As we get set for another year of MTV's famous Video Music Awards, look back at the moments that made history here
What: Kanye West stole the show for all the wrong reasons at the Video Music Awards last year. Storming the stage, Kanye interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for the Best Female Video Award, to unleash an astonishing rant in which he insisted the prize should have gone to Beyonce. Ruining the country singer’s moment, he snatched the microphone from her hands, and told her, ‘Yo Taylor. I’m really happy for you, I’m going to let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time.’ Cutting to a shocked Beyonce, the singer looked horrified by West’s rant, while poor Swift was left shell-shocked by the outburst. Big mistake, Kanye.
What: After Kanye’s shocking rant, which saw him ejected from the VMAs ceremony, it was left to Beyonce to go to poor Taylor’s rescue. The Single Ladies starlet repaired the damage, and on winning the Best Video Award, calling 19-year-old Swift on stage. The pair embraced, and Mrs Jay-Z asked the singer to finish the speech that Kanye had interrupted. Speaking to MTV, Swift later described the moment: ‘It was jus so wonderful and so incredibly classy of her and just gracious and wonderful to let me say something.’
What: Janet Jackson’s scene-stealing performance topped the bill in 2009, when she took to the stage for an energetic tribute to her brother, Michael. Kicking off the show in style, Janet stepped out to the sound of Scream, the single she recorded with Michael in 1995, recreating his dance moves, as a music video of him performing played in the background.
What: Just when we thought we’d seen it all, Lady Gaga stepped on stage at the awards in 2009, for an epic, bood-soaked performance. Fitting in a whopping five costume changes on the night, the star took home the Best New Artist Award presented to her by Eminem. Despite her weird and wonderful wardrobe selection, it was her stint on stage, which really shocked fans. Gaga’s four-minute-long performance of Paparazzi saw her in full flamboyant mode, flanked by a team of backing dancers, and ended with her covered in fake blood and suspended above the audience. Definitely one we won’t forget.
What: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner set millions of hearts racing as they took to the stage to debut the New Moon trailer, at the awards in 2009. Excitement reached fever pitch as the trio stepped up to the mike, and Kristen could hardly be heard for screaming, when she declared: ‘Twilight fans, whether you’re team Jacob or Team Edward, we want to thank you for your undying support over the last year.’ Sadly, with New Moon and Eclipse already on our screens, and Breaking Dawn yet to commence filming, Twilight’s top three won’t be attending this year. Instead, Ashley Greene and Kellan Lutz will represent the Cullen clan.
What: Britney Spears was beaming and ‘in shock’ after picking up three MTV Video Music Awards for Best Female Video, Best Pop Video, and Video of the Year for her track Piece of Me in 2008. After a disastrous comeback the year before, in which the bloated and uncoordinated star mimed her way through Gimme More, this really was a glittering transformation. Wowing in a shiny-silver asymmetric dress by Versace, the star’s makeover was said to have cost thousands, and announced to fans that Brit was well and truly back on the scene.
What: Clever American band OK GO had the audience in stitches in 2006, when they reprised their brilliant Here It Goes Again video using eight treadmills. How they did it live, we’ll never know, but it went down a treat. Hilarious!
What: In what has down as one of the most legendary performances in VMA history, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Madonna took to the stage to perform Like a Virgin in 2003. At the end of the song Madge unexpectedly turned to lock lips with Britney, with the camera panning around to show a stony faced Justin Timberlake – who had split with Britney just the year before – seconds afterwards. ‘Madonna performing with both Britney and Christina was a big enough event in itself, but nobody – even the MTV people – expected what happened. It is one of the most memorable moments ever,’ one show insider said of the event.
What: Britney’s performances at MTV’s famous Video Music Awards have been among the memorable of all time, and her steamy stint on stage with a snake wrapped around of her shoulders was certainly no different. Animal activists were up in arms as live lions were shipped over for the I’m a Slave 4 U performance, but the snake didn’t seem to mind too much as Brit strutted her stuff on stage.
What: Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston showed their softer sides when the stepped on stage in 1998. Making a joke of their notorious diva reputations, the pair staged a fight when they turned up on stage in the same dress, ripping shreds off their long gowns to make them look different. But there was no big falling out for the worlds biggest divas – they eventually revealing it was all a set up.
What: The award for most awkward on-stage VMA moment of all time has to go to Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley, who indulged in a cringeworthy kiss on the show in 1994. The recently married couple took to the stage hand-in-hand, with Michael proclaiming to the audience: ‘And just think, nobody thought this would last,’ before grabbing his wife for a slow smooch. Lisa, who divorced the Thriller singer in 1996, later said of the moment: ‘that was not my idea, by the way. I was terrified. It was his manager’s idea. I thought it was stupid. All of a sudden I became part of a public relations machine.’
What: We’ll never forget the moment Madonna took to the stage at the awards in 1984 in that white wedding dress. Writhing around on the floor, Madge’s controversial, show-stopping performance at the first ever ceremony cemented its reputation as one of the biggest and best shows on the music circuit.