MTV Video Music AwardWikipedia open wikipedia design.
|MTV Video Music Award|
|2019 MTV Video Music Awards|
The 1983-1984 Video of the Year "Moon man" award.
|Awarded for||Music videos and pop culture|
|First awarded||September 14, 1984|
|Part of a series on|
MTV in the United States
|Programs on MTV|
|Censorship on MTV|
|ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks|
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. 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.
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 since 2014. 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 took place on August 26, 2019 in Newark for the first time.
The stature of the ceremony has declined in recent years. Reasons put forward for the decline include; lack of interest (declining attendances and viewership: in 2019 ratings hit an all-time low for the third straight year), lack of diversity (less rock music and fewer instruments being played), lack of celebrity (fewer big name attendees), lack of credibility (questionable award recipients, such as Best Rock Video given to an electropop song, "Royals"), and access to music online. The Washington Post states, “The moment the VMAs ceased to matter might have happened in 2014, when Drake didn’t bother appearing to receive his award. Or maybe it was even earlier than that: The Associated Press compared the energy of the VMAs to the scripted reality-TV show Cribs all the way back in 2006.“ MTV has also faced criticism for devoting most of its airtime outside the VMAs to reality shows and dramas.
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. 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". David Bowie, The Beatles and director Richard Lester were rewarded with the first ever Video Vanguard Awards for their work in pioneering the music video.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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 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.
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. 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?" 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.
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.
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. 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).
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.
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."
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.
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.
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. 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. 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.
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." 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The odd pairing of presenters Martha Stewart and Busta Rhymes that year drew much talk in the press, 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."
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.
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. 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.
Actress Rose McGowan, who had arrived with then-boyfriend Marilyn Manson, was wearing a see-through dress, no bra, and a thong, 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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Carson Daly and Napster co-founder Shawn Fanning introduced Britney Spears. Fanning wore a Metallica T-shirt, much to the displeasure of Metallica drummer and anti-Napster advocate Lars Ulrich. Britney 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."
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." The feud died weeks later. Aguilera denied Durst's statement, saying Durst "got no nookie."
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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." 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."
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", 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.
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.
Christina Aguilera shocked the audience by wearing a revealing outfit and heavy make-up, with a sexual image contrasting her previous good-girl persona. 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.
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.
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".
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. 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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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. Reggaeton artists Daddy Yankee, Tego Calderón and Don Omar performed.
Actress Eva Longoria caused a stir when she appeared barely dressed to introduce Mariah Carey. Gwen Stefani and Snoop Dogg won best dressed female and male and received prizes to donate to a charity of their choice.
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. R. Kelly performed his rap opera, "Trapped in the Closet."
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).
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. 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. The performance was dubbed "career crippling".
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.
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.
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."
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.
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!" 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. During a post-interview, Jay-Z admitted West was wrong to go on stage, but he thought people were overreacting to the incident.
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.
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. Beyoncé performed her song "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" with over two dozen female dancers dancing with her. 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." Lil' Mama later apologized. 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.
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. 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. Additionally, will.i.am's "blackface" outfit sparked controversy among African-Americans. Florence + the Machine performed "Dog Days Are Over".
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. Justin Bieber won Best New Artist, making him the youngest person to ever win a VMA.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
2013: For the show's 30th anniversary, MTV redesigned its moonman statue 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 redesigned moonman. 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. 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 joins with Cyrus on stage to perform his single "Blurred Lines". Cyrus then stripped down to a flesh-colored bra and panty set and proceeded to perform her signature twerking dance moves, simulating sex with Thicke and grabbing his crotch with a giant foam finger. The unimpressed reactions of several celebrity audience members, including Rihanna and members of One Direction, also gained attention in the media.
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. The set list of the most watched performance of the night 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. Swift won four awards, including Video of the Year for "Bad Blood". She presented the Video Vanguard Award to Kanye West, who ended his acceptance speech by claiming that he will run for president in 2020.
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?" 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." The camera then cut back to Minaj who seemed to mouth back the word "bitch." Cyrus closed the show by performing along with a group of drag queens who participated on RuPaul's Drag Race.
2016: The 2016 show was held at the Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. 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." While accepting her award, Drake leaned in for a kiss that Rihanna dodged. Britney Spears returned to perform at the VMAs for the first time since her heavily criticized performance at the 2007 show. Kanye West gave a seven-minute long speech covering various topics, including his feud with Taylor Swift.
