Skip to Content

Rihanna performed multiple times at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards and also was the recipient of this year’s Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.

And yet her boyfriend sort of stole the show.

The Hollywood Gossip Logo

Prior to handing over the ceremony’s lifetime achievement award, Drake took to the stage alongside Rihanna and said many, many nice things about her.

The artist thought back to the first moment he met the singer, which took place in 2005 when he worked as an extra on her "Pon de Replay" music video.

He gushed over her her fashion and how she’s remained true to who she really is, even after all these years and all that fame and money.

Then Drake got especially personal.

Drake Honors Rihanna

"We love the music, which can change styles from album to album," he said.

"We love the videos which change their artistic vision from year to year. But most of all, we love the woman who hasn’t changed from day one."

Don’t stop now, Drake. You’re on a roll…

"She’s someone I’ve been in love with since I was 22-years-old."

"She’s one of my best friends in the world. All my adult life, I’ve looked up to her, even though she’s younger than me."

"She’s a living, breathing legend in our industry. Ladies and gentleman, the recipient of the 2016 Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, Rihanna."

A Hug for Rihanna

Cue the tears! And the belief by some that Drake was actually going to propose on stage.

Somewhere, we can only hope Chris Brown was seething while watching this introduction.

(And that he didn’t hurt anyone in response.)

You can scroll down to watch Drake’s full range of compliments for his famous girlfriend, and also (directly below) to see Rihanna accept this honor.

"This is such an amazing night. It’s such an amazing moment in my career," she said.

The Hollywood Gossip Logo

Astonishingly, Rihanna’s breakout hit – referenced by Drake – came out in 2005, more than a decade ago.

She is still only 28 years old, but her career has outshone and outlasted all but the all-time pop music greats at this point.

This fact is not lost on her, as she turned introspective:

"When I think about the Vanguard Award and receiving this tonight, all I could think of was my country."

"They’re going to be so proud This is the first Vanguard to land anywhere close to my country."

"My success, it started as my dream. But now my success is not my own."

"It’s my family’s. It’s my fans’. It’s my country’s. It’s the Caribbean as a whole. It’s women, it’s black women."

"So many people feel like their little piece is such a major part of this puzzle. And I have to thank you guys for supporting me over and over!"

Rihanna Performs at the 2016 MTV VMAs

A moving speech, and deservedly so, as Rihanna has joined some pretty elite company with this tribute to her career to date.

In the past three years, the Vanguard honor has gone to Justin Timberlake, Beyonce and Kanye West. Not a bad roster.

No wonder her man was so proud to present it to her Sunday night. Watch Drake melt the hearts of every music fan below, then ask:

Don’t you wish he was your boyfriend?!?