Drake also publicly professed his love at the VMAs when presenting the Vanguard award to Rihanna, before the two hugged and possibly kissed (despite the thousands of people recording the moment, no one can really tell).
Beyonce won the top prize for "Formation", besting Adele, Kanye West, Justin Bieber and Drake.
Right before giving the award, Drake called Rihanna a "living, breathing legend".
"For this year's VMAs, I originally wanted to go for a really glammed up look, but I changed my mind last minute", she wrote on her app. "I was so inspired by my recent trip to Mexico, that I went with this incredible, vintage Galliano dress that I already had in my closet, for forever".
"You know what she was doing to me?"
Beyond slaying the runway, she also teased that a new record is on the way.
The ceremony kicked off with a surprising opening performance from this year's MTV Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award recipient Rihanna, an award that was given to artist in the previous year's such as Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, Brittney Spears, and Beyoncé. It's my family's, it's my fans', it's my country's, the Caribbean as a whole, it's women, it's black women. And when it comes to fashion and style, she makes it seem so effortless until you try to do it yourself, which is when it gets a little awkward. She was joined by rapper G-Eazy - and she lip synched the hook to his hit song, "Me, Myself and I".
Other performers including Ariana Grande, who brought spin class to the VMA stage when she sang the reggae-tinged "Side to Side" with Nicki Minaj.
In one of several odes to the recent Olympic Games, Michael Phelps says he's been inspired by hip-hop music before introducing Future, whom Phelps says he listened to before swimming and making the grimace that went viral.
Drake had been stuck in traffic most of the night and he even missed his own win for Hotline Bling where P Diddy received his award.