Alicia Keys and Nicki Minaj took to the stage at the MTV VMAs on Thursday night where they performed the new song "Girl On Fire," but it was Gabby Douglas' brief appearance that really captivated the crowd.
Douglas appeared on stage with Keys shortly after Nicki Minaj's featured rap verse and the gold-medal winning gymnast briefly showed off her skills before her graceful exit as the crowd watched on in awe. The 16-year-old recently made history during the London 2012 Olympic Games after becoming the first ever African-American female and the third straight American to take home the solo all-around title for gymnastics.
"Girl On Fire" is an uplifting ballad from Keys' upcoming fifth studio album also entitled "Girl on Fire," and the lyrics describe female strength, courage and empowerment, which made Douglas' stage presence fittingly appropriate.
The teen, whose nickname is Flying Squirrel, was forced to overcome widespread criticism about her hairstyle despite winning the gold twice at the Olympics. Despite the bizarre personal attacks, Douglas has remained focused on her historic win, subsequently making her an icon around the nation.
Fans flocked to social networking site Twitter where they praised Keys, Douglas and Minaj for the unique performance.
"Alicia's performance gave me the chills! Love Gabby Douglas! #onfire," Dalis Connell tweeted.
"Nicki Minaj's verse was great, but U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas making a cameo during Alicia Keys' performance was genius!" Billboard.com tweeted.
"And that's why I love Alicia. She always uplifts women. She just brought out Gabby Douglas. Like sick!" Katie tweeted.
Keys tweeted about the performance, posting a photo of herself with Douglas alongside the photo caption "Love to the champs!!! @nickiminaj @gabrielledoug #girlonfire movement!!!"
"What a ball we had tonight!! Thank u 4 the love! Shout 2 the champs! @nickiminaj @gabrielledoug #girlonfire," she wrote in another Twitter post.
Douglas appeared to be enjoying her limelight as she was seen posing for several photos with various celebrities including Katy Perry, Rihanna and Taylor Swift.
"Had so much fun tonight at the VMA's with my girls it couldn't have been better!!!" Douglas tweeted.