Most award show performances hover around the three-minute mark. Sometimes special exceptions are made, for major lifetime achievement awards like the Video Vanguard MTV is giving to Rihanna tonight (she will have multiple performances throughout the show). Kanye West even got four minutes to have a chat with the world during tonight's VMAs. But no one randomly gets 15 minutes in the middle of the show. No one. Unless your name is Beyoncé.
In true Beyoncé fashion, she performed five tracks from her latest album Lemonade, including "Pray You Catch Me," "Sorry," and "Formation" which nearly turned the award show into a full-fledged Beyoncé tour stop (She also took a bat to one of MTV's cameras). The performance also included interludes that are only used during The Formation World Tour — which is still in progress — and many of the performances were adapted from the show.
It's not surprising that Beyoncé would perform during the VMAs as it certainly wouldn't be the first time. (She even announced her pregnancy during the show after her 2011 performance.) But an unprecedented 15-minute mini-show during the middle of MTV's biggest event of the year for someone who isn't being honored shows just how much the VMAs believed they needed Beyoncé to perform to make it a memorable show.