MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year

Last updated
MTV Video Music Award
for Video of the Year
MTV Logo 2010.svg
Awarded for Music videos
CountryUnited States
Presented by MTV
First awarded1984
Currently held by Camila Cabello – "Havana" (2018)
Website VMA website
Camila Cabello, the current holder of the category on the pink carpet of the 35th MTV Video Music Awards ceremony. Camila Cabello VMA 2018.jpg
Camila Cabello, the current holder of the category on the pink carpet of the 35th MTV Video Music Awards ceremony.

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". [1] The current holder is Camila Cabello for the video "Havana".

MTV Video Music Award music video award

An MTV Video Music Award 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, 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. By 2001, the VMA had become a coveted award. 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. 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. Since the 2006 ceremony, viewers are able to vote for their favorite videos in all general categories by visiting MTV's website.

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.

The Cars American pop-rock band

The Cars were an American rock band that emerged from the new wave scene in the late 1970s. The band originated in Boston in 1976, with singer, rhythm guitarist, and songwriter Ric Ocasek; bassist and singer Benjamin Orr; lead guitarist Elliot Easton; keyboardist Greg Hawkes; and drummer David Robinson.



The only multiple winners of this award are Eminem ("The Real Slim Shady" and "Without Me"), Rihanna ("Umbrella" and "We Found Love"), [2] and Beyoncé ("Single Ladies" and "Formation"). Beyoncé is also the most-nominated artist in this category, with 7 nominations. David Lee Roth (1985), U2 (1988), and Lady Gaga (2010) are the only performers to have two Video of the Year nominations in one night, [lower-alpha 1] [2] with Gaga being the only to take home the award for her video "Bad Romance". U2 is also the most nominated group in this category, with four nominated videos, and no wins. Only two artists have won Video of the Year and been honored with the Video Vanguard Award in the same night; Peter Gabriel in 1987 with "Sledgehammer" and Justin Timberlake in 2013 with "Mirrors".

Eminem American rapper and actor

Marshall Bruce Mathers III, known professionally as Eminem, is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, record executive, film producer, and actor. He is consistently cited as one of the greatest and most influential artists of all time in hip hop, with Rolling Stone placing him in its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and labeling him the "King of Hip Hop".

The Real Slim Shady song by Eminem from The Marshall Mathers LP

"The Real Slim Shady" is a song by American rapper Eminem from his third album The Marshall Mathers LP (2000). It was released as the lead single a week before the album's release. The song was later released in 2005 on Eminem's greatest hits album Curtain Call: The Hits.

Without Me (Eminem song) 2002 single by Eminem

"Without Me" is a song by American rapper Eminem from his fourth studio album The Eminem Show (2002). "Without Me" was released on May 14, 2002 as the lead single from the album, and re-released on his greatest hits compilation album Curtain Call: The Hits (2005). "Without Me" is one of Eminem's most successful singles, reaching number two in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and number one in fifteen countries. It is one of his most well-known and most recognizable songs. The song is included in the soundtrack for the 2016 film Suicide Squad.

As the other general categories, the public is able to vote for the winner via MTV's website since 2009. American acts have won the award more than any other nationality, though award-winning videos have also been performed by musicians originating from the United Kingdom three times, from Barbados twice and from Australia, Canada, and Ireland once. Rock, R&B, acid jazz, pop, and hip-hop performers are among the winners.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Acid jazz, also known as club jazz, is a music genre that combines elements of jazz, soul, funk, and disco. Acid jazz originated in the London club scene of the mid-1980s in the rare groove movement and spread to the US, Japan, Eastern Europe, and Brazil. Major acts included the Brand New Heavies, Incognito, Us3, and Jamiroquai from the UK and Buckshot LeFonque and Digable Planets from the US. The rise of electronic club music in the mid to late 1990s led to a decline in interest, and in the twenty-first century, the movement became indistinct as a genre. Many acts that might have been defined as acid jazz are now seen as jazz-funk, neo soul, or jazz rap.

Pop music is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form in the United States and United Kingdom during the mid-1950s. The terms "popular music" and "pop music" are often used interchangeably, although the former describes all music that is popular and includes many diverse styles. "Pop" and "rock" were roughly synonymous terms until the late 1960s, when they became increasingly differentiated from each other.

Winners and nominees

Winners are listed first and highlighted in bold.



