With reporting by Emilee Lindner
The VMAs are usually all about show-stopping performances replete with snakes, fire, sultry kisses and other jaw-dropping surprises, but Tori Kelly took things down for a few during her sizzling rendition of summer jam “Should’ve Been Us,” off of her debut record, Unbreakable Smile.
Just a lady and a guitar — scratch that. There’s no JUST about it. Lady had us enthralled in subtle sparkles and silhouettes, her soulful voice getting the audience roaring and clapping.
“My performance kind of came naturally this time around because I really wanted it to be about the music first,” Tori told us during VMA rehearsals. “Of course I know the song, because I’ve been performing it for so long, but I really just wanted it to be about the song and the music, nothing too crazy stage-wise, at least with props and stuff like that. I wanted to focus on the simplicity of the music and strip it back.”
Well, Tori, mission accomplished. You stole the VMAs with that voice — that effing VOICE.