We all know the story of the extramarital affair that’s at the center of Beyoncé’s already iconic Lemonade. But on the night that the visual album earned the Breakthrough Long Form Video award at the MTV VMAs, the Queen Bey decided to offer one hell of a reminder.
She delivered a medley of tracks from the album that essentially told the arc of the entire sordid ordeal. Opening with a regal “Pray You Catch Me”, she then went into “Hold Up”, “Sorry”, “Don’t Hurt Yourself”, and capped off with “Formation”. There was a familiar camera smash with a baseball bat, a cheekily calculated flip of the hair aimed at one Ms. Becky, and it ended with Beyoncé literally surrounded by a ring of fire. It was all interspersed with sections of dialogue from the visual album, giving a true CliffNotes experiences of the entire record — swears and all (props to whoever had to man the bleep button).
Video Vanguard Award recipient Rihanna may have ostensibly owned the night with her four performances, but in just one, fiery stage show, Beyoncé proved herself to be the true punk rock Queen of the MTV VMAs.
Relive the soon-to-be-legendary performance below.