Only such a youth-focused brand like MTV would give a "video vanguard" award to someone who's solo career started on their very stage only 11 years earlier. But It's hard to argue with Justin Timberlake getting this vaunted Michael Jackson Video Vanguard VMA considering his outsized success since leaving *NSYNC.
And it' s hard to argue with the great songs he racked up since then, even with the years-long delay between the second and third album -- the medley he performed, from his Jackson-esque new tune "Take Back The Night" to sophomore smash "Sexyback" and very first solo hit "Cry Me a River," not to mention his dancing and piano playing, proved he's now a timeless artist.
But when he said "you asked for it," well, you knew what was coming next. The rumours of an *NSYNC reunion have been swirling for days. And though it was short -- "Girlfriend," "Bye Bye Bye" -- it was certainly sweet of the superstar to bring his old boys back onstage as a tribute to his past.
While *NSYNC certainly enjoyed it's own outsized success before its star's departure, but the group could never claim the critical acclaim that Timberlake now has. So it was a nice hat tip, even if JT is the only member we still wanna see in the mirror.
Katy Perry in Emanuel Ungaro
Lady Gaga in Prabal Gurung
Selena Gomez in Atelier Versace
Taylor Swift in Hervé Léger By Max Azria
Rita Ora in Alexandre Vauthier Couture
Ciara in Givenchy
Ellie Goulding in Brian Atwood
Miley Cyrus in Dolce & Gabbana
Katy Perry in Emanuel Ungaro
Erin Wasson in Alexandre Vauthier Couture
Naya Rivera in Vintage Paco Rabanne
Rihanna in Rihanna for River Island
Jennifer Hudson in Christian Dior
Shailene Woodley in Emilio Pucci
Shailene Woodley in Emilio Pucci and Miles Teller
Robin Thicke and Paula Patton
Iggy Azalea in Emilio Pucci
Holland Roden in Naeem Khan
2 Chainz in Versace
Coco Rocha in Fausto Puglisi
Ryan Lewis and Macklemore
Willow Smith in G Star and Jaden Smith in Alexander Wang
Joan Smalls in Viktor & Rolf
Allison Williams in Valentino
Sarah Hyland in Marchesa
Jillian Rose Reed
Tomo Milicevic, Shannon Leto and Jared Leto
Ronnie Magro and Sammi Giancola
The 2013 MTV VMAs were something else. Thanks for joining!
YOU'RE GONNA HEAR ME SNORE!!! AM I RIGHT????— bobby finger (@bobbyfinger) 4 years ago
Katy Perry performed "Roar" for the first time, and it was glorious.
With a silly voice.
Ladies and gentlemen, the reunited NSYNC. http://t.co/vsH4DT5Yb2— Hunter Schwarz (@hunterschwarz) 4 years ago
The perfect time for a Bruno Mars performance is totally TWO HOURS into the #VMAs.— Jesse Fox (@JesseDavidFox) 4 years ago
it would be amazing if nsync reappeared right now by lowering down from the ceiling on marionette strings— kalkutta (@djkalkutta) 4 years ago
Let's remember this:
Me during Justin Timberlake's performance http://t.co/0IKZ3MXGMy— things in life (@ItsThingsInLife) 3 years ago
VMAs: Stop all this "what's up Brooklyn!!!" What's up is I'm 10 blocks away in my nightgown trying to keep my dog from drinking his own piss— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) 4 years ago
More on Drake's MTV VMA performance.
Drake shifts into "Started From The Bottom," obviously.
Because when he isn't taking photos with Taylor Swift, he's a great rapper.
He thanks God, his publicist and his "Mahomies."
Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis, great song, best stage design of the night. Jennifer Hudson so good— Joseph Gordon-Levitt (@hitRECordJoe) 4 years ago
After having a major year with the breakout success of their hit single "Thrift Shop" and the follow-up "Can't Hold Us," Macklemore and Ryan Lewis hit the stage at MTV's Video Music Awards to perform their song "Same Love."
Click here for more on Macklemore's MTV VMA performance.
Can you imagine being a conservative watching the #VMAs right now?— Noël Wells (@RealTomHankz) 3 years ago
After being introduced by NBA player Jason Collins and A$AP Rocky.
This is amazing.— Jon Caramanica (@joncaramanica) 4 years ago
We can't even hear One Direction over the boos! #VMA— Chris Weingarten (@1000TimesYes) 4 years ago
One Direction for "Best Song Ever," which was clearly not the best song of the summer, but #mtv.