MTV Video Music Award

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MTV Video Music Award
Ambox current red.svg 2019 MTV Video Music Awards
Mtv moon man.jpg
The 1983-1984 Video of the Year "Moon Person" award.
Awarded for Music videos and pop culture
Country United States
Presented by MTV
First awardedSeptember 14, 1984;34 years ago (1984-09-14)
Most recent MTV Video Music Award winners
  2017 August 20, 2018 2019  
  Camila Cabello VMA 2018.jpg Camila Cabello VMA 2018.jpg
Award Video of the Year Artist of the Year
Winner Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug
Camila Cabello
  Cardi B at the VMAs 2018.jpg Post Malone 2018.jpg
Award Best New Artist Song of the Year
Winner Cardi B Post Malone featuring 21 Savage

Previous Video of the Year


Video of the Year


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 "Super Bowl for youth", an acknowledgment of the VMA ceremony's ability to draw millions of youth from teens to 20-somethings each year. [1] By 2001, the VMA had become a coveted award. [2] The statue given to winners is an astronaut on the moon, one of the earliest representations of MTV, and was colloquially called a "moonman". However, in 2017 Chris McCarthy, the President of MTV, stated that the statue would be called a "Moon Person" from then on. [3] 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 statue is now made by New York firm, Society Awards. [4] Since the 2006 ceremony, viewers are able to vote for their favorite videos in all general categories by visiting MTV's website. [5]

MTV American pay television channel

MTV is an American pay television channel that serves as the flagship property of owner Viacom Media Networks and is headquartered in New York City. The channel was launched on August 1, 1981, and originally aired music videos as guided by television personalities known as "video jockeys" (VJs). At first, MTV's main target demographic was young adults, but today it is primarily teenagers, particularly high school and college students.

A music video is a short film that integrates a song with imagery, and is produced for promotional or artistic purposes. Modern music videos are primarily made and used as a marketing device intended to promote the sale of music recordings. There are also cases where songs are used in tie-in marketing campaigns that allow them to become more than just a song. Tie-ins and merchandising can be used for toys or for food or other products. Although the origins of the music video date back to musical short films that first appeared in the 1920s, they again came into prominence in the 1980s when the channel MTV based their format around the medium. Prior to the 1980s, these kinds of videos were described by various terms including "illustrated song", "filmed insert", "promotional (promo) film", "promotional clip", "promotional video", "song video", "song clip" or "film clip".

Grammy Award Accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States

A Grammy Award, or Grammy, is an award presented by The Recording Academy to recognize achievements in the music industry. The annual presentation ceremony features performances by prominent artists, and the presentation of those awards that have a more popular interest. The Grammys are the second of the Big Three major music awards held annually.


The annual VMA ceremony occurs before the end of summer and held either in late August or mid-September, and broadcast live on MTV, along with simulcasts on MTV's sister networks to nullify in-house competition. The first VMA ceremony was held in 1984 at New York City's Radio City Music Hall. The ceremonies are normally held in either New York City or Los Angeles. However, the ceremonies have also been hosted in Miami and Las Vegas. The 2019 MTV Video Music Awards are to take place on August 26, 2019 in Newark for the first time. [6]

1984 MTV Video Music Awards award ceremony

The 1984 MTV Video Music Awards aired live on September 14, 1984, honoring the best music videos from May 2, 1983, to May 2, 1984. The show was hosted by Dan Aykroyd and Bette Midler at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Radio City Music Hall concert hall and music venue in New York City

Radio City Music Hall is an entertainment venue at 1260 Avenue of the Americas, within Rockefeller Center, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Nicknamed the Showplace of the Nation, it is the headquarters for the Rockettes, the precision dance company.

Notable moments


Radio City Music Hall, site of 12 VMAs, including the first Radio City Music Hall 2003.jpg
Radio City Music Hall, site of 12 VMAs, including the first


1984: At the first MTV Video Music Awards in 1984, Madonna performed her 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 a garter. [7] 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". [8] David Bowie, The Beatles and director Richard Lester were rewarded with the first ever Video Vanguard Award s for their work in pioneering the music video.

This is a list of notable events in music that took place in the year 1984.

Madonna (entertainer) American singer-songwriter and actress

Madonna Louise Ciccone is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. Referred to as the "Queen of Pop" since the 1980s, Madonna is known for pushing the boundaries of songwriting in mainstream popular music and for the imagery she uses onstage and in music videos. She has frequently reinvented her music and image while maintaining autonomy within the recording industry. Although having sparked controversy, her works have been praised by music critics. Madonna is often cited as an influence by other artists.

Like a Virgin (song) 1984 song by Madonna

"Like a Virgin" is a song recorded by American singer Madonna for her second studio album Like a Virgin (1984). It was released on October 31, 1984, by Sire Records as the album's lead single. The song was written by Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg, and produced by Nile Rodgers; Steinberg said that the song was inspired by his personal experiences of romance. "Like a Virgin" was chosen for Madonna by Michael Ostin of Warner Bros. Records after listening to a demo sung by Kelly. Rodgers initially felt that the song did not have a sufficient hook, but subsequently changed his opinion after the song was stuck in his head.

