MTV Video Music Award – Breakthrough Video

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The MTV Video Music Award for Breakthrough Video was first awarded in 1988, replacing the award for Most Experimental Video. Along with Best Direction in a Video, this award was considered to be one of the most important professional categories at the VMAs, as every once in a while it was even presented during the main show (unlike most technical awards which were presented during the pre-show). The award for Breakthrough Video was given out every year from 1988 to 2005, after which it was retired. In 2009, however, MTV decided to bring back this category and continued to present it until 2011, when it was retired again. R.E.M. and Fatboy Slim are the two biggest winners of this award, as they each have won it twice. Art of Noise, meanwhile, is the only artist or group to have won this award under its two incarnations: Most Experimental Video in 1985 and Breakthrough Video in 1989.


Year Winner Other nominees
1988 INXS – "Need You Tonight/Mediate"
1989 Art of Noise (featuring Tom Jones) – "Kiss"
1990 Tears for Fears – "Sowing the Seeds of Love"
1991 R.E.M. – "Losing My Religion"
1992 Red Hot Chili Peppers – "Give It Away"
1993 Los Lobos – "Kiko and the Lavender Moon"
1994 R.E.M. – "Everybody Hurts"
1995 Weezer – "Buddy Holly"
1996 The Smashing Pumpkins – "Tonight, Tonight"
1997 Jamiroquai – "Virtual Insanity"
1998 The Prodigy – "Smack My Bitch Up"
1999 Fatboy Slim – "Praise You"
2000 Björk – "All Is Full of Love"
2001 Fatboy Slim – "Weapon of Choice"
2002 The White Stripes – "Fell in Love with a Girl"
2003 Coldplay – "The Scientist"
2004 Franz Ferdinand – "Take Me Out"
2005 Gorillaz – "Feel Good Inc."
No award given
2009 Matt & Kim – "Lessons Learned"
2010 The Black Keys – "Tighten Up"