Miley Cyrus' VMA outfits got attention. But the incredible way she ended the night was even cooler.
Forget her crazy outfits for a second.
The MTV Video Music Awards happened last night. It's OK if you missed them.
The show went until almost midnight, and (if you're like me) you're probably too old and uncool to recognize half the performers. Hey, I totally get it.
Here's what you'll be seeing in many of the headlines recapping the event:
- Kanye West announced he's running for president in 2020.
- It looks like Justin Bieber started crying on stage after his performance.
- Nicki Minaj definitely has a beef with Miley Cyrus, and she wasn't afraid to talk about it on stage.
- Nicki did, however, seem over her feud with Taylor Swift, whom she performed with to open the event.
But if you ask me, the coolest and most underreported part about the 2015 VMAs had nothing to do with 1-4 above. (Or any of the red carpet looks. Or any surprise Moonman wins. Or any of the performances ... although, Tori Kelly was amazing).
The coolest part came and went at the end of the event, without the glitz and glam we're so used to seeing on award show stages.
Miley Cyrus' squad from her Happy Hippie Foundation announced a surprise performance from the VMA host.
They weren't A-listers. They didn't dress in flamboyant outfits to grab our attention. But Miley's friends from Happy Hippie (you can learn more about all of them here) welcomed her to the stage, shedding a light on an important issue that deserves our attention: homelessness of LGBTQ youth.
The Happy Hippie Foundation, which Miley launched earlier this year, advocates for young people facing homelessness — particularly those young people who are LGBTQ.
Young people in the LGBTQ community account for an alarmingly disproportionate chunk — somewhere between 20% and 40% — of the total homeless youth population. Tragically, family rejection a big reason why so many end up on the streets.
Sharing her time on stage with her Happy Hippie squad shouldn't come as surprise to anyone who's been paying attention to Miley. She's been pretty clear on her intentions to give a voice to young people who don't have one.
"When you have all eyes on you, what are you saying? And that's what I had to ask myself a lot," Miley told the Associated Press of her activism in May 2015.
"It's like, I know you're going to look at me more if my [breasts] are out, so look at me. And then I'm going to tell you about my foundation for an hour and totally hustle you."
She's not afraid to hustle us at award shows, too. Last year's VMAs were no different.
At the 2014 award show, Miley won Video of the Year for her single, "Wrecking Ball." But instead of giving a speech, she gave the spotlight to then-22-year-old Jesse Helt, who'd battled homelessness while living in Los Angeles.
His heartfelt words went down in VMA history:
"I am accepting this award on behalf of the 1.6 million runaways and homeless youth in the United States who are starving, lost, and scared for their lives right now. I know this because I'm one of these people. ... I've survived in shelters all over the city. I've cleaned your hotel rooms. I've been an extra in your movies. I've been an extra in your life. Although I may have been invisible to you on the streets, I have a lot of the same dreams that brought many of you here tonight."
You may not be a fan of her twerking, her choice of wardrobe, or the ... unique ... name of her new album. But there's no denying Miley's heart of gold when it comes to an issue that should be a bigger priority to all of us.
To learn more about and support the Happy Hippie Foundation, visit the organization's website here.