MTV Video Music Award
|MTV Video Music Awards|
|2012 MTV Video Music Awards|
This is a picture of the 1983-1984 Video of the Year "Moonman" award.
|Awarded for||Best in music videos and pop culture|
|First awarded||September 14, 1984|
|Part of a series on|
in the United States
|Programs on MTV|
|Censorship on MTV|
|Viacom Media Networks|
An MTV Video Music Award (commonly abbreviated as a VMA) is an award presented by the cable channel MTV to honor the best in the music video medium. Originally conceived as an alternative to the Grammy Awards (in the video category), the annual MTV Video Music Awards ceremony has often been called the "Oscars for youth", an acknowledgment of the VMA ceremony's ability to draw millions of youth from teens to 20-somethings each year. By 2001, the VMA had become a coveted award. The statue given to winners is an astronaut on the moon, one of the earliest representations of MTV. The statue was conceived by Manhattan Design—also designers of the original MTV logo—based on the 1981 "Top of the Hour" animation created by Fred Seibert, produced by Alan Goodman, and produced by Buzz Potamkin at Buzzco Associates.
The annual VMA ceremony is usually held in mid-September, and broadcast live on MTV. The first VMA ceremony was held in 1984 at New York City's Radio City Music Hall. Other VMAs have been held in Los Angeles, Miami, and Las Vegas.
Notable moments 
1984: At the first MTV Video Music Awards in 1984, Madonna performed her iconic hit "Like A Virgin" wearing a combination bustier/wedding gown, including her trademark "Boy Toy" belt. During the performance, she rolled around on the floor, revealing lacy stockings and garter. Cyndi Lauper spoke in "Exorcist-esque gibberish" to explain the VMA rules right before winning the Best Female video for "Girls Just Want to Have Fun".
1986: Whitney Houston, who was one of the first female African American artists to receive heavy rotation on the network, performed "How Will I Know" and "Greatest Love of All" at the 1986 Video Music Awards. The network had received criticism for not playing enough videos by black artists.
1989: Controversial comic Andrew Dice Clay's appearance at the 1989 Video Music Awards to promote his new movie, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, earned him a "lifetime ban" from the network when he started performing some of his already-notorious nursery rhymes that contained vulgar language and references. After performing with Tom Petty, Guns N' Roses guitarist Izzy Stradlin was assaulted by Mötley Crüe lead singer Vince Neil, leading to a verbal battle between Neil and Guns N' Roses lead singer Axl Rose.
Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora turned out a stripped down acoustic performance of the Bon Jovi hits "Wanted Dead or Alive & "Livin' on a Prayer," and in the process possibly provided the inspirational spark for MTV Unplugged.
Paula Abdul was nominated for six awards, picking up four wins, and turned out the most notable performance of the night. She commanded the VMA stage with a seven-minute medley of her #1 hits: "Straight Up", "Cold Hearted" and "Forever Your Girl".
When Madonna won the Viewer's Choice Award for her "Like a Prayer" video, she thanked Pepsi-Cola in her acceptance speech "for causing so much controversy." Madonna had been paid $5 million by Pepsi-Cola to appear in a commercial that would predominantly feature the world premiere of "Like a Prayer". The commercial, titled "Make a Wish," depicted Madonna drinking Pepsi and watching a home video of her eighth birthday. The tone that the commercial sought to convey sharply contrasted with the music video. When Pepsi executives saw the video, they yanked the advertisement after only two airings in an attempt to dissociate themselves from Madonna. Ironically, the Viewer's Choice Award was sponsored by Pepsi-Cola. She also gave one of the most memorable performances of her hit "Express Yourself", as a preview of what would become her Blond Ambition World Tour.
1990: At the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards, Madonna gave a memorable performance of her hit "Vogue," which featured Madonna and her dancers dressed in an 18th-century French theme, with Madonna bearing great resemblance to Marie Antoinette. The performance consisted of both a dramatic 18th-century reinterpretation of "Vogue" as well as her dramatically becorseted breasts.
1991: During the award show the MTV Video Vanguard Award was renamed to the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award from then on, due to his unparalleled contribution to music video by changing them from a mere promotional tool featuring musicians playing instruments and singing, to a piece of art with a storyline, or as Jackson liked to put as 'short films'. His video Thriller influenced and changed music videos into what it is like today.
A conflict between Poison's Bret Michaels and C.C. DeVille culminated in a fistfight at the Video Music Awards in 1991. DeVille was fired and replaced by Pennsylvanian guitarist Richie Kotzen. Paul Reubens had his first public appearance following an arrest for lewd-conduct earlier that year. Taking the stage in costume as Pee Wee Herman, he received a standing ovation, after which he asked the audience, "Heard any good jokes lately?"
