The MTV Video Music Award for Best Rock Video was first given out in 1989, and it was one of the four original genre categories added to the VMAs that year. Firstly, the award was called the Best Heavy Metal Video. From 1990 to 1995, it was called as Best Metal/Hard Rock Video, and in 1996, the award was once again renamed for Best Hard Rock Video. Finally, in 1997 the award acquired its present and more general name, Best Rock Video, as, after 1998, acts which would have previously been eligible for the Best Alternative Video award became eligible for this one. It was not given out in 2007, as the VMAs were revamped and most original categories were eliminated. In 2008, though, MTV brought back this category, along with several of the others that were retired in 2007.
Aerosmith is both the biggest winner and nominated act, with eight nominations and winning four of these. Linkin Park holds the honor with the second most nominations with seven, while Metallica trails behind with six. In 2014, New Zealand singer Lorde became the first female to win the award with her music video "Royals".