The duo — who dropped their collaboration just weeks ago on Aug. 20 — offered a simple but crowd-pleasing performance. With Mendes taking the spotlight and Tainy off to the side on keys, the mostly bare stage was flooded with fog and smoky red and purple lighting. Despite the lack of flashy visuals, the in-person audience bounced along to the beat, pressed up against the front of the stage and singing along.
“It was the summer of love/ A delicate daydream/ And for a couple of months/ It felt like we were 18, yeah,” sang Mendes. “It was the summer of love/ La-looove.”
The song has thus far reached a high of No. 48 on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking on Sept. 4, and spent two weeks on the chart. The Mendes-Tainy collaboration is up for the song of the summer award. Mendes was also nominated for best pop for “Wonder,” but lost to Justin Bieber’s “Peaches.”
The 2021 MTV Video Music Awards were broadcast live from Brooklyn’s Barclays center, as the network celebrates its 40th anniversary. Doja Cat hosted the evening’s festivities.