1992: In the 1992 show, MTV requested Nirvana perform "Smells Like Teen Spirit", while the band itself had indicated it preferred to play new songs "Rape Me" and "tourette's". Network executives continued to push for "Teen Spirit" but finally offered the band a choice to play either "Teen Spirit" or "Lithium", which the band appeared to accept. At the performance, Nirvana began to play, and Kurt Cobain sang the first few lines of the song, "Rape Me", much to the horror of MTV execs, before continuing their regular performance of "Lithium". Near the end of the song, frustrated that his amp had stopped functioning, bassist Krist Novoselic decided to toss his bass into the air for dramatic effect. He misjudged the landing, and the bass ended up bouncing off of his forehead, forcing him to stumble off the stage in a daze.
Backstage, before the show, Guns N' Roses vocalist Axl Rose challenged Cobain to a fight after he, his wife and Hole frontwoman, Courtney Love, and Nirvana bandmates Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl, egged him on. At the end of Nirvana's performance, while Cobain was trashing the band's equipment, Dave Grohl ran to the microphone and shouted "Hi, Axl! Where's Axl?" repeatedly. Guns N' Roses' video for the ballad "November Rain" won the MTV Video Music Award for best cinematography. During the show, the band performed "November Rain" with singer Elton John. Because of the dispute Rose had with Cobain, moments before the "November Rain" performance, Cobain spat on the keys of what he thought was Axl's piano. Cobain later revealed that he was shocked to see Elton John play on the piano he had spat on. During the commercial break, the Alien 3 Pepsi commercial was shown.
Radio shock-jock Howard Stern appeared as Fartman, Stern's radio super-hero. Stern was a presenter for best hard rock/metal performance with actor Luke Perry (after several other celebrities turned him down).
1993: At the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards, Madonna opened the show in a gender-bending performance of her song "Bye Bye Baby," in which Madonna and her two back up singers, dressed in tuxedos and top hats, danced with women in corsets in a choreographed, highly sexual routine.
RuPaul and Milton Berle, who had had conflicts backstage, presented an award together. When Berle touched RuPaul's breasts, RuPaul ad-libbed the line "So you used to wear gowns, but now you're wearing diapers."
1994: At the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards on September 8, shortly after a profanity-laced appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, Madonna was announced to present the award for Best Group Video. She came out, arm-in-arm with an unannounced David Letterman, to a wild ovation. At the microphone, Letterman told her, "I'll be out by the car. Watch your language," and left.
Recently betrothed couple Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley received a standing ovation as they walked on stage hand-in-hand. After turning to the audience and proclaiming, "And just think, nobody thought this would last," Jackson grabbed Presley and kissed her. Near the end of the awards, Michael Jackson played "Thriller" in honor of Kurt Cobain, who had died recently before the awards. Jackson stated later that "Thriller" was Kurt's favorite song by him and his death deserves his favorite song to be played.
1995: At the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards after Selena's death, Courtney Love's band Hole perform the song "Violet" from their major-label debut album Live Through This. This was one of the first major televised performances given by Love following the death of her husband Kurt Cobain and the death of her band's bassist Kristen Pfaff in 1994. Before beginning the song, Courtney announced, "This is for Kurt, and Kristen, and River, and Joe, and today Joni Abbott, this is for you." The song ended with Love throwing her guitar, knocking the microphone stand into the crowd and pushing over speaker-boxes with bandmate Eric Erlandson before exiting the stage. Love also caused a stir when she interrupted a post-ceremony interview with Kurt Loder and Madonna by throwing her make-up compacts at the singer as they broadcast outside the awards venue.
Michael Jackson performed for over fifteen minutes to a medley of his main songs for the tribute of Selena, including "Scream.", and danced his signature moves, including the robot, moonwalk and the relatively unknown "Bankhead Bounce". While Slash accompanied Jackson and played guitar on "Black or White and the beginning of Billie Jean." This performance was voted by the public as the Best VMA Pop Performance and Most Iconic VMA Performance in 2011 with more than half the votes.
TLC was the biggest winner of the night winning four awards, including "Viewer's Choice", "Best Group Video", and "Video of the Year".
1996: On September 4, at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards, the four original members of Van Halen received 20-second standing ovation when they made their first public appearance together since their break-up in April 1985. Backstage, after presenting an award to Beck, the reunion soured bitterly, and reportedly, David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen nearly came to blows.
Several weeks later, the public learned that Van Halen would not reunite with Roth. Roth released a statement apologizing to fans, stating that he was an unwitting participant in a publicity stunt to sell more copies of the greatest hits album, Best Of Vol. 1, and that he had been led to believe that he was rejoining Van Halen. The following day, Eddie and Alex Van Halen released a statement, stating that they had been honest with Roth, and never lead him to believe that he had been re-hired.