1987: At the fourth annual MTV Video Music Awards, Peter Gabriel won 10 awards, including the Video Vanguard Award and Video of the Year for his video "Sledgehammer", holding the VMA record for most Moonmen in a single night.

1987 MTV Video Music Awards award ceremony

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.

Peter Gabriel English singer-songwriter, record producer and humanitarian

Peter Brian Gabriel is an English singer, songwriter, record producer and activist who rose to fame as the original lead singer and frontman of the progressive rock band Genesis. After leaving Genesis in 1975, Gabriel launched a successful solo career with "Solsbury Hill" as his first single. His 1986 album, So, is his best-selling release and is certified triple platinum in the UK and five times platinum in the U.S. The album's most successful single, "Sledgehammer", won a record nine MTV Awards at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards and, according to a report in 2011, it was MTV's most played music video of all time.

MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year music video award

The MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year is the most prestigious competitive-award and final award handed out at the annual MTV Video Music Awards. It was first awarded in 1984 and presented to The Cars for the video "You Might Think". The current holder is Camila Cabello for the video "Havana".

1988: At the 1988 Video Music Awards Michael Jackson appeared for the first time. A pre-recorded live performance of Bad was shown." [9] He was also awarded the Video Vanguard Award. [10]

1988 MTV Video Music Awards award ceremony

The 1988 MTV Video Music Awards aired live on September 7, 1988, honoring the best music videos from May 2, 1987, to April 1, 1988. The show was hosted by Arsenio Hall at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles.

Michael Jackson American singer, songwriter and dancer

Michael Joseph Jackson was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Dubbed the "King of Pop", he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest entertainers. Jackson's contributions to music, dance, and fashion, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.

<i>Bad</i> (album) 1987 studio album by Michael Jackson

Bad is the seventh studio album by American singer and songwriter Michael Jackson. It was released on August 31, 1987 in the United States by Epic Records and internationally by CBS Records, nearly five years after Jackson's previous album, Thriller. Bad was written and recorded over more than three and a half years, and was the final collaboration between Jackson and producer Quincy Jones. Jackson co-produced the album and composed all but two tracks. The lyrical themes include media bias, paranoia, racial profiling, romance, self-improvement and world peace.

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 introduced Cher with some of his already-notorious nursery rhymes that contained vulgar language and references. [11] 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. [12]

Andrew Dice Clay American comedian and actor

Andrew Dice Clay is an American stand-up comedian, actor, musician, and producer. He rose to prominence in the late 1980s with a brash, macho, offensive persona known as "The Diceman". In 1990, he became the first stand-up comedian to sell out Madison Square Garden for two consecutive nights. That same year, he played the lead role in the comedy-mystery film The Adventures of Ford Fairlane.

1989 MTV Video Music Awards award ceremony

The 1989 MTV Video Music Awards aired live on September 6, 1989, honoring the best music videos from April 2, 1988, to June 1, 1989. The show was hosted by Arsenio Hall at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles.

<i>The Adventures of Ford Fairlane</i> 1990 action/comedy film directed by Renny Harlin

The Adventures of Ford Fairlane is a 1990 American action comedy mystery film directed by Renny Harlin and written by David Arnott, James Cappe, and Daniel Waters based on a story by Arnott and Cappe. The film stars comedian Andrew Dice Clay as the title character, Ford Fairlane, a "Rock n' Roll Detective", whose beat is the music industry in Los Angeles. True to his name, Ford drives a 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner in the film.

Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora turned out a stripped down acoustic performance of the Bon Jovi hits "Wanted Dead or Alive and "Livin' on a Prayer", and in the process possibly provided the inspirational spark for MTV Unplugged. [13] [14]

Paula Abdul was nominated for six awards, picking up four wins. She performed a seven-minute medley of her singles "Straight Up", "Cold Hearted", and "Forever Your Girl". [13]

When Madonna won the Viewer's Choice Award (sponsored by Pepsi-Cola) for her "Like a Prayer" video, she thanked Pepsi-Cola in her acceptance speech "for causing so much controversy". Pepsi-Cola had paid Madonna $5 million 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. [15] 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. [13]



1990: At the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards, Madonna gave a memorable performance of her single "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. [16]

1991: During the award show the MTV Video Vanguard Award was renamed to the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award from then on, in honor of his contributions to the culture of music videos [17] by changing them from a mere promotional tool featuring musicians playing instruments and singing, to a "short film" with a storyline. His video "Thriller" influenced and changed music videos into what it is like today. [18]

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. [19] Paul Reubens had his first public appearance, during the opening montage, 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?" [20] After his appearance, Van Halen made their television debut, performing "Poundcake." Metallica was another highlight of the performances with "Enter Sandman."

Prince & The New Power Generation performed their sexually charged song "Gett Off" on a Caligula-esque set, with Prince dressed in a yellow mesh outfit which infamously exposed his buttocks. His trousers were parodied numerous times throughout the following year, on In Living Color & even on the next year's VMAs by Howard Stern.

It also marked the last TV appearance of Kiss with Eric Carr, before Carr's death that November.