The Cars "You Might Think" [1]
Herbie Hancock "Rockit"
Michael Jackson "Thriller"
Cyndi Lauper "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"
The Police "Every Breath You Take"
Don Henley "The Boys of Summer" [3]
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers "Don't Come Around Here No More"
David Lee Roth "California Girls"
"Just a Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody"
USA for Africa "We Are the World" †
Dire Straits "Money for Nothing" [4]
a-ha "Take On Me"
Godley & Creme "Cry"
Robert Palmer "Addicted to Love"
Talking Heads "Road to Nowhere"
Peter Gabriel "Sledgehammer" [5]
Genesis "Land of Confusion"
Paul Simon "The Boy in the Bubble"
U2 "With or Without You"
Steve Winwood "Higher Love"
INXS "Need You Tonight" / "Mediate" [6]
George Harrison "When We Was Fab"
Bruce Springsteen "Tunnel of Love"
U2 "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
"Where the Streets Have No Name"
Neil Young "This Note's for You" [7]
Fine Young Cannibals "She Drives Me Crazy"
Michael Jackson "Leave Me Alone" †
Madonna "Like a Prayer"
Steve Winwood "Roll with It"


Sinéad O'Connor "Nothing Compares 2 U" ‡ [8]
Aerosmith "Janie's Got a Gun"
Don Henley "The End of the Innocence"
Madonna "Vogue"
R.E.M. "Losing My Religion" † [9]
C+C Music Factory "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)"
Deee-Lite "Groove Is in the Heart"
Divinyls "I Touch Myself"
Chris Isaak "Wicked Game"
Queensrÿche "Silent Lucidity"
Van Halen "Right Now" [10]
Def Leppard "Let's Get Rocked"
Nirvana "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
Red Hot Chili Peppers "Under the Bridge"
Pearl Jam "Jeremy" [11]
Aerosmith "Livin' on the Edge"
En Vogue "Free Your Mind" ‡
Peter Gabriel "Digging in the Dirt" †
R.E.M. "Man on the Moon"
Aerosmith "Cryin'" [12]
Beastie Boys "Sabotage"
Nirvana "Heart-Shaped Box"
R.E.M. "Everybody Hurts" ‡
TLC "Waterfalls" [13]
Green Day "Basket Case"
Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson "Scream" †
Weezer "Buddy Holly"
The Smashing Pumpkins "Tonight, Tonight" ‡ [14]
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony "Tha Crossroads"
Foo Fighters "Big Me"
Alanis Morissette "Ironic" ‡
Jamiroquai "Virtual Insanity" [15]
Beck "The New Pollution"
Jewel "You Were Meant for Me"
Nine Inch Nails "The Perfect Drug"
No Doubt "Don't Speak"
Madonna "Ray of Light" † [16]
Brandy and Monica "The Boy is Mine"
Puff Daddy (featuring The LOX, Lil' Kim, The Notorious B.I.G. and Fuzzbubble)"It's All About the Benjamins" (Rock Remix)
Will Smith "Gettin' Jiggy wit It"
The Verve "Bitter Sweet Symphony"
Lauryn Hill "Doo Wop (That Thing)" [17]
Backstreet Boys "I Want It That Way"
Korn "Freak on a Leash" †
Ricky Martin "Livin' la Vida Loca"
Will Smith (featuring Dru Hill and Kool Moe Dee)"Wild Wild West"