Oasis performed 'Champagne Supernova', with lead vocalist Liam Gallagher making rude gestures at brother Noel as he was playing his guitar solo, then spitting beer all over the stage before storming off.
Alanis Morissette performed "Your House", a hidden track from her bestseller album "Jagged Little Pill". The performance had nothing to do with her 1995 one. The beginning and the ending of the song were sung a cappella, while the rest was played with only one guitar on stage. At the end Morissette was close to tears.
1997: In 1997, Pat Smear announced that he was leaving Foo Fighters half way through their performance and presented his replacement, Franz Stahl, who had been a member of the band Scream with Dave Grohl.
Puff Daddy released his debut album No Way Out, featuring the successful tribute single "I'll Be Missing You", dedicated to the recently murdered Notorious B.I.G. The song featured Puff Daddy, Biggie's widow Faith Evans and R&B group 112. The song sampled the melody of The Police's hit song "Every Breath You Take." All these artists performed the song with former Police vocalist Sting.
The odd pairing of presenters Martha Stewart and Busta Rhymes that year drew much talk in the press. They presented the best dance video award to the Spice Girls for their music video "Wannabe," who wore a black strap on their left arms as a sign of grief because of Diana, Princess of Wales's death prior to the event.
While accepting the MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist Video that year for "Sleep To Dream", Fiona Apple appealed to her audience not to be enamored of celebrity culture. She proclaimed, "this world is bullshit" and quoted Maya Angelou, saying "go with yourself." Though her comments were generally greeted with cheers and applause at the awards ceremony, the media backlash was huge. Some considered her remarks to be hypocritical, seeing a contradiction between her appearance in a risqué music video in only her underwear and her telling young women to ignore celebrity culture. However she was unapologetic: "When I have something to say, I'll say it."
Shock-rocker Marilyn Manson performed the song "The Beautiful People", as the grand finale, and the video for this song was nominated for "Best Rock Video" and "Best Special Effects", marking one of the most significant performances for the band.
During the original broadcast of the show, a commercial faded in the Nine Inch Nails NIN logo on a black screen while playing a combination of music that started as a solo piano piece and morphed into an electronic/industrial beat (which would later found out to be the songs "La Mer" and "Into the Void," which share many melodic components and can be considered variations on a theme) and ended with Trent Reznor screaming "Tried to save myself, but myself kept slipping away" and the word "ninetynine" in the trademark NIN reversed-N font. This was only shown once during the original broadcast, was edited out of all repeats, and generally seen as a sign that the long-awaited follow-up to The Downward Spiral would be released early in 1999. Work was continued on the album through the first half of 1999, and Nine Inch Nails performed the title track "The Fragile" off the double-CD at 1999 MTV Video Music Awards almost one year to the day of the "ninetynine" commercial. It can be found as an Easter Egg or on the "Beneath The Surface" menu on the live NIN DVD And All That Could Have Been.
Actress Rose McGowan, who had arrived with then-boyfriend Marilyn Manson, was wearing a see-through dress, no bra, and a thong, while Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston poked fun at their rumored rift by wearing lookalike chocolate brown dresses by Vera Wang. In an attempt to outdo each other, the singers tore off pieces of their dresses to reveal minidresses then staged a faux catfight that left the audience in disbelief. "People thought Whitney and I had some kind of beef," explained Carey.
1999: Lil' Kim showed up at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards with an entire breast exposed and only a tiny piece of fabric over the nipple. Kim's outfit became even more controversial later when she appeared on stage with Mary J. Blige and Diana Ross to present the Best Hip-Hop Video award, and Ross reached over, cupped her hand under Kim's exposed breast and jiggled it while Kim laughed.
During the following acceptance speech by the Beastie Boys, group member Ad-Rock addressed the instances of rape and sexual assault that occurred in the crowd at the recent Woodstock 1999 concert event. He pleaded to other musicians in the room to make a change in the way they treat fans at concerts; to pledge to talk with promoters and security to ensure "the safety of all the girls and the women who come to our shows."
Before presenting the final award, a group of drag queens paid tribute to Madonna wearing her most iconic outfits with a medley of her hit songs. Madonna herself then appeared onstage and remarked, "All I have to say is that it takes a real man to fill my shoes." She then introduced Paul McCartney, who presented the Video of the Year to "some guy named Laurence Hill" (Lauryn Hill).