Beyoncé performed a 16-minute medley of her Lemonade album and won eight awards, including Video of the Year for "Formation". She became the most awarded artist in VMA history with 24 moonmen, surpassing Madonna's previous record of 20. The telecast saw a drop in audience for third year in a row.
2017: The 2017 show was hosted by Katy Perry. Kendrick Lamar won six awards, including Video of the Year for "Humble", he became the first artist to have won the award for a video him co-directed, and Pink was honored with the Video Vanguard Award. Jared Leto paid tribute to Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell, who both died over the past three months. The music video for Taylor Swift's song "Look What You Made Me Do" premiered during the broadcast. 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.
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." 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." Following the performance, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline experienced a 50% increase in calls.
2018: Cardi B opened the 2018 show with a brief speech, saying "I'm the empress. The liberals voted for me," marking her first TV appearance since giving birth. Camila Cabello won Video of the Year for "Havana" and Jennifer Lopez received the Vanguard Award. With Maluma among the performers as well, it marked the VMAs with the most Latin music artists present since the 2005 show.
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, which made critics describe the "bizarre" tribute as a "lengthy" anecdote about herself that involved Franklin's music. 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.
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.
2019: The 2019 show was hosted by Sebastian Maniscalco. Taylor Swift won Video of the Year for "You Need to Calm Down" and Missy Elliott received the Vanguard Award. Swift became the second artist to have won the award for a video she co-directed, and the fourth artist to win the category twice overall.
List of ceremonies
Current award categories
Past award categories
Ratings are not available prior to 1994 because MTV was not subscribing to Nielsen Media Research's program ratings prior to 1994. The field "Cumulative viewers" shows the audience of the live simulcasts of the ceremony across many Viacom Media Networks channels as a whole.
|Year||Day||Time||Date||Households Rating||Households Share||MTV Viewers |
|Cumulative TV Viewers (in millions)|
(not including Internet streams)
|1994||Thursday||8:00–11:25pm||September 8, 1994||4.1||N/A||5.36||N/A|
|1995||Thursday||8:00–11:00pm||September 7, 1995||3.7||7||6.33||N/A|
|1996||Wednesday||8:00–11:00pm||September 4, 1996||3.6||6||5.07||N/A|
|1997||Thursday||8:00–11:00pm||September 4, 1997||5.2||9||7.47||N/A|
|1998||Thursday||8:00–11:13pm||September 10, 1998||5.8||10||8.94||N/A|
|1999||Thursday||8:00–11:13pm||September 9, 1999||8.0||14||11.96||N/A|
|2000||Thursday||8:00–11:09pm||September 7, 2000||6.5||11||9.85||N/A|
|2001||Thursday||8:00–11:26pm||September 6, 2001||6.6||11||10.76||N/A|
|2002||Thursday||8:00–11:17pm||August 29, 2002||6.6||11||11.95||N/A|
|2003||Thursday||8:00–11:03pm||August 28, 2003||6.4||11||10.71||N/A|
|2004||Sunday||8:00–11:11pm||August 29, 2004||6.3||11||10.32||N/A|
|2005||Sunday||8:00–11:23pm||August 28, 2005||5.0||8||8.01||N/A|
|2006||Thursday||8:00–11:28pm||August 31, 2006||3.6||6||5.77||N/A|
|2007||Sunday||9:00–11:12pm||September 9, 2007||4.0||7||7.08||N/A|
|2008||Sunday||9:00–11:20pm||September 7, 2008||5.0||8||8.43||N/A|
|2009||Sunday||9:00–11:21pm||September 13, 2009||7.5||8||8.97||N/A|
|2010||Sunday||9:00–11:15pm||September 12, 2010||10||8||11.40||N/A|
|2011||Sunday||9:00–11:27pm||August 28, 2011||10.8||N/A||12.40||N/A|
|2012||Thursday||8:00–10:00pm||September 6, 2012||2.8||N/A||6.13||N/A|
|2013||Sunday||9:00–11:28pm||August 25, 2013||7.8||N/A||10.1||N/A|
|2014||Sunday||9:00–11:13pm||August 24, 2014||4.2||N/A||8.3||10.3|
|2015||Sunday||9:00–11:37pm||August 30, 2015||N/A||N/A||5.03||9.8|
|2016||Sunday||9:00–11:54pm||August 28, 2016||N/A||N/A||3.3||6.5|
|2017||Sunday||8:00–11:05pm||August 27, 2017||N/A||N/A||2.66||5.36|
|2018||Monday||9:00–11:43pm||August 20, 2018||N/A||N/A||2.25||4.87|
|2019||Monday||8:00–10:58pm||August 26, 2019||N/A||N/A||1.93||4.9|
Most wins overall
Most wins in a single night
|Artist||Year||Number of awards||Awarded 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
|Artist||Year||Number of awards||Music video|
|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"|
|INXS||1988||"Need You Tonight / Mediate"|
|Madonna||1998||"Ray of Light"|
|Ricky Martin||1999||"Livin' La Vida Loca"|
- Elliot, Stuart (August 20, 2004). "MTV's sponsors hope the Video Music Awards can draw a crowd, without wardrobe malfunctions". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- "MTV's irresistible rise". News.BBC.co.uk. July 1, 2000. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
- "Today in Entertainment: Twitter has a field day over Anthony Scaramucci's exit; Celebrities mourn the loss of Sam Shepard" – via LA Times.
