MTV VMAs 2023: LGBTQ+ stars including Lil Nas X and Demi Lovato lead the way on the red carpet

A composite image showing Doja Cat, Cardi B, Lil Nas X, Demi Lovato and Billy Porter in their red carpet looks at the MTV VMAs 2023

LGBTQ+ stars Lil Nas X and Cardi B joined celebs like Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo in bringing the metaphorical ‘fire’ emojis to the MTV VMAs red carpet.

The MTV VMAs took place at the Prudential Centre in New Jersey on Tuesday (12 September), boasting a who’s who of music industry A-listers ready to watch an evening of show-stopping performances (and Taylor Swift sweeping up all the major awards).

The evening saw iconic moments such as Demi Lovato showing everyone up with an epic rock performance of major hits “Cool for the Summer”, “Sorry Not Sorry” and “Heart Attack”.

There was enough celebrity gossip to keep fans fed too, with Justin Timberlake and Megan Thee Stallion going viral after a clip seemingly showed them in the midst of a heated argument, and Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift putting feud rumours to bed.

The red carpet had plenty of moments to get people talking, too. Here are some of the best MTV VMAs 2023 looks:

Doja Cat

Ever wondered what it would look like if someone simply wore finely-spun spiderweb as a dress? Well, wonder no more as “Paint the Town Red” singer Doja Cat looked like she was fresh off a fight with Spider-Man in a revealing white floor-length dress.

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Away from the red carpet, the rapper landed one award with from six nominations, for Best Art Direction for her hit single “Attention”.

Doja Cat attends the 2023 MTV VMAs.
Doja Cat attends the 2023 MTV VMAs. (Taylor Hill/Getty)

Demi Lovato

If there’s one thing we learnt from Sam Smith’s absolutely wild BRIT Awards look earlier this year, it’s that nothing says queer like a pair of giant shoulder pads. “Cool for the Summer” singer Demi Lovato pulled off an eye-catching leather look with a perfect blend of power of elegance.

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Lovato, who received two MTV VMA nominations this year, walked away empty-handed on the night but managed to get Taylor Swift jamming along to her live performance so, a win? Go off, queen.

Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato attends the 2023 MTV VMAs. (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Lil Nas X

Lil Nas X firmly held onto his crown asa queer fashion king after slaying in his MTV VMAs 2023 look. The “Old Town Road” hitmaker gave angelic bride in an all-white floral lacy corset dress, topped off with platform boots and a feathery hat.

It’s not Lil Nas X without some trolling of the haters, so, naturally, the gay icon was holding aloft a Bible. He may not have been up for any awards this year, but he still managed to live his best life.

LIl Nas X attends 2023 awards
LIl Nas X attends 2023 MTV VMAs. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty)

Cardi B

Simply put, Cardi B is the moment. Her bejewelled, metallic gown consisting of hair-clips and matching arms cuffs gave modern-day gladiator. Later in the evening, the rapper debuted her new “Bongos” collab with Megan Thee Stallion live to a rave response.

Cardi B
Cardi B attends MTV VMAS 2023. (Taylor Hill/Getty)

Dove Cameron

LGBTQ+ icon Dove Cameron kept it classy with a sparkly Black ballgown complete with a flashing flare bottom. Alongside her elegant look, the “Boyfriend” singer also beat out tough competition to pick up the Video for Good award for her song “Breakfast”.

Dove Cameron attends the 2023 MTV VMAs.
Dove Cameron attends the 2023 MTV VMAs. (Astrid Stawiarz/Getty)

Billy Porter

Pose star Billy Porter made another mark on an awards show red carpet with a sweeping collared blazer, tucked in top and flared trousers, complete with a long blonde weave.

Billy Porter attends MTV VMAs 2023.
Billy Porter attends MTV VMAs 2023. (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Sasha Colby

RuPaul’s Drag Race‘s most recent winner, Sasha Colby, kept it low-key but stunned nonetheless in a black cut-out bodycon dress.

Sasha Colby attends 2023 MTV VMAs.
Sasha Colby attends 2023 MTV VMAs. (John Nacion/WireImage)

Reneé Rapp

Reneé Rapp joined the all-black outfit girlies with a textured two-piece. It’s giving sexy Michelin man, and we’re here for it.

