1990 MTV Video Music Awards

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1990 MTV Video Music Awards
Date Thursday, September 6, 1990
Location Universal Amphitheatre, Los Angeles
Host Arsenio Hall
Television/Radio coverage
Network MTV
1989 MTV Video Music Awards 1991 >

The 1990 MTV Video Music Awards aired live on September 6, 1990, honoring the best music videos from June 2, 1989, to June 1, 1990. The show was hosted by Arsenio Hall at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles.

This year saw the elimination of yet another one of the show's original categories, Best Stage Performance in a Video. This would turn out to be the last time an award from 1984 would be permanently eliminated (although Breakthrough Video was eliminated in 2006 and then brought back in 2009).

Janet Jackson was presented the Video Vanguard Award for her contributions and influence within music and popular culture. She also performed a controversial rendition of "Black Cat," considered "her first shocking public statement."[1] For the second year in a row, Madonna was one of the night's biggest winners, taking home three technical awards, while Sinéad O'Connor was the other most rewarded artist of 1990, also winning three Moonmen including Video of the Year. Meanwhile, most other winners that night took home two awards, including Aerosmith, Don Henley, The B-52s, Tears for Fears, and MC Hammer.

Regarding nominations, Madonna also had the distinction of being the most nominated artist of the night, as her video for "Vogue" received nine nominations, making it also the most nominated video of 1990. Closely following in nominations came Aerosmith, whose video for "Janie's Got a Gun" earned eight nominations that night and took home two awards, including Viewer's Choice.


Winners are in bold text.

Video of the Year[edit]

Sinéad O'Connor — "Nothing Compares 2 U"

Best Male Video[edit]

Don Henley — "The End of the Innocence"

Best Female Video[edit]

Sinéad O'Connor — "Nothing Compares 2 U"

Best Group Video[edit]

The B-52s — "Love Shack"

Best New Artist in a Video[edit]

Michael Penn — "No Myth"

Best Metal/Hard Rock Video[edit]

Aerosmith — "Janie's Got a Gun"

Best Rap Video[edit]

MC Hammer — "U Can't Touch This"

Best Dance Video[edit]

MC Hammer — "U Can't Touch This"

Best Post-Modern Video[edit]

Sinéad O'Connor — "Nothing Compares 2 U"

Best Video from a Film[edit]

Billy Idol — "Cradle of Love" (from The Adventures of Ford Fairlane)

Breakthrough Video[edit]

Tears for Fears — "Sowing the Seeds of Love"

Best Direction in a Video[edit]

Madonna — "Vogue" (Director: David Fincher)

Best Choreography in a Video[edit]

Janet Jackson — "Rhythm Nation" (Choreographers: Janet Jackson and Anthony Thomas)

Best Special Effects in a Video[edit]

Tears for Fears — "Sowing the Seeds of Love" (Special Effects: Jim Blashfield)

Best Art Direction in a Video[edit]

The B-52s — "Love Shack" (Art Director: Martin Lasowitz)

Best Editing in a Video[edit]

Madonna — "Vogue" (Editor: Jim Haygood)

Best Cinematography in a Video[edit]

Madonna — "Vogue" (Director of Photography: Pascal Lebègue)

Viewer's Choice[edit]

Aerosmith — "Janie's Got a Gun"

International Viewer's Choice Awards[edit]

MTV Australia[edit]

Flag of Australia.svg Midnight Oil — "Blue Sky Mine"

MTV Brasil[edit]

Flag of Brazil.svg Titãs — "Flores"

MTV Europe[edit]

Flag of Sweden.svg The Creeps — "Ooh I Like It"

MTV Internacional[edit]

Flag of Cuba.svg Gloria Estefan — "Oye Mi Canto (Hear My Voice)"

MTV Japan[edit]

Flag of Japan.svg Kome Kome Club — "Funk Fujiyama"

  • Flag of Japan.svg Yasuyuki Okamura — "Vegetable"
  • Flag of Japan.svg Jun Togawa — "Virgin Blues"
  • Flag of Japan.svg Mami Yamase — "Go!"

Video Vanguard Award[edit]

Janet Jackson



Main show[edit]


  • Kurt Loder — introduced the winners of the professional categories

External links[edit]