2000: At the 2000 Video Music Awards, D'Angelo and Jennifer Lopez presented the award for Best Rock Video to Limp Bizkit. As Limp Bizkit vocalist Fred Durst spoke, Rage Against the Machine bassist Tim Commerford climbed onto the scaffolding of the set. Durst egged Commerford on, saying "Stage dive, dude" and "Take a dive," finally ending his speech with "and [Commerford]'s a pussy 'cause he won't jump." Commerford and his bodyguard were sentenced to a night in jail. RATM vocalist Zack de la Rocha reportedly left the awards after Commerford's stunt. RATM guitarist Tom Morello recalled that Commerford related his plan to the rest of the band before the show, and that both de la Rocha and Morello advised him against it immediately after Bizkit was presented the award.
Eminem performed his two singles "The Real Slim Shady" and "The Way I Am", the performance began with Eminem's single "The Real Slim Shady" which started outside the Radio City Music Hall on 6th Avenue, Manhattan. Eminem continued his performance into the arena and was followed by a hundred Eminem 'clones' wearing white tank tops and baggy jeans with dyed bleach blonde hair.
Britney Spears performed "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and her hit "Oops!... I Did It Again" which became one of the VMA's most controversial performances mostly due to Spears' ripping off a tuxedo to reveal skin-colored performance attire.
At the end of Christina Aguilera's performance, Durst walked onstage and performed part of his band's song "Livin' It Up" with Aguilera. After eliciting charged reactions from his fans, Durst stated: "I already told you guys before, I did it all for the nookie, man." The feud died weeks later. Aguilera denied Durst's statement, saying Durst "got no nookie."
Aguilera and Spears disproved rumors of a rivalry when they came onstage, holding hands, and introduced Whitney Houston. Houston, who had been targeted by the media for erratic behavior, canceled appearances, drug use rumors and being busted for carrying marijuana at a Hawaii airport just a few months prior, came out to a standing ovation and introduced an award to Eminem with husband Bobby Brown, who was recently released from jail. Houston showed more erratic behavior, jumping up and down saying "free" in reference to Brown's recent jail release.
2001: At the 2001 Video Music Awards, Britney Spears gave another memorable performance when she took the stage to sing her new single, "I'm a Slave 4 U." Along with dancing in a very revealing outfit, the performance is probably most remembered for featuring the singer in a cage with a tiger and briefly dancing with a live albino Burmese Python on her shoulders. The inclusion of a tiger and a snake in the performance bought a great deal of criticism from PETA.
U2 had been set to perform a medley including "Elevation", "Beautiful Day" and "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of." The riser they were performing on lost power and MTV had to cut to several minutes of promos while everything was set up again. They lost power again and finally the band was lowered to the ground and performed without the riser. Lead singer Bono made reference after the performance that MTV "forgot to pay the electricity bill."
Michael Jackson made a surprise appearance at the end of 'N Sync's performance of "Pop" and, surrounded by members of the group, performed some of his trademark dance moves to Justin Timberlake's beatboxing.
The show paid tribute to the R&B singer/Actress Aaliyah, who was supposed to present an award but died the weekend before from a small plane crash. U2 paid tribute to Punk-Rock singer Joey Ramone, who died of lymphoma 4 months before.
2002: In 2002, the VMAs took place on Michael Jackson's birthday, and as a tribute, Britney Spears introduced him saying she "considered him the artist of the millennium." Jackson said, "When I was a little boy growing up in Indiana if someone told me I'd be getting 'the artist of the millennium award,' I'd have never believed it." A year later, at the 2003 VMAs, this was parodied by presenters Fred Durst and Jack Black, with Durst stating that Black was the "funniest man alive."
The Hives and The Vines both performed on the night after the sudden garage rock revival during the year, with rumors spreading around that it was to be 'battle of the bands' performance. Once The Hives performed, singer Howlin' Pelle Almqvist said to the crowd "I know you want us to play more, but that's all the time we have for so you can turn off your TV now", just before The Vines came on the bigger stage to perform their hit single Get Free, ultimately destroying their set after their performance.
Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog appeared and had a confrontation with Eminem. Eminem had a confrontation with Moby, who had called the rapper's music misogynistic and homophobic. By that time, there were various boos from the crowd. The Best Male Video award was given to Eminem right after the confrontation with Triumph and Moby, and when Eminem went to stage to pick up the award, in the middle of his speech, he challenged Moby to fight if he continued to boo him.
Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas, the surviving members of the top-selling R&B trio TLC, made their first television appearance since the death of bandmate Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes.
Christina Aguilera shocked the audience by wearing a revealing outfit and heavy make-up, with a sexual image contrasting her previous good-girl persona. She was part of an awkward moment at the awards when presenting the Best Male Video Award to Eminem, who had insulted her in 2000.