- del Castillo, Michael. "Downtime: The man behind MTV's moonman". www.upstart.bizjournals.com.
- "MTV Announces VMA Nominees". SpinMedia Group. July 31, 2006. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
- Roth, Madeline (April 29, 2018). "The 2019 VMAs Will Go Where The Show Has Never Gone Before". MTV News. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
- "MTV's Video Music Awards are around the corner. But will anyone care?". Washington Post. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
- "Reasons Why the VMAs No Longer Matter". Huffington Post. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
- "MTV Video Music Awards Hit an All-Time Ratings Low — for the Third Straight Year". Digital Music News. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
- "Birth of an Icon". InStyle.com. Time Inc. September 9, 2007. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- Mico, Nate (September 13, 2010). "Can you Handler this?". blaze.gaynewsnetwork.com.au. Evolution Publishing. Archived from the original on 18 September 2010. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
- Illuminati, Chris (September 13, 2010). "6 Odd Facts About The MTV VMA's". egotvonline.com. Hutch Media. Archived from the original on September 14, 2010. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- "1988 WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE". MTV.ca. CTVglobemedia. August 7, 2008. Retrieved 27 September 2010.[permanent dead link]
- MTV News (August 18, 2010). "The 2010 VMA Countdown: Andrew Dice Clay Earns Himself A Lifetime Ban". MTV.com. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- "Here Today... Gone To Hell! – Guns N' Roses History – 1989". HereTodayGoneToHell.com. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- "1989 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "Bon Jovi unplug at the VMAs, and an MTV tradition is born (1989) | MTV Photo Gallery". Mtv.com. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
- Kulkarni, Dhananjay. "The "Like A Prayer" Controversy". Buzzle.com. Archived from the original on 19 September 2011. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- Anitai, Tamar (August 25, 2008). "VMA Veteran: Five Years of Madonna Performances". MTV.com. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
- "vmas 1991". MTV. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
- Gil Kaufman (December 30, 2009). "Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' Added To National Film Registry". MTV.com. Viacom. Retrieved 2010-01-23.
- "1991 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- Horowitz, Josh (December 11, 2007). "Pee-Wee's Big Return? Paul Reubens Discusses Plans For Two Pee-Wee Films". MTV.com. Archived from the original on 30 December 2008. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- "1993 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- Lyndsey, Parker (August 14, 2008). "Most Memorable Madonna Moments: 11–15". Yahoo.com. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
- "1994 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley, 1994 VMA, The VMA Most Memorable Moments – Party Photos – Parties – In Style". Instyle.com. 2007-09-09. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
- "Throwing the Book at Viacom." New York Magazine (March 17, 1997). New York City, New York. p. 13
- Masley, Ed (September 9, 2010). "10 most memorable moments of the MTV Video Music Awards – Living through this (1995)". azcentral.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "YouTube – courtney love vs madonna". Youtube.com. 2009-09-23. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
- "1995 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Archived from the original on 10 May 2016. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "Poll: Best VMA Pop Performance". Newsroom.mtv.com. 2011-08-12. Retrieved 2013-09-01.