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 played the first few chords 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.[ citation needed ]

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. [9] During the commercial break, the Alien 3 Pepsi commercial was shown.

Radio shock-jock Howard Stern appeared as Fartman, Stern's radio super-hero, wearing a buttocks-exposing costume obviously inspired by Prince's outfit the year before. Stern was a presenter for best hard rock/metal performance with actor Luke Perry (after several other celebrities turned him down).

Madonna has presented several controversial performances in the show's history. Madonna en Chelsea.jpg
Madonna has presented several controversial performances in the show's history.

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. [21]

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." [21]

Rapper Snoop Dogg presented the Best R&B Video award with Dr. Dre and George Clinton. At the time, Snoop was wanted in connection with the week old drive-by murder of an L.A. gang member. [21]

Janet Jackson closed the show with her performance of "That's the Way Love Goes" & "If".

1994: At the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards on September 8, months after a profanity-laced appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman , Madonna was announced to present the award for Best Video of the Year. She came out, arm-in-arm with an unannounced David Letterman, to a wild ovation. At the microphone, Letterman told her "I'll be in the car. Watch your language," and left. [22]

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. [23] [24]


1995: At the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards, 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 frontwoman Courtney 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, Love dedicated the performance to her husband and multiple people in the entertainment industry who had recently died: "This is for Kurt, and Kristen, and River, and Joe, and today Joni Abbott, this is for you." Abbott worked in the Talent Relations department at MTV and had recently committed suicide. [25] 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. [26] 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. [27]

Michael Jackson performed for over fifteen minutes to a medley of his main songs, 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." [28] 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. [29] [30]

TLC was the big 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.[ citation needed ]

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 led him to believe that he had been re-hired.[ citation needed ]

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. [31]

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.[ citation needed ]

The recently reunited Kiss closed the show with a special concert aired from the Brooklyn Bridge. [32]

1997: In 1997, Pat Smear announced that he was leaving Foo Fighters halfway through their performance and presented his replacement, Franz Stahl, who had been a member of the band Scream with Dave Grohl. [33]

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. [34]

The odd pairing of presenters Martha Stewart and Busta Rhymes that year drew much talk in the press, [34] with a fair amount of commentary regarding their good on-screen chemistry, despite coming from wildly different backgrounds. 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." [34] [35] [36]

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. [37]

1998: In 1998, after Green Day won a "Moon Man" Trophy at the MTV Music Awards, drummer of the band Tré Cool famously climbed the Universal Globe at Universal Studios, but escaped with no punishment, only compliments and cheers. Cool is one of the only two people ever to do so, the other being Jai Brooks.

At the 1998 VMA's, Brandy and Monica performed "The Boy Is Mine" together live for the first time, putting an end to the media speculation that the two were rivals. [38] 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 .[ citation needed ]

Geri Halliwell attended the event, one of her first public appearances since she left the Spice Girls in May. She presented the Video of the Year award to Madonna for "Ray of Light. [39]

Actress Rose McGowan, who had arrived with then-boyfriend Marilyn Manson, was wearing a see-through dress, no bra, and a thong, [40] 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. [41]

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. [42]

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." [43]

Afeni Shakur and Voletta Wallace, the mothers of the recently slain Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G., met for the first time at the ceremony. [44]

Britney Spears made her debut appearance on the show, performing her single "...Baby One More Time" and later introducing NSYNC for "Tearin' Up My Heart."

TLC won Best Group Video for "No Scrubs", receiving a standing ovation from the audience and artists. For the second year in a row, the Backstreet Boys took the Viewer's Choice Award for "I Want It That Way", a song they performed during the broadcast.

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 called Laurence Hill" (Lauryn Hill).



2000: At the 2000 Video Music Awards, Limp Bizkit won the award for Best Rock Video. As 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. [45] [46]

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. [47]

Britney Spears performed "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and her hit "Oops!... I Did It Again", which gained media attention mostly due to Spears' ripping off a tuxedo to reveal skin-colored performance attire. At performance’s end, VMA co-host Marlon Wayans proclaimed, "Girl done went from ’The Mickey Mouse Club’ to the strip club." [48]

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." [49] The feud died weeks later. Aguilera denied Durst's statement, saying Durst "got no nookie." [50]

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. Aaliyah would win two MTV Video Music Awards for Best Female Video and Best Video from a Film for Try Again.[ citation needed ]

2001: At the 2001 Video Music Awards, Britney Spears performed her single, "I'm a Slave 4 U." Along with dancing in a very revealing outfit, the performance featured 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. [48] [51]

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." [52]

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. [52]

The show paid tribute to the R&B singer/actress Aaliyah, who was supposed to present an award but died two weeks before from a plane crash. U2 paid tribute to Punk-Rock singer Joey Ramone, who died of lymphoma 4 months before. [53] [54]

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." [55] 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." [48] [56]

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", [57] 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. [58]

Justin Timberlake made his solo performance debut on the show, performing his single "Like I Love You".

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. [58]

Shakira took the stage of the VMAs to perform her single Objection (Tango). She became the first South American act to perform at the ceremony, ending with a stand ovation.

