Miley Cyrus' VMA outfits got attention. But the incredible way she ended the night was even cooler.

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:

  1. Kanye West announced he's running for president in 2020.
  2. It looks like Justin Bieber started crying on stage after his performance.
  3. Nicki Minaj definitely has a beef with Miley Cyrus, and she wasn't afraid to talk about it on stage.
  4. Nicki did, however, seem over her feud with Taylor Swift, whom she performed with to open the event.

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images.

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.

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images.

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.



Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

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.


Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images.

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.

Sumo Citrus
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Don Bay has been in the citrus business for over 50 years now, and according to him, his most recent growing endeavor has been the most challenging. Alongside his son Darren and grandson Luke, Don cultivates Sumo Citrus®, one of the most difficult fruits to grow. The Bay family runs San Joaquin Growers Ranch in Porterville, California, one of the farms where the fruit is grown in the United States.

Sumo Citrus was originally developed in Japan, and is an extraordinary hybrid of mandarin, pomelo and navel oranges.

The fruit is temperamental, and it can take time to get a thriving crop. The trees require year-round care, and it takes five years from seed to fruit until they're ready for harvest. Thanks to expert citrus growers like the Bay family though, Sumo Citrus have flourished in California. Don and his son Darren worked together through trial and error to perfect their crop of Sumo Citrus. Darren is now an expert on cultivating this famously temperamental fruit, and his son Luke is learning from him every step of the way.

Don, Darren and Luke BayAll photos courtesy of Sumo Citrus

"Luke's been involved as early as he could come out," Darren said in a YouTube video.

"Having both my son and grandson [working with me] is basically what I've dreamt about," said Don. "To have been able to develop this orchard and have them work on it and work with me — then I don't have to do all the work."

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via Monroe County BOCC and Wikimedia Commons

Can we get a round of applause for Nikki Fried, the Florida Agriculture Commissioner? On Monday, she stood up and defied an order from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to fly flags at half-staff when Rush Limbaugh's body is laid to rest.

"Once the date of interment for Rush is announced, we're going to be lowering the flags to half-staff," DeSantis said Friday at a news conference, adding the honor is "what we do when there's things of this magnitude."

Limbaugh, 70, died of complications from lung cancer last week.

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Courtesy of Creative Commons
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After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

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via YouTube The Kelly Clarkson Show

America's original idol, Kelly Clarkson, put a powerful spin on No Doubt's breakthrough hit, 1995's "Just a Girl," on her talk show Monday. She slowed down the tempo, added some strings and a menacing keyboard, to give the song a haunting sound.

The original version was peppy and sarcastic with Gwen Stefani singing in a faux pouty voice until the chorus in which she goes full '90s girl power.

Clarkson sang the new version during the "Kellyoke" segment of her talk show where she covers some of her favorite songs. Check out the moment 58 seconds in where she holds the final note on the line, "That's all that you'll let me be."

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Elijah McClain was a kind, unique, and gentle soul, according to those who knew him. He was a vegetarian and a pacifist who worked as a massage therapist. He played his violin for shelter kittens during his lunch break because he thought the animals were lonely.

One evening two summers ago, McClain was walking home from a convenience store, waving his arms to music he was listening to on his headphones, when Aurora police approached him after getting a call about a "suspicious" man in the area. McClain was wearing a ski/runner's mask, which his sister said he often did because he tended to get cold easily. Police tackled him to the ground and held him in a carotid hold—a restraint technique banned in some cities for its potential danger. He was given a shot of ketamine by paramedics. He had a heart attack on the way to the hospital and died there three days later.

He was a 23-year-old Black man. He was unarmed. He wasn't a suspect in any crime. And his last words to the police were absolutely devastating.

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