Avril Lavigne won her first award ever as Best New Artist in a Video, getting the record for the youngest artist so far to win this award at the age of 17. She kicked off the 2002 VMAs with a "Complicated / "Sk8er Boi" pre-show performance and together Lisa Marie Presley they gave the award for Best Female Video to P!nk who was under the effects of alcohol during her acceptance speech.
Axl Rose unveiled the new lineup of Guns N' Roses. The band's set was the show's finale, and although the performance was meant to be kept a secret, some New York radio outlets announced the performance earlier in the day. The band played a set consisting of "Welcome to the Jungle", "Madagascar", and "Paradise City".
2003: At the 2003 Video Music Awards, Madonna portrayed a groom kissing her brides, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, on stage. The gender role-reversal and lesbian theme instantly made front page headlines. The three singers performed a medley of her early hit, "Like a Virgin", and her then latest release, "Hollywood", with a guest rap by Missy Elliott. The design resembled Madonna's performance of "Like a Virgin" at the 1984 VMAs: the same wedding cake set, wedding dresses and "Boy Toy" belt worn by Madonna in 1984 now adorned Aguilera and Spears.
Beyoncé made a memorable entrance, descending upside down from the rafters at Radio City Music Hall. Knowles performed "Baby Boy" as she was gently lowered to the stage, dressed in harem pants. She was later joined by Jay-Z as they performed their duet "Crazy in Love." The performance marked Knowles's solo debut.
2004: The 2004 MTV Video Music Awards were held at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. This was the first time the awards show was held outside of New York City and Los Angeles. It was the first video music awards to not have a host.
2005: At the 2005 show, Green Day returned, taking home the Best Rock Video, Best Group Video, and Video of the Year Moonmen for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," which they performed during the broadcast. They also took the Viewer's Choice award for "American Idiot."
Also at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards, while introducing the Reggaeton spot, Fat Joe made a disparaging comment about G-Unit: "I'd like to tell the people home I feel so safe tonight with all this police protection courtesy of G-Unit..." Later in the show, after G-Unit's performance, 50 Cent directed profanities at Fat Joe which were edited out before the shows airing although some broadcasts played the uncensored version of the show. R. Kelly performed his rap opera, "Trapped in the Closet."
The 2005 VMAs were the first to have a performance in Spanish, when Shakira, performed her single "la Tortura" ft Alejandro Sanz. Till the moment she has been the only Latin artist to sing a song in Spanish in this awards. It was also the first time that Spanish videos were nominated at the awards.
Kelly Clarkson performed a high energy version of her song "Since U Been Gone" barefoot wearing a torn up halter top and Capri pants. Clarkson moved through the crowd during the performance, which culminated in the singer getting sprayed with water. By the end of the song, she and a portion of the audience were soaking wet.
2006: During the 2006 Video Music Awards, after Jennifer Lopez announced the Video of the Year (Panic! at the Disco for "I Write Sins Not Tragedies"), a man jumped from the audience, took the microphone, and identified himself as "Sixx". Shakira performed "Hips Don´t Lie" ft Wyclef Jean. There were also performances of Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera and Beyoncé. It was hosted by Jack Black.
2007: The 2007 Video Music Awards is best known for Britney Spears's performance of her comeback single "Gimme More". Spears failed to live up to the pre-show hype about her appearance. She appeared to be intoxicated, with poor lip-syncing and dancing, and showing off an out-of-shape physique after reportedly tossing aside her costume, appearing wearing only a black, sparkly bra and panty set. The performance was dubbed "career crippling".
Kid Rock and Tommy Lee were involved in an altercation during Alicia Keys's performance. Lee was sitting with magician Criss Angel when the two went to visit Diddy, who was sitting close to Kid Rock. Kid Rock allegedly punched Tommy Lee in the face. The two were broken up, and both were escorted from the resort. Angel was removed a short time later.
2008: The 2008 Video Music Awards were opened by Britney Spears which welcomed everybody to the 25-year anniversary of the Video Music Awards. Rihanna opened the show with her then number one hit song "Disturbia" in a black leather outfit . After 16 nominations, Britney Spears finally won her first VMA, taking Best Female Video, Best Pop Video, and Video of the Year for "Piece of Me"marking the beginning of Spears' comeback.
Host Russell Brand commented on Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, begging the audience to vote for him. Brand called President George W. Bush a "retarded cowboy" and claimed Bush "wouldn't be trusted with a pair of scissors in Britain."
Russell Brand also made comments on the Jonas Brothers for wearing purity rings. Brand later faced criticism for his swipes at the trio. He confirmed his apology at the MTV Video Music Awards 2009 by saying "I upset the Jonas Brothers last year, I had to say sorry to them and they forgave me. They had to, they're Christians." During her introduction of T.I. and Rihanna's performance, Jordin Sparks, who also wears a purity ring, defended the Jonas Brothers by saying "It's not bad to wear a promise ring because not everybody, guy or girl, wants to be a slut." Sparks was in turn criticized for implying that those who do not wear purity rings or do not abstain are promiscuous.
