How music unites people, tackles universal issues at VMA show


Kelly Wei

Music and awards shows, such as the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 27, allows people to come together through a common love of music. Listed above are the awards given out during the live airing of the 2017 VMAs.

Anthony Cesario, Staff Writer

On Aug. 27, popular singer Katy Perry hosted the 34th annual MTV Video Music Awards to an audience of 5.4 million people of all different ages, ethnicities and walks of life.


This year, the VMAs did not shy away from discussing the influx of political and social issues unfolding around the world. Some celebrities and guest speakers promoted unity during times of violence, hate and discrimination, while others focused on motivating those who were struggling with their own lives.


But the awards show is not all about speeches. It is about music. And sometimes, music has a way of bringing people together that spoken words cannot.


Music brings comfort to people who find something in it that they can connect with. It can be in the form of an emotional ballad that deals with something going on in their own life. Maybe a song just has a beat or melody that makes them want to get up and dance. Whatever the reason, music unites people that share a connection – people may have nothing else in common, but for the brief four minutes of the song, they completely understand each other.


The VMAs do not just cover one genre of music. People with different preferences – pop, rap, hip hop, alternative or rock – are all under the same roof, enjoying the music.


Sometimes, music can even inspire people to put aside their differences and try to help others through difficult times.


During her speech introducing the suicide prevention track, “1-800-273-8255”, pop singer Kesha spoke about the impact of music with meaning. “Whatever you are going through, however dark it may seem, there is an undeniable truth and strength in the fact that you are not alone,” she said, before turning the stage to singers Logic, Alessia Cara and Khalid, whose performance of the song brought tears to many in the audience.


Shortly after the segment aired, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline reportedly experienced a 50 percent increase in calls.


The 2017 VMAs portrayed that even if only for a few hours, music can bring people together, ignoring political and social views, disregarding backgrounds and walks of life. People who, while the songs are playing, have everything in common.

Follow Anthony on Twitter @anthony_SK2017