Christina Aguilera shocked the audience by wearing a revealing outfit and heavy make-up, with a sexual image contrasting her previous good-girl persona. [59] 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. [60]

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. [58]

Axl Rose unveiled the new lineup of New 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". [61]

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. A quick camera cut to the reaction of Justin Timberlake, who dated Spears until 2002, also gained media attention. [62] 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. [63]

Beyoncé made an unusual 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' solo debut. [64]

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. [65]


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 show, 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. [66] R. Kelly performed his rap opera, "Trapped in the Closet." [67]

Actress Eva Longoria caused a stir when she appeared barely dressed to introduce Mariah Carey. [68] Gwen Stefani and Snoop Dogg won best dressed female and male and received prizes to donate to a charity of their choice. [69]

The 2005 VMAs were the first to have a performance in Spanish, when Shakira, performed her single "La Tortura" with Alejandro Sanz. It was also the first time that Spanish videos were nominated at the awards. [67]

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. [70]

Beavis and Butt-head appeared in several Viewer's Choice award skits, saying to "Vote to put Beavis and Butt-head back on MTV!". [71] Rather belatedly, the TV show returned to MTV in 2011.

2006: Justin Timberlake opened the 2006 Video Music Awards performing his singles "My Love" and "SexyBack". The awards were distributed evenly across all genres, as hip-hop, pop and rock artists alike all won Moonmen. 2006 was also the first time that viewers voted for all the performer's categories (Video of the Year, Best Male Video, Best Group Video, among others, except professional categories). [72]

When Panic! at the Disco won Video of the Year for "I Write Sins Not Tragedies", a man calling himself Sixx jumped onstage claiming that MTV had denied him his own TV show. [72] Hosted by Jack Black, there were also performances by Shakira with Wyclef Jean, Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera and The Killers.

2007: The 2007 Video Music Awards was opened by Britney Spears performing 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-synching and dancing, and showing off an out-of-shape physique after reportedly tossing aside her costume, appearing wearing only a black sequined bra and panty set. [73] [74] The performance was dubbed "career crippling". [42]

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. [75]

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 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", considered as Spears' comeback. [76]

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." [77]

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 boy-band 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. [78]

West taking the microphone from Swift at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. Kanye-West-grabs-the-mic-2009-vma.jpg
West taking the microphone from Swift at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.

2009: At the 2009 Video Music Awards, singer-songwriter 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!" [79] [80] 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. [81] During a post-interview, Jay-Z admitted West was wrong to go on stage, but he thought people were overreacting to the incident. [82]

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. [83]

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. [84] Beyoncé performed her song "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" with over two dozen female dancers dancing with her. [85] P!nk performed her single "Sober" while doing a trapeze act during the entire performance while singing live.

Rapper Lil' Mama jumped on stage as Jay Z and Alicia Keys performed "Empire State of Mind." [86] Lil' Mama later apologized. [87] 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. [87]

Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Green Day were the big winners of the night, with three awards each. [85]


2010: At the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, Taylor Swift performed her song "Innocent", while West performed "Runaway" with Pusha T giving a stellar performance on the MPC2000. [88] Eminem, who performed at the show, did not receive his awards in person, as he had to leave immediately to perform with Jay Z at The Home & Home Tour in New York City the next day. [89] Additionally,'s "blackface" outfit sparked controversy among African-Americans. [90] Florence + the Machine performed "Dog Days Are Over". [91]

Lady Gaga won eight awards, including Video of the Year, Best Female Video, and Best Pop Video for "Bad Romance"; she also won Best Collaboration for "Telephone" with Beyoncé. Upon accepting her Video of the Year award, Gaga wore a dress made entirely of raw meat, which drew criticism from PETA. [92] Justin Bieber won Best New Artist, making him the youngest person to ever win a VMA. [93]

Overall, the show grabbed 11.4 million viewers—the largest audience for an MTV Video Music Awards since 2002, and until 2011's new record. [94]

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 tribute to Britney Spears included performances by young talents, who danced to various hit singles by Spears including "...Baby One More Time" and "Till the World Ends". After the tribute, Lady Gaga went onstage to present Britney the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. [95] While accepting her award she and Gaga (dressed as her alter ego Joe Calderone) teased a kiss. Spears rejected the exchange saying, "I've done that already", referring to her liplock with Madonna at the 2003 show. [96]

During Kanye West and Jay Z's surprise performance of "Otis", a man attempted to rush the stage but was quickly taken off by security. [97]

Katy Perry and Kanye West won the Award for Best Video for a Collaborative Single. As they went onstage to receive the award, Perry made a reference to West's incident with Taylor Swift two years back. This was the first award Perry won in four years of being nominated. [98]

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 was pregnant by showing off her baby bump and rubbing it. That evening, Beyoncé set the record for the most mentions on Twitter per second (with 8,868) and helped this year's VMAs become the most-watched broadcast in MTV history, pulling in 12.4 million viewers. [99]

A tribute to late singer Amy Winehouse also took place; Russell Brand delivered a monologue on his thoughts on her, after which Tony Bennett previewed his collaboration with her for his album Duets II . Afterwards, Bruno Mars performed "Valerie" in her honor. [100]

Katy Perry won three awards including Video of the Year for "Firework", and Lady Gaga won two awards, including the new category Best Video With a Message for "Born This Way". [101]

2012: The 2012 MTV Video Music Awards aired live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on September 6, 2012. One Direction was the big winner of the night receiving Best New Artist, Best Pop Video, and Most Share Worthy Video. Rihanna won the Video of the Year Award for "We Found Love".