- "Poll: Most Iconic VMA Performance". Newsroom.mtv.com. 2011-08-12. Retrieved 2013-09-01.
- "1996 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- Masley, Ed (September 9, 2010). "10 most memorable moments of the MTV Video Music Awards – Kiss and make up (1996)". azcentral.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- Editor (August 29, 2008). "VMA Flashback Friday: Foo Fighters Fight To Further Their Rock Supremacy". MTV.com. Retrieved 21 September 2010.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- "1997 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- O'Brien, Jack (August 27, 2007). "The 5 Most Absurd Moments in VMA History". Cracked.com. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- MTV News (August 16, 2010). "The 2010 MTV VMA Countdown: Fiona Apple Tells Us A Thing Or Two". MTV.com. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
- MTV News (August 16, 2010). "The 2010 VMA Countdown: Marilyn Manson Bares All". MTV.com. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
- Easton Jr., Ed (September 1, 2010). "Classic MTV VMA Performance Collabs". fresh1027.com. CBS Radio Stations. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- "Madonna biggest winner at surprisingly staid MTV awards, "Notable moments"". CNN. 1998-09-11. Retrieved 2012-08-05.
- Anitai, Tamar (August 8, 2001). "VMA Trashbag Tuesday: Rose McGowan at the 1998 VMAs – Gurl! We Can See Your Naughty Bits". MTV.com. Retrieved 21 September 2010.
- "VMA Fashion Flashback – Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston". InStyle.com. Time Inc. August 20, 2008. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- McKay, Hollie (September 13, 2010). "MTV 2010 VMAs ... Worst Ever?". FoxNews.com. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- Ganz, Jacob (September 13, 2010). "MTV Loves MTV: A Bad Romance". NPR.org. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- "1999 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- Mapes, Jillian; Letkemann, Jessica (September 9, 2010). "MTV Loves MTV: A Bad Romance". Billboard.com. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
- MTV news (September 3, 2010). "The 2010 VMA Countdown: Rage Against The Machine Bassist Gets A Better Look At The Action". MTV.com. Archived from the original on 11 September 2010. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
- "mtv.com". mtv.com. 2000-09-07. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
- Montgomery, James (September 6, 2007). "Britney Spears' Greatest VMA Hits: Barely There Costumes, Giant Snakes And A Scandalous Lip-Lock". MTV.com. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
- MTV News staff report (October 3, 2000). "Limp's Durst Explains Aguilera Duet". MTV.com. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- Manning, Kara (October 10, 2000). "Aguilera Responds To Durst's "Nookie" Comment". MTV.com. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- "Britney's Snake Dance". InStyle.com. Time Inc. September 9, 2007. Archived from the original on 3 February 2009. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- "2001 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "Fans and friends pay tribute to Aaliyah". USA Today. 29 August 2001.
- "Walk On by U2 Songfacts". Songfacts.com. 2001-09-11. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
- "Eminem scoops MTV video awards". BBC News. August 30, 2002. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
- "Michael Jackson's Greatest MTV Moments". MTV.com. June 29, 2009. Archived from the original on 17 September 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- "The Hives vs. The Vines". YouTube. 2006-12-10. Retrieved 2013-09-01.
- D'Angelo, Joe (August 29, 2002). "Eminem Takes Home Most Moonmen From Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- "2002 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- Reiud, Shaheem (August 30, 2002). "Eminem Hugs Christina, Linkin Park Bow Down To Avril: Backstage At The VMAs". MTV.com. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
- Moss, Corey (August 28, 2009). "Madonna Smooches With Britney And Christina; Justin, Coldplay Win Big At VMAs". MTV.com. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- "Exclusive: Britney Spears' Manager Tells the Story Behind the Infamous Madonna VMAs Kiss". Billboard. October 17, 2014.
- "Three's A Crowd-Pleaser". InStyle.com. Time Inc. September 9, 2007. Archived from the original on February 3, 2009. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- "Head Over Heels". InStyle.com. Time Inc. September 9, 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
- Moss, Corey; Pak, SuChin (August 27, 2004). "Chris Rock Would Have Hosted The VMAs This Year, If... Funnyman says nobody told him awards were being held in Miami". MTV.com. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- "2005 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- Reid, Shaheem (September 1, 2005). "Fat Joe Says 50s Taunts Led To VMA Dis". MTV.com. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- Slezak, Michael (August 28, 2005). "The Video Music Awards Awards". EW.com. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
- Kappes, Serena; Midler, Caryn (August 29, 2005). "VMAs Wild Miami Weekend". People.com. Retrieved 20 September 2008.