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Although Rapp lost out in both categories she was nominated in, including Best New Artist, the 23-year-old rising star continues to thrive after dropping her recording-breaking debut studio album Snow Angel in August. We have no doubt she’s a name to watch in the coming months.

Reneé Rapp attends MTV VMAs 2023.
Reneé Rapp attends MTV VMAs 2023. (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Kandy Muse

RuPaul’s Drag Race star Kandy Muse looked fresh off Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour in silver panelled mini-dress and dark up-do. Sadly, audiences couldn’t enjoy the look for long as Kandy has to nip off early to go to the loo. Yes, really.

Kandy Muse attends the awards
Kandy Muse attends the 2023 MTV VMAs. (Jamie McCarthy/WireImage)

Megan Thee Stallion

Megan Thee Stallion arrived on the carpet ready to serve in a sheer black dress. Although she lost out on all three of the categories she was nominated in, she did have the time of her life performing “Bongos” with Cardi B.

Whether she’ll shed any light on that apparent beef with Justin Timberlake remains to be seen…

Megan Thee Stallion attends MTV VMAs. (Taylor Hill/Getty)
Megan Thee Stallion attends MTV VMAs. (Taylor Hill/Getty)

Ts Madison

Grab your sunglasses because trans icon Ts Madison’s draping silvery dress is threatening to outshine everyone – the Sun included.

Ts Madison attends awards
Ts Madison attends MTV VMAs. (Dia Dipasupil/FilmMagic)

Taylor Swift

It wasn’t just LGBTQ+ stars who shone bright at the MTV VMAs this year. The night’s biggest winner, megastar Taylor Swift, swapped an old cardigan from under someone’s bed for something decidedly more bling with an asymmetric black gown paired with gold buttons and jewellery.

The “Anti-Hero” singer ensured all eyes in the room remained on her through the night, securing a personalised camera operator as well as also nine awards. The night took her her total VMAs up to 23, with wins including Video of the Year (for a history-making fourth time), Artist of the Year and Song of the Year.

Taylor Swift attends the MTV VMAs (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
Taylor Swift attends the MTV VMAs (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Olivia Rodridgo

Right now it’s Disney teen turned pop superstar Olivia Rodrigo’s world and we are all just living in it. As her second studio album GUTS dominates the charts, she commanded the MTV VMAs red carpet with a disco ball-esque floor-length ballgown with plunging neckline.

While her “Vampire” music video scooped up the Best Editing award, the 20-year-old singer fought some seemingly staged technical difficulties as she performed her hits “Vampire” and “Get Him Back” live on stage.

Olivia Rodrigo attends the 2023 MTV VMAs.
Olivia Rodrigo attends the 2023 MTV VMAs. (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Selena Gomez

Only Murders in the Building star Selena Gomez is emerging from her acting era and returning to music after dropping her latest song “Single Soon” at the end of August.

The multi-talented queen can pull of any look and, her red carpet outfit – a red flower-pattered Oscar de la Renta dress with flowing tassels – was no different. Oh, and she casually landed a joint award with REMA for their Afrobeats hit “Calm Down”.

Selena Gomez attends the 2023 MTV VMAs. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
Selena Gomez attends the 2023 MTV VMAs. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Nicki Minaj

Although Nicki Minaj underwent several outfit changes over the course of the night, her first look was by far the most memorable. Matching the pink carpet, the “Super Bass” rapper delivered with a veiled floor-length lacy gown that was both parts bridal dress and lingerie.

Minaj may not have been getting married but she certainly had reason to celebrate as she picked up the award for Best Hip-Hop with her hit single “Super Freaky Girl”.

Nicki Minaj attends MTV VMAs. (Dia Dipasupil/FilmMagic)

Shakira

Shakira, Shakira! Continuing the apparent theme of sparkly floor-length gowns, the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer offered a brilliant addition to the night’s line-up with her sparkling golden number. It may not be her most groundbreaking look but, frankly, Shakira could wear a bin bag and we would be raving.

Shakira attends 2023 MTV VMAs.
Shakira attends 2023 MTV VMAs. (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

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