Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award

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The Video Vanguard Award, also known as the Lifetime Achievement Award, is given to musicians who have made a profound effect on the MTV culture, honoring an artist's body of work. The award was renamed in 1991 as the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. The award is also given to music video directors who have created some of the most acclaimed music videos in pop culture. The first Vanguard awards were presented in 1984 at the inaugural Video Music Awards.[1]

List of recipients[edit]

The following is a list of recipients of the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, which includes some of the most popular and acclaimed artists in MTV history.

Year Recipient Notes Ref.
1984 Both Lester and The Beatles were honored for "essentially inventing the music video." David Bowie worked with Mick Rock to shoot some of the earliest music videos in the 70s.
1985 Byrne was honored for his work with Talking Heads. Godley & Creme are acclaimed music video directors. Mulcahy was honored as the director of The Buggles' "Video Killed The Radio Star", the first video played on MTV.
1986 Madonna found immense popularity by pushing the boundaries of lyrical content in mainstream popular music and imagery in her music videos, which became a fixture on MTV. Her videos have depicted controversial subjects such as teen pregnancy, racism, religion, sex, and violence. And she received this Lifetime Achievement Video Vanguard Award in 1986 for her contributions to the world of music video.
1987 Gabriel also won Video of the Year in the same night. [2]
1988 Michael Jackson changed the music video 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. [3]
1989 Presented by Madonna honored George Michael for his music videos from Faith.
1990 Her music videos from the 1980s became a catalyst for MTVs developing demographics. Her Broadway-style choreography and militant iconography were well received by critics and audiences. She was acknowledged as a role model for youth (especially young women) for imbuing her performances with a socially conscious message.
1991 Renamed Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award from this year. [4]
1992 [5]
1994 The award given to the Rolling Stones was a Lifetime Achievement Award. [6]
1997 LL Cool J is the first rap artist to receive this award.
1998 Chuck D of Public Enemy delivered a glowing appraisal of the band before presenting them with the award. Upon receiving the award, Adam Yauch took the opportunity to speak his mind on some political issues, condemning military aggression.
2003 Given as Lifetime Achievement Award.
2006 Given by Kanye West in honor of his achievements as a "film maker". [7]
2011 Given by Lady Gaga in honor of her achievements and her contributions to pop music and MTV culture. The award was given after a choreographed tribute of Spears' biggest hits. Spears was also close to giving Gaga a kiss, a recreation of her infamous kiss with Madonna, but rejected it, saying "I've done that already". [8]
2013 Given by Jimmy Fallon. The award was preceded by a fifteen-minute performance of his greatest hits, including a mini reunion with NSYNC. Timberlake also won Video of the Year in the same night. [9]
2014 Given by her husband Jay Z and daughter Blue Ivy Carter after a sixteen-minute medley of her self-titled fifth studio album. [10]
2015 Given by Taylor Swift. Proceeded by his acceptance speech where he announced he would run for president in 2020. [11]


  1. ^ "Justin Timberlake’s Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award". MTV. Retrieved November 8, 2014. 
  2. ^ "MTV Video Music Awards 1987". MTV. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Michael Jackson’s Video Vanguard Award, In MJ’s Top MTV Moments". MTV. June 26, 2009. Retrieved April 22, 2015. 
  4. ^ "MTV Video Music Awards 1991". MTV. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  5. ^ "MTV Video Music Awards 1992". MTV. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  6. ^ "MTV Video Music Awards 1994". MTV. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Hype Williams Directing Jay-Z Comeback Video". Billboard. Retrieved August 25, 2014. 
  8. ^ "MTV Video Music Awards 2011". MTV. Retrieved July 23, 2012. 
  9. ^ "MTV Video Music Awards 2013". MTV. Retrieved August 7, 2014. 
  10. ^ "MTV Video Music Awards 2014". MTV. 
  11. ^ "vanguard award 2015". MTV. Retrieved August 25, 2015. 

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