After performing her song "Keeps Gettin' Better" at the awards with a futuristic look and sound, Christina Aguilera was accused by celebrity blogger Perez Hilton of copying the style of then-debuting singer Lady Gaga. Although Lady Gaga has after commented she did not consider Aguilera copied her, and Aguilera admitted she did not know who Gaga was. The two singers have often been compared and placed by the media as rivals ever since.
2009: At the 2009 Video Music Awards, country singer Taylor Swift won Best Female video for "You Belong with Me." During her acceptance speech, rapper Kanye West unexpectedly showed up on stage. Taking the microphone from Swift, he announced "Yo Tay, I'm really happy for you, and Imma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!" MTV cut away from the stage (showing Beyoncé with an embarrassed look) after West gave the microphone back to Swift and giving the middle finger to the audience as they started booing him off stage, and so Swift did not finish her speech. West was removed for the rest of the show. However, when Beyoncé won Video of the Year for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)," she called Swift back on stage to "have her moment" (finishing her speech from winning Best Female Video). In an off-the-record portion of an interview the following day, President Barack Obama called West a "jackass" for his antics. During a post-interview, Jay-Z admitted West was wrong to go on stage, but he thought people were overreacting to the incident.
Beyoncé performed her song "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" in 6 inch heels. Onstage, she performed her well-known choreography for Single Ladies with over two dozen female dancers dancing with her.
P!nk performed her hit single "Sober" while doing a trapeze act during the entire performance while singing live. The following day MTV posted a poll on their website for fans to vote for "Best Performance" of the Night, which P!nk won.
Lady Gaga later performed her song "Paparazzi" and shocked the audience when she appeared to bleed out on stage. It was actually a contraption in her outfit, it was one of the memorial moments in VMA history.
Madonna opened the show talking about her experiences with Michael Jackson. After her speech, a Michael Jackson tribute commenced, including Janet Jackson performing the duet "Scream". The show closed with a sneak preview of Michael Jackson's "This Is It" movie.
Rapper Lil' Mama jumped on stage as Jay-Z and Alicia Keys performed "Empire State of Mind." Lil' Mama later apologized. During an interview with New York Radio DJ Angie Martinez, Jay-Z said that he thought the unrehearsed move was something similar to the West and Swift incident. Lady Gaga and Beyoncé each received 9 nominations winning three each, with Beyoncé bringing home its highest honor, the Video of the Year for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)". Green Day also won three awards for their song "21 Guns".
2010: At the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, Lady Gaga broke the record for most nominations in a single show with 13, and took home eight awards (seven for "Bad Romance" and one for "Telephone"). She accepted the Video of the Year award for "Bad Romance" wearing a controversial dress made from cuts of meat. During her speech she revealed her upcoming album's title, Born This Way and sang a portion of the title track. Her win tied a-ha's "Take on Me" in 1986 for the second highest number of wins. (Peter Gabriel previously won 10 in 1987.) Justin Bieber won Best New Artist, making him the youngest person to ever win a VMA.
A year after an incident in which Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech, Taylor Swift performed her song "Innocent", while West performed "Runaway" with Pusha T giving a stellar performance on the MPC2000. Eminem, who performed at the show, did not receive his awards in person, due to leaving immediately to go perform with Jay-Z at The Home & Home Tour in New York City the next day. Additionally, will.i.am's "blackface" outfit sparked controversy among African-Americans. Overall, the show grabbed an impressive 11.4 million viewers — the largest audience for an MTV Video Music Awards since 2002, and until 2011's new record.
2011: The 2011 MTV Video Music Awards returned to the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, California. In the entire history of the show this was the third time no host was appointed, although Kevin Hart, who would receive the position a year later, delivered an opening monologue.
The show was opened by Lady Gaga dressed as her alter ego, Jo Calderone, performing "Yoü and I" with Queen guitarist, Brian May. During which she slipped on spilled beer but quickly recovered and finished the performance.
The tribute to Britney Spears contained performances by young talents, who danced to various hit singles by Spears including "...Baby One More Time" and the recent hit "Till the World Ends". After the tribute, Lady Gaga went on stage to present Britney the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. While accepting her award she and Gaga teased a kiss. Britney rejected the exchange saying, "I've done that already," referring to her infamous liplock with Madonna and Christina Aguilera at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards.
Chris Brown gave a performance which included him dancing to "Yeah 3x", "Protect Ya Neck", "Smells Like Teen Spirit", and "Beautiful People". While performing "Beautiful People" he started to fly across the stage and into the audience.
