I’mma let you finish, but the MTV VMAs have had some of the most controversial moments of all time. Throughout history they have been known for their outrageous live performances, extravagant red carpet fashion, quotable speeches, celeb feuds, strong political commentary, and of course, memeable moments.
The award show had to be a little different this year due to the craziness that is 2020, so we thought there was no better time than to dig up some iconic nostalgia from previous years. Whether somebody was making a statement, dropping a career-defining performance or just having a hella good time, let’s relive the 10 moments that made your jaw drop.
Eminem showing up with a bunch of look-alikes (2000)
May I have your attention please? No better posse than a squad of 100 or so Slim Shadys walking in from the streets of New York City into Radio City Music hall without ever missing a beat. Can you believe this was 20 years ago? A performance that truly cemented Eminem as one of the all time greats.
Macy Gray plugging her own album on her dress (2001)
Macy Gray tried to walk away and stumbled onto the 2001 VMAs red carpet wearing a metallic denim dress emblazoned with the date of her sophomore album. What’s even better? The back said “BUY IT.” We gotta give kudos for this shameless plug.
Madonna kissing Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera (2003)
We thought Madonna’s iconic 1984 ‘Like a Virgin’ performance couldn’t be topped, and then entered Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Joining Madonna for a rendition of the track they certainly proved how they were in fact not that innocent as the Queen of Pop gave them both a kiss feat. tongue. JT’s face at the end though…
Lady Gaga bringing out fake blood on stage (2009)
It wouldn’t be a true VMAs top 10 without the Mother Monster. And tbh, she’s likely going to make more than one spot. Earning nine VMA nominations in her first eligible year in 2009, she doubled down on the dark storyline of her nominated ‘Paparazzi’ video with a surreal gravity-defying performance where the fame literally killed her.
Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift (2009)
A moment we wish we could forget and we’re sure Taylor feels the same. She even has a framed photo of the incident in her house with the phrase “life is full of little interruptions”. It’s one of the most played out moments in pop culture history and we’d love to say the drama ended there, but unfortunately it was only the beginning of a lifetime-long feud.
11 Years Ago Today:
”Let's just say, if you had told me that Kanye West would have been the number one focus of my week, the media, and my part in the VMAs, I would've looked at you crossed-eyed”.
-Taylor’s diary entry about the “incident” at the VMAs.
(September 18, 2009) pic.twitter.com/VMABE2wGge
— Taylor Throwbacks ➐ (@ThrowBacTaylor) September 19, 2020
Lady Gaga rocking up in a meat dress (2010)
Y’all knew this one was coming. Now this list isn’t in order, but if it was, this would certainly be a contender for #1. Encased in over 18kgs of beef, Lady Gaga is usually extra, but this time she was extra rare. Asking Cher to hold her “meat purse” whilst accepting the award for Video of the Year will go down in history as something we didn’t know we needed but we’re so glad it did.
— ⚔️ Ryan | Lady Gaga 🏳️🌈 (@ryanleejohnson) September 12, 2020
Nicki Minaj throwing shade towards Miley Cyrus (2015)
“MILEY WHAT’S GOOD?” is still one of the best memes, period. Major shade was thrown at the 2015 VMAs, courtesy of Nicki Minaj when she called out Miley for comments she had made in the press earlier in the week. Rebel Wilson behind is priceless.
Justin Bieber breaking down in tears mid-performance (2015)
Emotions were running very high at the 2015 VMAs as Justin Bieber began sobbing mid-air onstage with no explanation at all after singing high energy bops ‘Where Are U Now,’ and ‘What Do You Mean?’ Later he told Jimmy Fallon it was because he “wasn’t expecting [the fans] to support [him] the way they did… Last time [he] was at an award show [he] was booed.”
— giorgia 💙☁️ (@xjustinmysmile) July 31, 2020
Drake having major Love on the Brain (2016)
Drake acting like it was his wedding reception when he professed his love for Riri on stage while presenting her with the Video Vanguard Award at the 2016 VMAs is still a mood – “she’s someone I’ve been in love with since I was 22 years old” The lovefest also continued after the show, with the two exchanging sweet messages on social media.
Lorde’s non-vocal performance of ‘Homemade Dynamite’ (2017)
The show must go on! In the days leading up to the 2017 VMAs, Lorde had “the flu so bad [she] needed an IV.” But rather than cancel her performance, she decided to silently interpretative dance over the track instead. Calling herself a “#cutelilproppedupcorpse” via Twitter, we can’t help but continue to love her out of the box artistic choices.
72. that time that Lorde was too sick to sing at the 2017 MTV VMAs so she just did a silent interpretative dance performance of 'Homemade Dynamite' pic.twitter.com/Zq4vtpPlN9
— bip jd #BLM 💫「angelmamii」 (@nowaybutwhy) February 20, 2020
Lady Gaga giving a mini-concert (2020)
Okay yes this is moment #11 and also the third time Gaga has been mentioned, but you all can agree that this moment was too iconic to leave out. Before accepting MTV’s inaugural Tricon award this year, Gaga played a 9 minute set (in face masks and all) proving why she was the recipient of the prestigious award. Ariana Grande also made a cameo during ‘Rain On Me’.