Taylor Swift was crowned queen of the MTV Video Music Awards as Miley Cyrus released her new album for free. Pop superstar Swift, still only 25 years old, won four of her whopping 10 nominations, including Video of the Year for “Bad Blood” with Kendrick Lamar and Best Pop Video for “Blank Space.” She buried the hatchet with rapper Nicki Minaj, embracing her former foe on stage during a brief rendition of “Bad Blood” dressed in a red dress and presented West with a career achievement award. Cheered by his biggest fan, pregnant wife and reality star Kim Kardashian in a lace-up dress, West appeared moved - but not humbled - by an extended standing ovation. Winning MTV’s Video Vanguard lifetime achievement award was a significant milestone for West, previously given to greats such as Madonna, Michael Jackson and Beyonce. The website promptly crashed and on twitter she directed her 22 million followers to her regular website, where the music was available.

Cyrus made MTV award history two years ago with Robin Thicke. On Sunday night, she wore a revolving door of outfits for the broadcast, but walked the red carpet in a revealing outfit. But if Minaj hugged and made up with Swift, she went into battle with Cyrus for telling The New York Times in a recent interview that Minaj was “not too kind” and “not very polite.” The camera panned to Cyrus, who stayed civil. “We’re all in the industry, we all do interviews, and we all know how they manipulate.”

The surprise start to the show was Swift joining a resplendent Minaj, festooned in a red tribal-style headdress, in an opening set. They hit the headlines last month when Minaj’s “Anaconda” was passed over for a Video of the Year nomination. Minaj blamed the slight on bias against black women, saying the music industry preferred “very slim” women. The very slim Swift responded by telling Minaj “I’ve done nothing but love and support you” and invited her to share the stage. Nearly two days later, Swift apologised. Minaj said she wished that Swift had spoken out on portrayals of African American women.

The first MTV awards were handed out in 1984. Winners receive a statuette of an astronaut on the moon, known as a “Moonman” award. Winners in other leading categories were Fall Out Boy for Best Rock Video with “Uma Thurman,” Song of the Summer went to 5 Seconds of Summer for “She’s Kinda Hot” while Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars won Best Male Video for “Uptown Funk.”

Artist to Watch went to Fetty Wap for “Trap Queen.”