1987 MTV Video Music Awards

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1987 MTV Video Music Awards
1987 MTV VMA Logo.png
DateFriday, September 11, 1987
LocationUniversal Amphitheatre, Los Angeles
CountryUnited States
Hosted byDowntown Julie Brown
Carolyne Heldman
Kevin Seal
Michael Tomioka and
Dweezil Zappa
Television/radio coverage

The 1987 MTV Video Music Awards aired live on September 11, 1987, honoring the best music videos from May 2, 1986, to May 1, 1987. The show was hosted by MTV VJs Downtown Julie Brown, Carolyne Heldman, Kevin Seal, Michael Tomioka, and Dweezil Zappa, and it took place at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles.

This year featured the debut of the award for Best Video from a Film, which recognized the most outstanding video of a song taken from a movie soundtrack. Concurrently, 1987 also saw the elimination of the Special Recognition award that had been given out every year since 1984. Unlike Video Vanguard, which could go a few years without being handed out and then return, the Special Recognition award was never again given out at the VMAs.

Peter Gabriel received a record-setting ten awards, including Video of the Year and the Video Vanguard award. Gabriel's video for "Sledgehammer" earned nine awads out of the ten it was in the running for, making it the most nominated video of the night, as well as the most rewarded video in VMA history. Gabriel also set a record for the most VMA nominations in a single year, as along with the ten nominations for "Sledgehammer", his video for "Big Time" also received two, bringing his total up to twelve nominations in 1987. This record would go uncontested until 2010, when Lady Gaga received thirteen nominations.

The ceremony's other major nominees were fellow Video of the Year nominees Genesis, Paul Simon, Steve Winwood, and U2, as well as two-time Best Female Video nominee Madonna. Genesis, Winwood, and U2 all received seven nominations for their videos "Land of Confusion", "Higher Love", and "With or Without You", respectively. Meanwhile, Simon and Madonna split their six nominations: the former between "The Boy in the Bubble" and "You Can Call Me Al", and the latter between "Papa Don't Preach" and "Open Your Heart."


Winners are in bold text.

Video of the Year[edit]

Peter Gabriel – "Sledgehammer"

Best Male Video[edit]

Peter Gabriel – "Sledgehammer"

Best Female Video[edit]

Madonna – "Papa Don't Preach"

Best Group Video[edit]

Talking Heads – "Wild Wild Life"

Best New Artist in a Video[edit]

Crowded House – "Don't Dream It's Over"

Best Concept Video[edit]

Peter Gabriel – "Sledgehammer"

Best Video from a Film[edit]

Talking Heads – "Wild Wild Life" (from True Stories)

Most Experimental Video[edit]

Peter Gabriel – "Sledgehammer"

Best Stage Performance in a Video[edit]

Bon Jovi – "Livin' on a Prayer"

Best Overall Performance in a Video[edit]

Peter Gabriel – "Sledgehammer"

Best Direction in a Video[edit]

Peter Gabriel – "Sledgehammer" (Director: Stephen R. Johnson)

Best Choreography in a Video[edit]

Janet Jackson – "Nasty" (Choreographer: Paula Abdul)

Best Special Effects in a Video[edit]

Peter Gabriel – "Sledgehammer" (Special Effects: Peter Lord)

Best Art Direction in a Video[edit]

Peter Gabriel – "Sledgehammer" (Art Directors: Stephen Quay and Timothy Quay)

Best Editing in a Video[edit]

Peter Gabriel – "Sledgehammer" (Editor: Colin Green)

Best Cinematography in a Video[edit]

Robbie Nevil – "C'est la Vie" (Director of Photography: Mark Plummer)

Viewer's Choice[edit]

U2 – "With or Without You"

Video Vanguard Award[edit]

Peter Gabriel
Julien Temple

Special Recognition Award[edit]

Elton John
Bernie Taupin



External links[edit]