Prior to her performance, Beyoncé announced on the red carpet that she and husband Jay-Z were expecting a baby. Straight after Beyoncé finished performing her song "Love on Top", she also revealed again that she is pregnant by showing off her baby bump and rubbing it.
A tribute to late singer Amy Winehouse also took place; Russell Brand delivered a monologue on his thoughts on her, and after that, Tony Bennett previewed his collaboration with her for his album Duets II. Afterwards, Bruno Mars performed "Valerie" in honor of her, which received a standing ovation.
2012: The 2012 MTV Video Music Awards aired live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on Thursday, September 6, 2012. One Direction was the biggest winner receiving Best New Artist, Best Pop Video, and Most Share Worthy Video.
The awards ceremony was the least-watched VMA show since 2007. The major thing that contributed to it was moving the broadcast date to Thursday instead of Sunday, the day MTV been using since 2004 with the exception in 2006. MTV also moved up the telecast to 8pm instead of 9pm, to avoid competing with President Barack Obama's speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention and this was early for MTV's targeted young audience.
Host cities 
|1994||Thursday||8:00–11:25pm||September 8, 1994||4.1||N/A||5.36|
|1995||Thursday||8:00–11:00pm||September 7, 1995||3.7||7||6.33|
|1996||Wednesday||8:00–11:00pm||September 4, 1996||3.6||6||5.07|
|1997||Thursday||8:00–11:00pm||September 4, 1997||5.2||9||7.47|
|1998||Thursday||8:00–11:13pm||September 10, 1998||5.8||10||8.94|
|1999||Thursday||8:00–11:13pm||September 9, 1999||8.0||14||11.94|
|2000||Thursday||8:00–11:09pm||September 7, 2000||6.5||11||9.85|
|2001||Thursday||8:00–11:26pm||September 6, 2001||6.6||11||10.76|
|2002||Thursday||8:00–11:17pm||August 29, 2002||6.6||11||11.95|
|2003||Thursday||8:00–11:03pm||August 28, 2003||6.4||11||10.71|
|2004||Sunday||8:00–11:11pm||August 29, 2004||6.3||11||10.32|
|2005||Sunday||8:00–11:23pm||August 28, 2005||5.0||8||8.01|
|2006||Thursday||8:00–11:28pm||August 31, 2006||3.6||6||5.77|
|2007||Sunday||9:00–11:12pm||September 9, 2007||4.0||7||7.08|
|2008||Sunday||9:00–11:20pm||September 7, 2008||5.0||8||8.43|
|2009||Sunday||9:00–11:21pm||September 13, 2009||7.5||8||8.97|
|2010||Sunday||9:00–11:15pm||September 12, 2010||10||8||11.40|
|2011||Sunday||9:00–11:27pm||August 28, 2011||10.8||N/A||12.40|
|2012||Thursday||8:00-10:00pm||September 6, 2012||2.8||N/A||6.13|
Award categories 
Most wins 
Most wins in a single night 
|Artist||Year||Number of awards||Music video|
|Peter Gabriel||1987||10||"Sledgehammer" (9); Video Vanguard Award (for Gabriel)|
|a-ha||1986||8||"Take on Me" (6); "The Sun Always Shines on T.V." (2)|
|Lady Gaga||2010||"Bad Romance" (7); "Telephone" (1)|
|The Smashing Pumpkins||1996||7||"Tonight, Tonight" (6); "1979" (1)|
|Green Day||2005||"Boulevard of Broken Dreams" (6); "American Idiot" (1)|
|R.E.M.||1991||6||"Losing My Religion" (6)|
|Madonna||1998||"Ray of Light" (5); "Frozen" (1)|
|Fatboy Slim||2001||"Weapon of Choice" (6)|
|Herbie Hancock||1984||5||"Rockit" (5)|
|INXS||1988||"Need You Tonight/Mediate" (5)|
|Beck||1997||"The New Pollution" (3); "Devils Haircut" (2)|
|Ricky Martin||1999||"Livin' La Vida Loca" (5)|
Most wins overall 
|Artist||Years||Number of awards||Awarded work|
|Madonna||1986-1999||20||Video Vanguard Award; "Papa Don't Preach" (1); "Express Yourself" (3); "Like a Prayer" (1); "Vogue" (3); The Immaculate Collection (1); "Rain" (2); "Take a Bow" (1); "Ray of Light" (5); "Frozen" (1); "Beautiful Stranger" (1)|
|Peter Gabriel||1987-1994||13||"Sledgehammer" (9); Video Vanguard Award; "Steam" (2); "Kiss That Frog" (1)|