The awards ceremony was the least-watched VMA show since 2007. The major contributing factor 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. [102]

The standing inflatable KAWS moonman at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. 2013-mtv-vmas-kaws-moonman.jpg
The standing inflatable KAWS moonman at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.

2013: For the show's 30th anniversary, MTV redesigned its moon-man statue [103] for one year only due to the ceremony's being held in Brooklyn for the first time. Brooklyn artist KAWS used Michelin Man as inspiration to redesign the image of the renowned MTV moon-man. Barclays Center, which served as the venue for the 2013 show, was decorated also by KAWS, themed around the resigned moon-man. The 2013 VMAs also marked the fourth time in the award show's history that a host had not been appointed for the annual event. [104] Lady Gaga opened the ceremony, performing her single "Applause". During the performance, Gaga changed three times on stage and gave a tribute to her past eras ( The Fame , The Fame Monster and Born This Way ). At the end, Gaga came on stage wearing nothing but a seashell bikini.

Miley Cyrus' performance of her song "We Can't Stop" featured the former Disney star entering the stage through a giant teddy bear wearing a one-piece bodice with a teddy bear styled on it. The singer performed with a group of backup dancers dressed as giant bears before singer Robin Thicke joined Cyrus on stage to perform his song "Blurred Lines". Cyrus then stripped down to a flesh-colored bikini and proceeded to perform her signature twerking dance moves, simulating sex with Thicke and grabbing his crotch with a giant foam finger. [105] The unimpressed reactions of several celebrity audience members, including Rihanna and members of One Direction, also gained attention in the media. [106]

Justin Timberlake's "Mirrors" won Video of the Year, making him the first male solo artist to win this category since Eminem in 2002 with "Without Me". Timberlake also became the second artist to be honored with the Video Vanguard Award and win Video of the Year in the same night, after Peter Gabriel did it in 1987. To celebrate his Video Vanguard Award, Timberlake performed a 15-minute medley performance, which included a mini reunion with his former band NSYNC. [107] The set list of the most watched performance of the night [108] included hit singles from his first four solo albums, such as "Cry Me a River", "SexyBack" and "Suit & Tie".

2014: The 2014 show was held at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Miley Cyrus won Video of the Year for "Wrecking Ball" and got a young homeless man named Jesse to accept the award on her behalf. His speech was a call-to-action to help raise awareness to the homeless youth of America. [109] Nicki Minaj suffered a wardrobe malfunction during her performance of "Bang Bang" with Jessie J and Ariana Grande, that left her clutching her black dress. [110] Beyoncé closed the show by performing a 16-minute medley of hits from her self-titled fifth studio album. After the performance, her husband Jay Z and daughter Blue Ivy presented the Video Vanguard Award to her. [111]

The redesigned moonman by Jeremy Scott at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards. 2015-mtv-vmas-jeremy-scott-moonman.jpg
The redesigned moonman by Jeremy Scott at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

2015: The 2015 show was hosted by Miley Cyrus. American fashion designer Jeremy Scott redesigned the year's "moonman", marking the second time that the statue had been transformed. [112] Taylor Swift joined Nicki Minaj on stage during Minaj's opening number. After performing together, Swift and Minaj shared a hug onstage, ending rumors of a feud between the two. [113] Swift won four awards, including Video of the Year for "Bad Blood". [114] She presented the Video Vanguard Award to Kanye West, who ended his acceptance speech by claiming that he will run for president in 2020. [115]

Minaj ended her acceptance speech for Best Hip-Hop Video by passing the show back to Cyrus, saying: "And now, back to this bitch who had a lot to say about me the other day in the press: Miley, What's good?" [116] Minaj was referring to Cyrus' comments about how she handled "Anaconda" being snubbed for a Video of the Year nomination. Cyrus appeared stunned by Minaj's remarks and replied, "We're all in this industry. We all do interviews and we all know how they manipulate shit. Nicki, congratu-fuckin-lations." [116] The camera then cut back to Minaj who seemed to mouth back the word "bitch." [116] Cyrus closed the show by performing along with a group of drag queens who participated on RuPaul's Drag Race. [117]

2016: The 2016 show was held at the Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. [118] Rihanna performed four times during the show, including opening and closing the ceremony. After her final performance, Rihanna was presented the Video Vanguard Award by Drake, who declared, "She's someone I've been in love with since I was 22 years old." [119] While accepting her award, Drake leaned in for a kiss that Rihanna dodged. [120] Britney Spears returned to perform at the VMAs for the first time since her heavily criticized performance at the 2007 show. [120] Kanye West gave a seven-minute long speech covering various topics, including his feud with Taylor Swift. [121]

