During Lizzo’s electric performance at MTV’s Video Music Awards (VMAs) on Monday night, the 31-year-old singer and rapper wasn’t the only thing on stage with Minnesota roots.
The giant inflatable shaped like a butt bouncing in the background as the artist belted out her hits “Truth Hurts” and “Good As Hell” was designed and manufactured by Landmark Creations, a company in Burnsville.
The booty with a hot pink thong bobbed in sync with dancers as the star-studded VMA audience whooped and hollered.
Lizzo, whose music often explores themes of self love and body positivity, is known for shaking her behind on stage — one of her trademark moves involves twerking in circles while playing the flute.
Lizzo’s creative team reached out to Landmark Creations about two weeks before they needed the balloons, requiring a quicker-than-normal turnaround, company owner Stephanie Meacham said.
The local manufacturers have made inflatables for all sorts of events for more than 25 years, including for other performers like Florida Georgia Line, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry and Demi Lovato.
“I think we’re past the point of being shocked by anything anymore,” Meacham said. “But you can’t help but giggle a little when you watch it.”
Lizzo’s prop was 12 feet high and 25 feet wide, weighing 120 pounds. Once the artist’s team described what they wanted, Meacham said Landmark Creations designers produced a 3-D model of the inflatable.
“They flesh it out,” she said. In this case, literally.
Then a team of manufacturers does all the cutting, printing and sewing necessary to put together the textile balloon, which is blown up with a fan system that runs continuously.
“A sealed inflatable wouldn’t hold up to the kind of rigors of that kind of booty bouncing,” Meacham said with a laugh.
The Burnsville crew tested the balloon in their warehouse, shaking it like they imagined Lizzo’s choreographers would. Then they mailed it off to New Jersey, where the VMA ceremony took place.
Those watching the VMAs took to social media to laud Lizzo’s performance and exclaim over the big booty balloon. Meacham said the level of enthusiasm surprised her team.
“Seeing it on stage with the lighting and the costumes, with everything so on point and well put together, was really fun,” she said.
Because her company handles inflatables all over the country, Meacham doesn’t know if Lizzo’s team realized the Minnesota connection. Still, she said, it was exciting to work with the Minneapolis-molded star, who was nominated for the best new artist award.
“I think this was a hit,” she said, “because Lizzo herself breaks out of the typical mold.”