MTV VMA moments of ALL time!

VMAs spaceman award

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - AUGUST 22: MTV Moon Man statue on display at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards Press Junket at Prudential Center on August 22, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Manny Carabel/Getty Images for MTV)

Finally, the VMA’s! Yes, they happened a few weeks ago, but why not rewatch some iconic MTV VMA moments of ALL time! Oh yeah, personal faves from 1984 through to today in 2020 – we got the videos to prove it!

1984 – Madonna “Like a Virgin” performance

Firstly, with this being the first ever VMA’s, Madonna rolling around the stage in her wedding dress and coming out of a 17-foot-tall wedding cake made it an iconic beginning to the MTV VMA moments of ALL time! Imagine if she actually had that first Bengal tiger idea come to life…

1995 – Michael Jackson medley

With the VMA Video Vanguard Award named after him, Michael Jackson’s 15-minute medley of his greatest songs made a historic moment for the VMA’s! With other iconic artists winning this award like David Bowie, The Beatles and Madonna, it’s safe to say MJ is a THRILLer (terrible pun, sorry).

1997 – P.Diddy “I’ll Be Missing You” tribute

A beautiful tribute to Notorious B.I.G.’s death (March 9th 1997), P.Diddy had gospel singers as well as the band Sting and B.I.G.’s widow, Faith Evans join him. At the end, B.I.G.’s face was projected up behind them as a final bittersweet moment.

2000 – Eminem “The Real Slim Shady” / “The Way I Am” crossover

“Would the real Slim Shady please stand up? I repeat, would the real Slim Shady please stand up?” At the height of his fame, Eminem had dozens of Slim Shady look-alikes on stage following him while belting “Won’t the real Slim Shady please stand up?”. Not to mention this performance started outside the NYC’s Radio City Music Hall, being the first performance to start outside a venue and make it’s way in!

2005 – Kelly Clarkson “Since U Been Gone” performance

Being American Idol’s first winner, Kelly Clarkson brought a rainstorm to the packed stage in the American Airlines Arena, Miami. She said: “I hate being all dressed up, so the fact that I was soaking wet with mascara smeared all over my face was definitely the highlight of my evening!”, relatable!

2009 – Lady Gaga “Paparazzi” insight (TW)

No doubt Lady Gaga has always been artistic and… controversial? As well as memorable, she staggered around a white mansion set before fake blood came out of her ribs. Not to mention at the end she hung above the crowd with a halo behind her – a gruesome and shocking metaphor for paparazzi to leave female fixtures alone!

2009 – Janet Jackson’s Michael Jackson Medley tribute

Two months after MJ’s death, his sister, Janet Jackson, paid tribute with some of his most iconic hits and dance moves. The perfectly synchronized dance tribute with a massive video of MJ behind her was another iconic tribute!

2011 – Beyonce “Love on Top” reveal

The grand reveal of Beyonce’s very first pregnancy! Dressed in a sequined tux, after her performance she dropped the mic, opened her jacket, winked, and rubbed her stomach with a huge smile! Shots of Kanye and Jay-Z beaming and celebrating made the reveal even clearer!

2013 – Miley Cyrus ft. Robin Thicke “We Can’t Stop” shocker

If Miley Cyrus twerking on Robin Thicke to the classic party anthem “We Can’t Stop” doesn’t get you in the party-mood, you clearly didn’t have this on repeat during the 2013 summer! Miley said she wanted her fans to feel like they were at the party in the music video, and it may have resulted in a few FCC complaints that you can read here!

2013 – Beyonce’s Medley

“Welcome to my world,” singing and dancing through all of her classic moments from the Destiny’s Child days. Yonce got through an amazing 12 tracks within 15 minutes! What a way to honour the Video Vanguard Award win!

2014 – Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande & Jessie J “Break Free” / “Anaconda” / “Bang Bang” ultimate crossover

This trio with the iconic hit “Bang Bang” made a perfect moment for them to come together and show off their hit songs in 2014! With Jessie J beginning with “Bang Bang”, Ariana going into “Break Free” and Nicki finishing with “Anaconda”, it’s safe to say the VMA’s had a powerhouse female show going on that year! Looking back, now in 2020, we may have failed Jessie J, what is she up to these days?…

2017 – Logic ft. Alissa Cara & Khalid “1-800-273-8255” performance (TW)

Joined by Alissa Cara, Khalid, and a group of suicide survivors on stage brought the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline spike up to 50% more calls (according to CNN)! This performance, although hard to think about, this performance helped spread awareness and bring others forward to get help, and seeing the survivors on stage really put numbers into perspective.

If you’re having a hard time, please reach out. Have a quick read on this page for some final thoughts on the matter, or just use some of these helplines below:

Supportline read


0800 689 5652 (Confidential 24hr listening service)

HopeLine UK

0800 068 4141 (For practical advice on suicide prevention)


Text 85258 (If a message is easier if you’re anxious/worried/stressed – get 24/7 help from a crisis volunteer)

2018 – Ariana Grande “God Is a Woman” performance

Ariana captured The Last Supper with a female twist. She brought out some of the most important ladies in her life; her mother, grandmother and cousin came onto the stage with her!

2019 – Lizzo “Truth Hurts” & “Good As Hell” medley

Ahh, to be chugging from a rhinestone-covered bottle of tequila on stage with people cheering… yeah, Lizzo did that. Not to mention she also got that “Good As Hell” empowerment act going on! Preach; “It’s so hard trying to love yourself in a world that doesn’t love you back”.

2019 – Taylor Swift acceptance speech @ing the White House

In general, Swift’s acceptance speech is iconic, pushing for the Equality Act to get back into the mouths in the White House and get some Senate support, a whopping half a million signatures came from her “You Need To Calm Down” music video! Probably one of the most important MTV VMA moments of ALL time!

“Let’s show our pride by demanding that, on a national level, our laws truly treat all of our citizens equally.”

In May 2019, the Act got passed in the White House by Congress – now giving civil rights protections to the LGBTQ+ people! However, there’s still a way to go as there’s a few loopholes (most states’ laws don’t explicitly ban anti-LGBTQ discrimination in schools). And not to mention many LGBTQ+ stigmas and issues in other countries – here’s a few petitions you can sign to show your support to the LGBTQ+ people and eventually let them live in a safe space – the world itself.

Hold Polish president Andrzej accountable

Include LGBT+ history and LGBT+ history month in National Curriculum

Protect people in Poland, abolish current anti-LGBTQ+ laws

2020 – Doja Cat’s “Say So” / “Like That” crossover

The GRAPHICS? Unreal. The OUTFITS? Out of this world. Doja Cat’s done it again, bringing beauty and artistic fun to the stage for us with a spacey theme, on planet ‘Her’! Scales, spikes, neons and pastels bringing the planet set alive with her iridescent jewels covering her in all the right places!

2020 – Miley Cyrus “Midnight Sky”… or Wrecking Ball?

Finally, with this song being most-likely a huge @ to Liam Hemsworth, we’re still living for the return of the wrecking ball – Disco style! A dramatic yet simple look, red lipstick and a black top and skirt that Cyrus peels away before getting back onto the disco ball. What a glamorous way to get over your ex *sigh*.

In conclusion, we LOVED looking back at those moments and hope you did too – but something’s missing… a playlist, maybe? Well, lucky for you we have an up to date Spotify playlist from yours truly full of these hits just to reminisce these MTV VMA moments of ALL time! You’re welcome 😉

Have you read my fave article lately: Here is everything you need to know about DREST, the fashion app we are obsessed with ? Maybe I’m biased as I’m also addicted to DREST…

Sienna Jordan

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