Beyoncé performed a 16-minute medley of her Lemonade album and won eight awards, including Video of the Year for "Formation". [120] [122] She became the most awarded artist in VMA history with 24 moonmen, surpassing Madonna's previous record of 20. [122] The telecast saw a drop in audience for third year in a row. [123]

2017: The 2017 show was hosted by Katy Perry. Kendrick Lamar won six awards, including Video of the Year for "Humble", and Pink was honored with the Video Vanguard Award. [124] Jared Leto paid tribute to Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell, who both died over the past three months. [125] The music video for Taylor Swift's song "Look What You Made Me Do" premiered during the broadcast. [124] Compared to the previous year, viewership was down from 6.5 million to 5.4 million viewers, making it the lowest viewed VMAs since Nielsen started measuring the show in 1994. [126]

Fifth Harmony appeared on the stage to perform Angel and Down. At the start, there were five silhouettes, one of them fell off the stage, referencing former group member Camila Cabello leaving the group the previous year.

Logic performed his song "1-800-273-8255" along with Alessia Cara and Khalid. Their stage was outlined with survivors of suicide loss and attempts, who wore T-shirts that had the phone number on the front and the phrase "You Are Not Alone" written on the back. During their performance, Logic gave a speech about thanking the audience for giving him a platform to talk about the issues "that mainstream media doesn't want to talk about: mental health, anxiety, suicide, depression." [127] He further added, "I don't give a damn if you're black, white, or any color in between. I don't care if you're Christian, you're Muslim, you're gay, you're straight — I am here to fight for your equality, because I believe that we are all born equal, but we are not treated equally and that is why we must fight." [127] Following the performance, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline experienced a 50% increase in calls. [127]

2018: Camila Cabello won Video of the Year and Jennifer Lopez received the Vanguard Award. [128] Before introducing Cabello's category, Madonna gave a tribute to the late Aretha Franklin. Most of the speech explained the early origins of Madonna's career and was only tangentially Franklin-related, [129] which made critics describe the "bizarre" tribute as a "lengthy" anecdote about herself that involved Franklin's music. [130] [131] [132] Afterwards, Madonna stated that she was there to give the Video of the Year award as asked by MTV and to speak about some experience in her career with some connection with Aretha, not to make any kind of tribute. [133]

The viewership of the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards was down 9 percent overall and 15 percent in the important 18 to 49 year olds demographic group. The total viewership was 4.8 million. [134]

List of ceremonies

YearDateVenueHost CityHost [135] Video of the Year WinnerRef.
1984 September 14 Radio City Music Hall New York City Dan Aykroyd and Bette Midler "You Might Think" by The Cars
(Directed by Jeff Stein and Charlex)
1985 September 13 Eddie Murphy "The Boys of Summer" by Don Henley
(Directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino)
1986 September 5 The Palladium,
Universal Amphitheatre
New York City,
Los Angeles
MTV VJs: "Downtown" Julie Brown, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, Martha Quinn and Dweezil Zappa "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits
(Directed by Steve Barron)
1987 September 11 Universal Amphitheatre Los Angeles MTV VJs: "Downtown" Julie Brown, Carolyne Heldman, Dweezil Zappa and Kevin Seal "Sledgehammer" by Peter Gabriel
(Directed by Stephen R. Johnson)
1988 September 7 Arsenio Hall "Need You Tonight" / "Mediate" by INXS
(Directed by Richard Lowenstein)
1989 September 6"This Note's for You" by Neil Young
(Directed by Julien Temple)
1990 September 6"Nothing Compares 2 U" by Sinéad O'Connor
(Directed by John Maybury)
1991 September 5"Losing My Religion" by R.E.M.
(Directed by Tarsem Singh)
1992 September 9 UCLA's Pauley Pavilion Dana Carvey "Right Now" by Van Halen
(Directed by Mark Fenske)
1993 September 2 Universal Amphitheatre Christian Slater "Jeremy" by Pearl Jam
(Directed by Mark Pellington)
1994 September 8 Radio City Music Hall New York City Roseanne Barr "Cryin'" by Aerosmith
(Directed by Marty Callner)
1995 September 7 Dennis Miller "Waterfalls" by TLC
(Directed by F. Gary Gray)
1996 September 4"Tonight, Tonight" by The Smashing Pumpkins
(Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris)
1997 September 4 Chris Rock "Virtual Insanity" by Jamiroquai
(Directed by Jonathan Glazer)
1998 September 10 Universal Amphitheatre Los Angeles Ben Stiller "Ray of Light" by Madonna
(Directed by Jonas Åkerlund)
1999 September 9 Metropolitan Opera House New York City Chris Rock "Doo Wop (That Thing)" by Lauryn Hill
(Directed by Big TV!)
2000 September 7 Radio City Music Hall Marlon Wayans and Shawn Wayans "The Real Slim Shady" by Eminem
(Directed by Dr. Dre and Philip Atwell)
2001 September 6 Metropolitan Opera House Jamie Foxx "Lady Marmalade" by Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mýa and P!nk featuring Missy Elliott
(Directed by Paul Hunter)
2002 August 29 Radio City Music Hall Jimmy Fallon "Without Me" by Eminem
(Directed by Joseph Kahn)
2003 August 28 Chris Rock "Work It" by Missy Elliott
(Directed by Dave Meyers)
2004 August 29 American Airlines Arena Miami N/A"Hey Ya!" by OutKast
(Directed by Bryan Barber)
2005 August 28 Sean "Diddy" Combs "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Green Day
(Directed by Samuel Bayer)
2006 August 31 Radio City Music Hall New York City Jack Black "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" by Panic! At The Disco
(Directed by Shane Drake)
2007 September 9 Palms Casino Resort Las Vegas N/A"Umbrella" by Rihanna featuring Jay-Z
(Directed by Chris Applebaum)
2008 September 7 Paramount Studios Los Angeles Russell Brand "Piece of Me" by Britney Spears
(Directed by Wayne Isham)
2009 September 13 Radio City Music Hall New York City "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" by Beyoncé
(Directed by Jake Nava)
2010 September 12 Nokia Theatre Los Angeles Chelsea Handler "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga
(Directed by Francis Lawrence)
2011 August 28N/A"Firework" by Katy Perry
(Directed by Dave Meyers)
2012 September 6 Staples Center Kevin Hart "We Found Love" by Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris
(Directed by Melina Matsoukas)
2013 August 25 Barclays Center Brooklyn, New York City N/A"Mirrors" by Justin Timberlake
(Directed by Floria Sigismondi)
2014 August 24 The Forum Inglewood, California"Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus
(Directed by Terry Richardson)
2015 August 30 Microsoft Theater Los Angeles Miley Cyrus "Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar
(Directed by Joseph Kahn)
2016 August 28 Madison Square Garden New York City N/A"Formation" by Beyoncé
(Directed by Melina Matsoukas)
2017 August 27 The Forum Inglewood, California Katy Perry "HUMBLE." by Kendrick Lamar
(Directed by Dave Meyers and The Little Homies)
2018 August 20 Radio City Music Hall New York City N/A"Havana" by Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug
(Directed by Dave Meyers)
2019 August 26 Prudential Center Newark, New Jersey Sebastian Maniscalco TBA [158]

