Pop superstar Beyonce on Sunday invited the mothers of slain African American men to the MTV Video Music Awards, where her politically charged "Formation" is up for the top prize.
Beyonce, dressed angelically in a long glittery silver skirt topped by light blue wings and a staggering amount of jewelry, also brought her daughter Blue Ivy to the music gala at New York's Madison Square Garden.
The singer entered the red carpet silently with the mothers of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin — all African Americans whose lives were cut short in contested circumstances.
Martin, 17, was killed in 2012 by a white neighborhood guard, helping trigger the Black Lives Matter movement. Brown, Garner and Grant were all killed by law enforcement. The mothers of all four men except Grant appeared in Beyonce's film "Lemonade," which was intertwined with an album of the same name.
"Formation," the first single off the album, was the most politically charged track of Beyonce's career. Inspired by the bounce hip-hop scene of New Orleans, the video at one point depicts police officers raising their hands as if under arrest.
Beyonce is nominated for a total of 11 awards on Sunday, more than any other artist.
Beyonce Legion, a fan Twitter account that is generally well-informed, said that the singer wore $12.6 million worth of diamonds in rings and earrings.