MTV Video Music Awards Plunge to All-Time Ratings Low

Ja Rule and Jennifer Lopez Perform at MTV VMAs (Credit: MTV.com)

The numbers are in and the MTV Video Music Awards didn’t exactly set the ratings charts on fire.

In fact, MTV’s annual awards fest drew its lowest numbers ever.

The 35th annual VMAs attracted 2.25 million viewers on MTV, and a 1.1 rating in the adults 18-49 demo, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That marks a 15 percent decline in viewers and a 21 percent drop in adults 18-49 from last year’s previous low, when Katy Perry hosted.

Across eight Viacom-owned channels, Monday’s host-less broadcast from Radio City Music Hall brought in a total audience of 4.87 million viewers and a 2.2 demo rating. Those numbers were also down from last year, when the VMAs faced the season finale of Game of Thrones on HBO.

Read MoreMTV VMAs: Viewers Rip Madonna for ‘Shameful’ Aretha Franklin Tribute

This year’s show featured performances by Shawn Mendes, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Travis Scott and Jennifer Lopez, who received the Video Vanguard Award. Before picking up her award, J. Lo performed with Ja Rule and DJ Khaled.

Camila Cabello won the video of the year honor for Havana, and Madonna offered a rambling tribute to Aretha Franklin, who died last week. After facing intense criticism on social media, the Material Girl posted an apology (sort of) on Instagram Tuesday morning.

“They asked me to share any anecdotes I had in my career connected to Aretha Franklin! I shared a part of my journey and thanked Aretha for inspiring me along the way,” she wrote. “Unfortunately most people have short attention spans, and are so quick to judge. I love Aretha! R.E.S.P.E.C.T.”

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