Award categories


Ratings are not available prior to 1994 because MTV was not subscribing to Nielsen Media Research's program ratings prior to 1994. [159] The field "Cumulative viewers" shows the audience of the live simulcasts of the ceremony across many Viacom Media Networks channels as a whole.

YearDay [159] TimeDateHouseholds Rating [159] Households Share [159] MTV Viewers [159]
(in millions)
Cumulative Viewers (in millions)
1994 Thursday8:00–11:25pmSeptember 8, 19944.1N/A5.36N/A
1995 Thursday8:00–11:00pmSeptember 7, 19953.776.33N/A
1996 Wednesday8:00–11:00pmSeptember 4, 19963.665.07N/A
1997 Thursday8:00–11:00pmSeptember 4, 19975.297.47N/A
1998 Thursday8:00–11:13pmSeptember 10, 19985.8108.94N/A
1999 Thursday8:00–11:13pmSeptember 9, 19998.01411.94N/A
2000 Thursday8:00–11:09pmSeptember 7, 20006.5119.85N/A
2001 Thursday8:00–11:26pmSeptember 6, 20016.61110.76N/A
2002 Thursday8:00–11:17pmAugust 29, 20026.61111.95N/A
2003 Thursday8:00–11:03pmAugust 28, 20036.41110.71N/A
2004 Sunday8:00–11:11pmAugust 29, 20046.31110.32N/A
2005 Sunday8:00–11:23pmAugust 28, 20055.088.01N/A
2006 Thursday8:00–11:28pmAugust 31, 20063.665.77N/A
2007 Sunday9:00–11:12pmSeptember 9, 20074.077.08N/A
2008 Sunday9:00–11:20pmSeptember 7, 20085.088.43 [160] N/A
2009 Sunday9:00–11:21pmSeptember 13, 20097.588.97 [161] N/A
2010 Sunday9:00–11:15pmSeptember 12, 201010811.40 [162] N/A
2011 Sunday9:00–11:27pmAugust 28, 201110.8N/A12.40 [163] N/A
2012 Thursday8:00–10:00pmSeptember 6, 20122.8N/A6.13 [164] N/A
2013 Sunday9:00–11:28pmAugust 25, 2013



10.1 [165]

2014 Sunday9:00–11:13pmAugust 24, 2014



8.3 [166]

10.3 [167]
2015 Sunday9:00–11:37pmAugust 30, 2015N/AN/A

5.03 [168]

9.8 [169]
2016 Sunday9:00–11:54pmAugust 28, 2016N/AN/A

3.3 [170]

6.5 [171]
2017 Sunday8:00–11:05pmAugust 27, 2017N/AN/A

2.66 [172]

5.36 [172]
2018 Monday9:00-11:43pmAugust 20, 2018N/AN/A

2.25 [134]

4.87 [134]