- Montgomery, James (August 29, 2005). "50s Cannons, Kelly's Showers, VMA Winners' Water Walkway: How'd They Do That?". MTV.com. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- "2005 MTV Video Music Awards Winners Release". MTVPress.com. August 29, 2005. Archived from the original on 21 April 2010. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
- "2006 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- Huguenin, Patrick (September 27, 2007). "The bra turns 100 years old – with no signs of sagging". NYDailyNews.com. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- Orloff, Brian (September 9, 2007). "Britney Spears's Comeback a Bust at VMAs". People.com. Retrieved 9 September 2008.
- "Tommy Lee, Kid Rock duke it out at VMAs". Access Hollywood. msnbc.com. September 9, 2007. Archived from the original on September 18, 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- Potter, Mith (September 11, 2008). "Obama sweeps global poll". TheStar.com. Toronto Star. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
- Celizic, Mike (September 9, 2009). "Video Music Awards spur 'promise ring' debate". msnbc.com. Archived from the original on October 6, 2010. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
- Swash, Rosie (September 14, 2009). "Kanye West apologises for interrupting Taylor Swift at VMAs". guardian.co.uk. London. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- Rodriguez, Jayson; MTV News Staff (September 13, 2009). "Kanye West Asked To Leave VMAs After Rant Against Taylor Swift". MTV.com. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- "Obama: Kanye Is A "Jackass"". HuffingtonPost.com. HuffingtonPost.com, Inc. September 14, 2009. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- Willis, Amy (September 18, 2009). "Jay-Z defends Kanye West's MTV outburst". telegraph.co.uk Limited. London. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- Kaufman, Gil (September 13, 2009). "VMAs Kick Off With Madonna And Janet's Tribute To Michael Jackson". MTV.com. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- Kaufman, Gil (September 13, 2009). "Lady Gaga Lets It Bleed During Eye-Popping VMA Performance". MTV News. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
- "2009 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- Reid, Shaheem (September 14, 2009). "Lil Mama Crashes Jay-Z And Alicia Keys' VMA Performance". MTV.com. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- Bennett, Deborah (September 29, 2009). "UPDATE: Jay-Z Compares Lil Mama To Kanye (AUDIO)". HelloBeautiful.com. Radio One. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- Cantor, Paul (September 13, 2010). "Taylor Swift, Kanye West Have Critics Debating VMAs Again". MTV.com. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
- "Eminem Wins Best Male Artist and Best Hip-Hop Video at VMAs". theboombox. September 12, 2010. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
- Ziegbe, Mawuse (September 13, 2010). "Will.I.Am Responds To VMA 'Blackface' Criticism". MTV.com. Retrieved September 27, 2010.
- "2010 MTV Music Video Awards | Highlights, Winners, Performers, and Photos from the 2010 MTV VMAs". mtv.com. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
- Vena, Jocelyn (September 13, 2010). "Lady Gaga Meat Dress Draws Criticism From PETA". MTV Networks. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
- Ziegbe, Mawuse (September 12, 2010). "Justin Bieber Wins Best New Artist VMA". MTV.com. Retrieved September 18, 2010.
- Carter, Kelley L. (September 13, 2010). "2010 VMAs Nab MTV's Biggest Ratings Since 2002". MTV.com. Retrieved September 18, 2010.
- Buzziest Moments From The 2011 Video Music Awards. yahoo news!. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 30 August 2011.
- Goodman, Abbey (August 28, 2011). "Ladies night at the 2011 VMAs". CNN. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
- "Jay-Z And Kanye West Bring 'Otis' To VMA Stage". MTV Rapfix. August 28, 2011. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
- "Katy Perry, Kanye West Share Best Collaboration VMA". MTV News. August 28, 2011. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
- "Beyoncé's Album Sees Sales Surge After VMA Performance Of 'Love On Top'". Newsroom.mtv.com. 2011-08-30. Archived from the original on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2013-09-01.
