MTV VMAs 2014's 20 Best and Worst Moments

Beyoncé's stunning performance, Taylor Swift's pop breakout and more highs and lows from MTV's most outrageous night

BEST: Taylor Swift's Pop Coming-Out Party

Taylor Swift
Kevin Winter/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV

Taylor Swift, the pop artist, had an official coming-out party as she performed her new single "Shake It Off," shedding any threads to country music with a stunning, OCD performance that recalls decades of pop video. There was a smidgen of Busby Berkeley musical and a dance troupe redolent of the tuxedo'd suitors from Madonna's "Material Girl" (itself a tribute to the 1953 musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes). There was the shimmy and shake of Nancy Sinatra's proto-MTV clip "These Boots Were Made For Walking" (or maybe that was Ike & Tina's "Proud Mary?) and there was sort of a gender-flip on Robert Palmer's iconic "Addicted to Love." There was a touch of Breakin' and a bit of hard-rock pyrotechnics. This "try anything" style exactly was exactly what music video meant in 1989, the year Taylor is paying tribute to via her new album title.

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