Most wins

Most wins overall

ArtistYearsNumber of awards [lower-alpha 1] Awarded work [173]
Beyoncé 200316 24"Crazy in Love" (3); "Naughty Girl" (1); "Check on It" (1); "Beautiful Liar" (1); "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" (3); "Run the World (Girls)" (1); "Countdown" (1); Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award; "Pretty Hurts" (2); "Drunk in Love" (1); "7/11" (1); "Hold Up" (1); Lemonade (1); "Formation" (6)
Madonna 198699 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)
Lady Gaga 200911 13"Paparazzi" (2); "Poker Face" (1); "Bad Romance" (7); "Telephone" (1); "Born This Way" (2)
Peter Gabriel 198794 "Sledgehammer" (9); Video Vanguard Award; "Steam" (2); "Kiss That Frog" (1)
R.E.M. 198995 12"Orange Crush" (1); "Losing My Religion" (6); "Everybody Hurts" (4); Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award
Eminem 199914 "My Name Is" (1); "The Real Slim Shady" (2); "Without Me" (4); "Lose Yourself" (1); "We Made You" (1); "Not Afraid" (2); "Rap God" (1)
Justin Timberlake 200313 11"Cry Me a River" (2); "Rock Your Body" (1); "What Goes Around... Comes Around" (1); "Let Me Talk to You/My Love" (1); Male Artist of the Year; Quadruple Threat of the Year; Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award; "Suit & Tie" (1); "Mirrors" (2)
Green Day 199809 "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" (1); "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" (6); "American Idiot" (1); "21 Guns" (3)
Aerosmith 199098 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 199901 9"Praise You" (3); "Weapon of Choice" (6)
Janet Jackson 198795 "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 198495 "Thriller" (3); Video Vanguard Award; "Leave Me Alone" (1); "Scream" (3)
Kendrick Lamar 201518 "Alright" (1); "HUMBLE." (6); "All the Stars" (1)
Red Hot Chili Peppers 199206 "Give It Away" (2); "Under the Bridge" (1); Best Artist Website; "Californication" (2); Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award; "Dani California" (1)
NSYNC 200001 7"Bye Bye Bye" (3); "Pop" (4)
Taylor Swift 200917 "You Belong with Me" (1); "I Knew You Were Trouble" (1); "Blank Space" (2); "Bad Blood" (2); "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" (1)
The Smashing Pumpkins 1996 "Tonight, Tonight" (6); "1979" (1)
Jay-Z 199914 "Can I Get A..." (1); "99 Problems" (4); "Empire State of Mind" (1); "Drunk in Love" (1) [lower-alpha 2]
P!nk 200117 "Lady Marmalade" (2); "Get the Party Started" (2); "Stupid Girls" (1); "Just Give Me a Reason" (1); Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award
En Vogue 199294 "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)"; "Free Your Mind" (3); "Whatta Man" (3)
Beck 199697 6"Where It's At" (1); "Devils Haircut" (2); "The New Pollution" (3)
Coldplay 200216 "Trouble" (1); "The Scientist" (3); "Paradise" (1); "Up & Up" (1)
Rihanna 200718 "Umbrella" (2); "We Found Love" (1); "This Is What You Came For" (1); [lower-alpha 2] Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award; "Lemon" (1)
Britney Spears 200811 "Piece of Me" (3); "Womanizer" (1); "Till the World Ends" (1); Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award
U2 198701 "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); Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award
Paula Abdul 198789 5"Nasty" (1, as choreographer); "Straight Up" (4)
Bruce Springsteen 198594 "I'm on Fire" (1); "We Are the World" (2); "Dancing in the Dark" (1); "Streets of Philadelphia" (1)
Gnarls Barkley 200608 "Crazy" (2); "Smiley Faces" (1); "Run" (2)
Missy Elliott 200306 "Work It" (2); "Lose Control" (2); "We Run This" (1)
Herbie Hancock 1984 "Rockit" (5)
Don Henley 198590 "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 199294 "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (2); "In Bloom" (1); "Heart-Shaped Box" (2)
No Doubt 199704 "Don't Speak" (1); "Hey Baby" (2); "It's My Life" (2)
OutKast 200104 "Ms. Jackson" (1); "Hey Ya!" (4)
Katy Perry 201114 "Firework" (1); "E.T." (2); "Wide Awake" (1); "Dark Horse" (1)
TLC 199599 "Waterfalls" (4); "No Scrubs" (1)
The White Stripes 200208 "Fell in Love with a Girl" (3); "Seven Nation Army" (1); "Conquest" (1)

Most wins in a single night

ArtistYearNumber of awardsAwarded work
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)
Beyoncé 2016 "Hold Up" (1); Lemonade (1); "Formation" (6)
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)
Kendrick Lamar 2017 "HUMBLE." (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 for a single video

ArtistYearNumber of awardsMusic video
Peter Gabriel 1987 9"Sledgehammer"
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"
Beyoncé 2016 "Formation"
Kendrick Lamar 2017 "HUMBLE."
Herbie Hancock 1984 5"Rockit"
INXS 1988 "Need You Tonight / Mediate"
Madonna 1998 "Ray of Light"
Ricky Martin 1999 "Livin' La Vida Loca"


YearPerformers (chronologically)

See also


  1. On its "Biggest Winners" list, MTV only recognizes the wins the artists have as a lead act, not as a featured act.

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