Flanked by a bevy of backup dancers wearing raspberry berets, opera gloves, and baby pink harnesses, the trans icon in the making lived out her full pop star fantasy belting out the house music-inspired bop in a dress and boots designed to look like sticky, melting bubblegum.
“One day, everyone will notice/ The world is yours and you should know it/ So don’t let love get out of focus/ Don’t give up, the future starts now/ I know you can take the pressure/ Turn it into something better/ So take the pain and make it pleasure/ Don’t give up, the future starts now,” she sang while nailing her choreography, before revealing a second, skimpier bubblegum-inspired look just as the number ended.
The pop star official released the track in August after debuting it live at Lollapalooza, serving fans their first taste of her upcoming major-label debut album on Republic Records. “Future Starts Now” marks her first release since 2020 one-offs “Malibu,” “Reminds Me,” and Halloween single “Party Till I Die.” Back in the early days of the pandemic, Petras also performed at The Stonewall Inn Gives Back benefit livestream, covering “Stars Are Blind” by her self-proclaimed idol, Paris Hilton, to raise funds for LGBTQ+ nightlife workers impacted by their industry’s shutdown.
Polo G and Swedish House Mafia also performed during the 2021 MTV VMAs pre-show, but both Nicki Minaj and Lorde dropped out of taking to the main stage at the last minute. You can replay all of tonight’s performances here.