Eminem "The Real Slim Shady" [18]
Blink-182 "All the Small Things"
D'Angelo "Untitled (How Does It Feel)"
NSYNC "Bye Bye Bye"
Red Hot Chili Peppers "Californication"
Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mýa and P!nk (featuring Missy Elliott)"Lady Marmalade" [19]
Missy Elliott "Get Ur Freak On"
Eminem (featuring Dido)"Stan"
Fatboy Slim "Weapon of Choice" †
Janet Jackson "All for You"
U2 "Beautiful Day"
Eminem "Without Me" † [20]
Linkin Park "In the End"
NSYNC "Gone"
Nas "One Mic" ‡
P.O.D. "Alive"
The White Stripes "Fell in Love with a Girl"
Missy Elliott "Work It" [21]
50 Cent "In da Club"
Johnny Cash "Hurt" †
Eminem "Lose Yourself"
Justin Timberlake "Cry Me a River"
OutKast "Hey Ya!" ‡ [22]
D12 "My Band"
Jay-Z "99 Problems"
Britney Spears "Toxic"
Usher (featuring Ludacris and Lil Jon)"Yeah!"
Green Day "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" [23]
Coldplay "Speed of Sound"
Snoop Dogg (featuring Pharrell)"Drop It Like It's Hot"
Gwen Stefani "Hollaback Girl"
Kanye West "Jesus Walks"
Panic! at the Disco "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" [24]
Christina Aguilera "Ain't No Other Man"
Madonna "Hung Up"
Red Hot Chili Peppers "Dani California" ‡
Shakira (featuring Wyclef Jean)"Hips Don't Lie"
Rihanna (featuring Jay-Z)"Umbrella" [25]
Beyoncé "Irreplaceable"
Justice "D.A.N.C.E." ‡
Justin Timberlake "What Goes Around... Comes Around"
Kanye West "Stronger"
Amy Winehouse "Rehab"
Britney Spears "Piece of Me" [26]
Chris Brown "Forever"
Jonas Brothers "Burnin' Up"
Pussycat Dolls "When I Grow Up"
The Ting Tings "Shut Up and Let Me Go"
Beyoncé "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" † [27]
Eminem "We Made You"
Lady Gaga "Poker Face"
Britney Spears "Womanizer"
Kanye West "Love Lockdown"


Lady Gaga "Bad Romance" † [28]
B.o.B (featuring Hayley Williams)"Airplanes"
Eminem "Not Afraid"
Florence and the Machine "Dog Days Are Over"
Lady Gaga (featuring Beyoncé)"Telephone"
Thirty Seconds to Mars "Kings and Queens"
Katy Perry "Firework" [29]
Adele "Rolling in the Deep" †
Beastie Boys "Make Some Noise"
Bruno Mars "Grenade"
Tyler, the Creator "Yonkers"
Rihanna (featuring Calvin Harris)"We Found Love" † [30]
Drake (featuring Rihanna)"Take Care"
Gotye (featuring Kimbra)"Somebody That I Used to Know"
M.I.A. "Bad Girls" ‡
Katy Perry "Wide Awake"
Justin Timberlake "Mirrors" [31]
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (featuring Wanz)"Thrift Shop"
Bruno Mars "Locked Out of Heaven"
Taylor Swift "I Knew You Were Trouble"
Robin Thicke (featuring T.I. and Pharrell)"Blurred Lines"
Miley Cyrus "Wrecking Ball" [32]
Iggy Azalea (featuring Charli XCX)"Fancy"
Beyoncé (featuring Jay-Z)"Drunk in Love"
Sia "Chandelier" ‡
Pharrell Williams "Happy" †
Taylor Swift (featuring Kendrick Lamar)"Bad Blood" † [33]
Beyoncé "7/11"
Kendrick Lamar "Alright" ‡
Mark Ronson (featuring Bruno Mars)"Uptown Funk"
Ed Sheeran "Thinking Out Loud"
Beyoncé "Formation" † [34]
Adele "Hello"
Justin Bieber "Sorry"
Drake "Hotline Bling"
Kanye West "Famous"
Kendrick Lamar "HUMBLE." † [35]
Alessia Cara "Scars to Your Beautiful"
DJ Khaled (featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller)"Wild Thoughts"
Bruno Mars "24K Magic"
The Weeknd "Reminder"
Camila Cabello (featuring Young Thug)"Havana" [36]
The Carters (Beyoncé & Jay-Z)"Apeshit" ‡
Drake "God's Plan"
Childish Gambino "This is America" †
Ariana Grande "No Tears Left To Cry"
Bruno Mars (featuring Cardi B)"Finesse (Remix)"

See also

The Grammy Award for Best Music Video is an honor presented at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards, to performers, directors, and producers of quality short form music videos. Honors in several categories are presented at the ceremony annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position".

The MTV Europe Music Award for Best Video is an award category presented at the MTV Europe Music Awards. The award was first presented in 1994 under the name Best Director, awarded to Whale's "Hobo Humpin' Slobo Babe". "Hey Ya!", "Born This Way" and "Havana" also win Best Song. Justice, Katy Perry and Massive Attack winning twice. This is the only MTV EMA award - excluding special awards - whose winner is chosen by MTV, rather than by the public.


  1. Rihanna's two nominations in the category in 2012 was not counted as she was featured artist in Drake's "Take Care" music video; the same for Missy Elliott in 2001 as she was featured artist in the song "Lady Marmalade by Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mýa and Pink.

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