect the show's first award for his guest appearance on Lil Nas X's song Industry Baby, which won for best collaboration, art direction and visual effects. Harlow, Lil Nas X and Kendrick Lamar each entered the ceremony tied as leading nominees with seven apiece.

"This one is for the champions," said Lil Nas X before Harlow thanked him for the collaboration on the chart-topping single.

Harlow, in addition to performing and accepting awards, joined LL Cool J and Nicki Minaj as the show's hosts.

Nicki Minaj accepts Video Vanguard award

Minaj performed a medley of her career's biggest hits from Roman's Revenge, Chun-Li, Moment 4 Life, Beez in the Trap, Anaconda and Super Bass. After her set, the rapper accepted the show's Video Vanguard award, which MTV said she was being presented for her artistry, her barrier-breaking hip-hop and her status as a global superstar. The honour is named after Michael Jackson.

During her acceptance speech, Minaj paid tribute to other music icons such as Jackson, Whitney Houston and Lil Wayne. She spoke about the importance of mental health.

"I wish people took mental health seriously, even when you think they have the perfect lives," said Minaj, who later won best hip-hop for her song Do We Have a Problem? featuring Lil Baby.

Rapper Nicki Minaj accepts the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

Harry Styles won album of the year for Harry's House. He was unable to attend the awards due to his show at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Bad Bunny performed his hit Titi Me Pregunto from Yankee Stadium after he won artist of the year.

"I have been saying it and I always believed from the beginning that I could become great," he said. "That I could become one of the biggest stars in the world without having to change my culture, my language, my jargon. I am Benito Antonio Martinez from Puerto Rico to the whole world, thank you!"

Eminem and Snoop Dogg brought the metaverse to the VMAs as the duo performed From the D 2 The LBC, which was featured on Eminem's greatest hits album Curtain Call 2.

Red Hot Chili Peppers dedicate win to Taylor Hawkins

Singer Anthony Kiedis speaks as the Red Hot Chili Peppers accept the award for best rock video for Black Summer. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

The Red Hot Chili Peppers took the stage as the recipients of the Global Icon award after being introduced by comedy duo Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong (Cheech & Chong) as their "favourite band of all time." 

Band members Anthony Kiedis, Flea, Chad Smith and John Frusciante performed several songs including their classic Can't Stop from their 2002 album By the Way and their recent hit Black Summer, which won best rock video.

Flea made a speech about his love for human beings along with cockroaches, trees and dirt. Smith, the band's drummer, dedicated the award to Taylor Hawkins, the late Foo Fighters drummer who died earlier this year.

"I dedicate this to Taylor and his family," he said. "I love them and I miss him every day."

Madonna, who is the most awarded artist in MTV history with 20 wins, became the only artist to receive a nomination in each of the VMAs five decades. She earned her 69th nomination for her 14th studio album Madame X.