The velvet rope has been breached

We weren't ready to see Normani's "Wild Side."

After her show-stopping debut performance in 2019, the singer's return to the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday took things to a new level, with a celebrity cameo and nods to two pop-R&B icons.

"Wild Side" was already a quasi-tribute to Aaliyah — the choreography pulls from "Try Again," while the song itself has a similar sound to the late singer's hit "One in a Million" — but Normani went a step further at the VMAs, rocking a white dance costume reminiscent of the one Aaliyah wore during the music video for "Million."

Throw in predecessor Ciara introducing the performance, and it's clear Normani knows exactly what music legacy she is building upon. Announced as a performer last minute, the rising star was more than worth the late addition.

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