Lady Gaga Honored With First-Ever Tricon Award at 2020 MTV VMAs: ‘The Rage of Art Will Empower You’
Lady Gaga was honored with the first-ever Tricon award at the 2020 MTV Music Video Awards Sunday (August 30). Supermodel Bella Hadid, who presented the award to Gaga, called the pop superstar and entertainment multihyphenate "someone who inspires and empowers all of us."
"This is so cool. This means a lot to me. It means more to me than you probably even realize," Gaga shared during her acceptance speech. "I've been making music since I was a little girl and even though I had really, really big dreams, I truly never could have imagined that someday I would be given an award like this that honored me for so many of my passions."
She also revealed that she "failed over and over again as an actress and as a musician when I was young."
"And though I gave back to the community through services as a young woman in New York, philanthropy became a much bigger part of my life as a star," Gaga continued, referencing her Born This Way Foundation.
"I wanna share this award with everybody at home tonight, everybody at home who is their own form of a Tricon. I wish for you to think of three things that define who you are and take a moment to reward yourself for your bravery," Gaga told viewers. "This has not been an easy year for a lot of people, but what I see in the world is a massive triumph of courage."
Gaga, who first broke into pop in a big way with her single "Just Dance" and her debut album The Fame in 2008, also encouraged fans who have "big dreams" to know that they "can do this, too."
She also shared a message of hope amid the tumultuous year that has been 2020.
"Just because we're separated right now, and our culture may feel less alive in some ways, I know a renaissance is coming," Gaga continued. "The wrath of pop culture will inspire you and the rage of art will empower you as it responds to hardship with its generosity and love."
The pop icon, who performed a medley earlier in the evening as well as took home several other awards, ended her speech with a plea: "Stay safe. Speak your mind. And I might sound like a broken record, but wear your mask. It's a sign of respect."
The Tricon award is presumably to honor a pop culture triple threat, as Gaga is an actress, musician and activist, among other things.
Though there wasn't a Video Vanguard award winner this year, it's believed that the Tricon award is the 2020 equivalent.
Previous recipients of the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award include Britney Spears, Janet Jackson, Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna and Kanye West.
The 2019 Video Vanguard honor went to Missy Elliott, who became the first female emcee to receive the award. The hip-hop icon's award was presented by Cardi B.