- "Bruno Mars, Russell Brand Pay Tribute To Amy Winehouse At VMAs". MTV News. August 29, 2011. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
- "VMAs 2011: Award Winners List". The Huffington Post. August 28, 2011. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
- Montgomery, James (July 8, 2013). "Note to Miley Cyrus". MTV.com. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
- Starr, Michael (August 16, 2013). "MTV: No host for this year's Video Music Awards". NYpost.com. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
- "Miley Cyrus & Robin Thicke at the 2013 VMA's Performance". Retrieved August 26, 2013.
- Halpern, Shirley. "Note to Miley Cyrus". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
- *NSYNC VMA Performance: Justin Timberlake's Boy Band Reunites For MTV Onstage Reunion Huffington Post, Retrieved October 29, 2013
- "TV Ratings: MTV VMAs Up 66 Percent Due to Justin Timberlake, 'N Sync Reunion". Hollywood Reporter. August 26, 2013. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
- Kreps, Daniel; Grow, Kory (August 24, 2014). "Miley Cyrus Sends Homeless Youth to Accept VMA Video of the Year". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
- Kreps, Daniel (August 24, 2014). "Nicki Minaj Brings Wardrobe Malfunction, Ditches Snake for 2014 VMAs". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
- Beyoncé's 2014 VMA Performance: Fearless, Feminist, Flawless, Family Time MTV.com, Retrieved August 25, 2014
- Lindner, Emilee (August 17, 2015). "Jeremy Scott Redesigned The VMA Moonman, And It's Totally Rad". MTV.com. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
- Stedman, Alex (August 30, 2015). "Watch: Taylor Swift Joins Nicki Minaj on Stage at VMAs". Variety. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
- "VMAs 2015: full list of winners at MTV video music awards". Guardian. August 31, 2015. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
- Stone, Natalie (August 30, 2015). "Kanye West: "I Have Decided in 2020 to Run for President"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
- Blistein, Jon (August 30, 2015). "Watch Nicki Minaj Blast Miley Cyrus During VMA Acceptance Speech". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
- Adams, Char (August 31, 2015). "Miley Cyrus Closes Out MTV VMAs with Drag Queen-Packed Performance and New, Free Album". People. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
- "Drake Presents Rihanna With the Video Vanguard Award at the 2016 VMAs". Billboard. August 29, 2016. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
- Sheffield, Rob (August 29, 2016). "How Beyonce Demolished the 2016 Video Music Awards: Middle Fingers Up". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
- "Read Kanye West's Full VMAs 2016 Speech". Billboard. August 28, 2016. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
- "Beyonce Passes Madonna With the Most VMAs Ever". Billboard. 29 August 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
- O'Conell, Michael (August 29, 2016). "MTV VMAs Ratings Drop Again, Draw 6.5 Million Viewers Across Nets". Billboard. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
- "2017 "VMA" Winners and Performances". August 27, 2017. Retrieved August 27, 2017. Cite journal requires
- Payne, Chris (August 28, 2017). "Jared Leto Pays Tribute to Chris Cornell & Linkin Park's Chester Bennington at 2017 MTV VMAs". Billboard. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
- "The 2017 VMAs Drew Lowest Ratings in MTV History". Complex. Retrieved 2017-08-31.
- "This Is Why Fifth Harmony Had a Fake Camila Thrown Off the Stage at the VMAs".
- Holterman, Alex (August 28, 2017). "Logic's VMAs Performance, Kesha's Speech Boost Suicide Prevention Hotline Calls 50%". Billboard. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
- "Cardi B opens MTV VMAs with surprise reveal". Entertainment Weekly.
- Nordyke, Kimberly (August 20, 2018). "VMAs: Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
- "Maluma, Cardi B, Jennifer Lopez & Camila Cabello (Finally) Put Latin Music Center Stage at VMAs". Billboard.