|Lady Gaga||2009-2011||"Paparazzi" (2); "Poker Face" (1); "Bad Romance" (7); "Telephone" (1); "Born This Way" (2)|
|Beyoncé||2003-2012||12||"Crazy in Love" (3); "Naughty Girl" (1); "Check on It" (1); "Beautiful Liar" (1); "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" (3); "Telephone" (1); "Run the World (Girls)" (1); "Countdown" (1)|
|R.E.M.||1989-1995||"Orange Crush" (1); "Losing My Religion" (6); "Everybody Hurts" (4); Video Vanguard Award|
|Eminem||1999-2010||11||"My Name Is" (1); "The Real Slim Shady" (2); "Without Me" (4); "Lose Yourself" (1); "We Made You" (1); "Not Afraid" (2)|
|Green Day||1998-2009||"Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" (1); "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" (6); "American Idiot" (1); "21 Guns" (3)|
|Aerosmith||1990-1998||10||"Janie's Got a Gun" (2); "The Other Side" (1); "Livin' on the Edge" (1); "Cryin'" (3); "Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees)" (1); "Pink" (1); "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" (1)|
|Fatboy Slim||1999-2001||9||"Praise You" (3); "Weapon of Choice" (6)|
|Janet Jackson||1987-1995||"Nasty" (1); "The Pleasure Principle" (1); "Rhythm Nation" (1); Video Vanguard Award; "Love Will Never Do (Without You)" (1); "If" (1); "Scream" (3)|
|a-ha||1986||8||"Take on Me" (6); "The Sun Always Shines on T.V." (2)|
|Michael Jackson||1984-1995||"Thriller" (3); Video Vanguard Award; "Leave Me Alone" (1); "Scream" (3)|
|Red Hot Chili Peppers||1992-2006||"Give It Away" (2); "Under the Bridge" (1); Best Artist Website; "Californication" (2); Video Vanguard Award; "Dani California" (1)|
|'N Sync||2000-2001||7||"Bye Bye Bye" (3); "Pop" (4)|
|The Smashing Pumpkins||1996||"Tonight, Tonight" (6); "1979" (1)|
|Justin Timberlake||2003-2007||"Cry Me a River" (2); "Rock Your Body" (1); "What Goes Around... Comes Around" (1); "My Love" (1); Male Artist of the Year; Quadruple Threat of the Year|
|Beck||1996-1997||6||"Where It's At" (1); "Devils Haircut" (2); "The New Pollution" (3)|
|Jay-Z||1999-2010||"Can I Get A..." (1); "99 Problems" (4); "Empire State of Mind" (1)|
|Britney Spears||2008-2011||"Piece of Me" (3); "Womanizer" (1); "Till the World Ends" (1); Video Vanguard Award|
|U2||1987-2001||"With or Without You" (1); "When Love Comes to Town" (1); "Even Better Than the Real Thing" (2); "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" (1); Video Vanguard Award|
|Coldplay||2002-2012||5||"Trouble" (1); "The Scientist" (3); "Paradise" (1)|
|Missy Elliott||2003-2006||"Work It" (2); "Lose Control" (2); "We Run This" (1)|
|Gnarls Barkley||2006-2008||"Crazy" (2); "Smiley Faces" (1); "Run" (2)|
|Herbie Hancock||1984||"Rockit" (5)|
|Don Henley||1985-1990||"The Boys of Summer" (4); "The End of the Innocence" (1)|
|INXS||1988||"Need You Tonight/Mediate" (5)|
|Ricky Martin||1999||"Livin' la Vida Loca" (5)|
|Nirvana||1992-1994||"Smells Like Teen Spirit" (2); "In Bloom" (1); "Heart-Shaped Box" (2)|
|No Doubt||1997-2004||"Don't Speak" (1); "Hey Baby" (2); "It's My Life" (2)|
|OutKast||2001-2004||"Ms. Jackson" (1); "Hey Ya!" (4)|
|Pink||2001-2006||"Lady Marmalade" (2); "Get the Party Started" (2); "Stupid Girls" (1)|
|TLC||1995-1999||"Waterfalls" (4); "No Scrubs" (1)|
|The White Stripes||2002-2008||"Fell in Love with a Girl" (3); "Seven Nation Army" (1); "Conquest" (1)|
Most wins for a single video 
|Artist||Year||Number of awards||Music video|
|Lady Gaga||2010||7||Bad Romance|
|a-ha||1986||6||Take On Me|
|R.E.M.||1991||Losing My Religion|
|The Smashing Pumpkins||1996||Tonight, Tonight|
|Fatboy Slim||2001||Weapon of Choice|
|Green Day||2005||Boulevard Of Broken Dreams|
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