- "Madonna's VMAs Speech Was Tone-Deaf, But the Real Mistake Was MTV's". Billboard. August 21, 2018. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
- "Madonna's Aretha Franklin tribute at the VMAs is all about… Madonna". Entertainment Weekly. August 21, 2018. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
- "VMAs 2018: See Madonna's Bizarre Aretha Franklin Tribute". Rolling Stone. August 21, 2018. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
- "'Beyond disrespectful': At VMAs, Madonna gets backlash after bizarre Aretha Franklin tribute". Washington Post. August 21, 2018. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
- Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (August 22, 2018). "'I love Aretha!' Madonna responds to critics of her VMA tribute". The Guardian. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
- Miller, Matt (August 21, 2018). "TV Ratings: Video Music Awards Hit All-Time Low on MTV". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
- "Here Are All the Winners From the 2019 MTV VMAs". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
- "12 Records That Were Set at the 2019 VMAs". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
- "Hosts". MTV.com. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- "1984 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "1985 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "1986 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "1987 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "1988 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "1990 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "1992 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "1998 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "2000 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "2003 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "2004 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "2007 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "2008 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "2010 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "2011 Video Music Awards". MTV.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- Montgomery, James (15 May 2012). "2012 Video Music Awards to Take Over Staples Center". MTV News. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
- "MTV's Video Music Awards to take place Sunday, August 25th, Live from Barclays Center". Barclays Center. 25 March 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
- "The 2014 MTV Video Music Awards Are Going Back to Cali". MTV. 23 April 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- Linder, Emilee (November 13, 2014). "Save the Date! The 2015 VMAs Are Set For…". mtv.com. Retrieved April 26, 2015.
- Greenwald, Morgan (April 21, 2016). "MTV VMAs to Be Held at Madison Square Garden for the First Time". Billboard. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
- Stutz, Colin (April 21, 2016). "MTV Video Music Awards Returning to L.A. for 2017". Billboard. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
- Hosken, Patrick (April 17, 2018). "Get Ready: The 2018 VMAs Are Officially Invading New York City". MTV. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
- "MTV's 2019 "VMAs" Will Take Place Monday, August 26th at 9PM ET/PT Live from New Jersey's Prudential Center". The Futon Critic. April 29, 2019.
- Seidman, Robert (September 12, 2010). "Historical Nielsen Ratings for MTV's 'Video Music Awards' 1994–2009". TVbytheNumbers.com. Archived from the original on September 14, 2010. Retrieved September 15, 2010.
- Seidman, Robert (September 8, 2008). "Palin, McCain, VMAs and The Closer Lead Cable Viewing". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved September 17, 2010.
- Seidman, Robert (September 14, 2009). "2009 MTV Video Music Awards premiere watched by 27 million, largest audience since 2002". TVbytheNumbers.com. Retrieved September 17, 2010.
- "Big Sunday For Cable Ratings: True Blood, VMAs, Jersey Shore, Iron Chef, Kardashians & Lots More". September 14, 2010. Retrieved April 14, 2011.
- "MTV's Video Music Awards Scores Largest Audience Ever". The Hollywood Reporter. August 29, 2011. Retrieved September 15, 2012.
- "Thursday Cable Ratings: 'Video Music Awards' Win Night, DNC Coverage, 'Project Runway', 'Sullivan & Son', 'Pawn Stars', 'House Hunters' & More". TV By the Numbers. Retrieved September 7, 2012.
- "TV Ratings: MTV VMAs Up 66 Percent Due to Justin Timberlake, 'N Sync Reunion". Hollywood Reporter. August 26, 2014. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
- Gallo, Phil (August 26, 2014). "VMAs Ratings Down Despite Blue Ivy Surprise". Billboard. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
- O'Connell, Michael (September 1, 2015). "TV Ratings: 5 Million Viewers Watched the VMAs on MTV". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
- Faughnder, Ryan (31 August 2015). "MTV VMAs viewership falls to 9.8 million, despite airing on more networks" – via LA Times.
- "MTV Considers VMA Changes Because of Audience Shift". Billboard. August 30, 2016. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
- "MTV VMAs Ratings Drop Again, Draw 6.5 Million Viewers Across Nets".
- Porter, Rick (August 29, 2017). "Sunday cable ratings: VMAs hit all-time low opposite 'Game of Thrones' finale". TV By The Numbers. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
- Porter, Rick (August 27, 2019). "VMAs Hit All-Time Ratings Low for 3rd Straight Year". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
- "Biggest Winners". MTV.com. Archived from the original on March 17, 2016. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
- Kaufman, Gil (August 26, 2014). "2014 MTV Video Music Awards Nominations: Get The Full List". MTV. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
- "Beyonce, Adele Lead Nominees for 2016 MTV Video Music Awards". Billboard. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
- "Cardi B & The Carters Lead 2018 MTV Video Music Awards Nominations". Billboard. July 16, 2018. Retrieved July 17, 2018.