Nearly every truly iconic music video since 1984 has been nominated for at least one Video Music Award in its year of eligibility, but in the twenty-seven years that the ceremony has been held, only ten individual music videos have won five or more Moonmen. (This year, Adele‘s “Rolling In The Deep” and Katy Perry‘s “E.T.,” featuring Kanye West, could potentially join the club.) These videos got the attention and praise of everybody in their respective years of release. But do they stand the test of time? What about their competition? Here’s our look at the ten most-lauded videos in VMA history.
Madonna, “Ray of Light”: Five VMAs (of eight nominations)
Concept: Madonna raves on fast-forward all over the planet.
Competition: “Ray Of Light” wasn’t the only video with eight nominations: Garbage‘s video for “Push It” had as many nods (though, ultimately, no wins). We’d totally forgotten about “Push It,” actually, and its stocking-masked nun heist/exorcism would be huge today, because it looks like a Lady Gaga video from the 1990s, and if there are two things music fans like these days, they’re Lady Gaga and the 1990s. The year of eligibility for this ceremony was also the height of jiggy rap, but while Diddy‘s five nominations were split among four videos (Puff Daddy and the Family: “It’s All About The Benjamins”; Notorious B.I.G. Featuring Puff Daddy: “Mo Money Mo Problems”; Mariah Carey Featuring Puff Daddy and the Family: “Honey (Remix)”; Puff Daddy & Jimmy Page: “Come With Me”), Will Smith got as many nominations just for “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” (though the video only won one Moonman).
Verdict: While we love “Push It,” the fact that we had to refresh our memory sort of proves that “Ray Of Light” was simply the stronger video that year. As for jiggy rap? Hype Williams was robbed, sure?none of the Best Direction nominees, even, were jiggy rap?but Diddy has gotten his fair share of VMAs over the years (and even hosted one of the ceremonies). HOLDS UP
The Video Music Awards are a celebration of the best music video work that musicians and technical personnel have to offer. They’re also a live event attended by more than a few outsized personalities, all interacting with each other in close proximity. Part of what makes the event so exciting to us is the tension that proximity creates. Sometimes, though, it boils over past professional rivalry into personal beef.
With that in mind, here is a look back at the ten most memorable VMA fights. Will anyone get into it this year? (Pitbull and Lindsay Lohan?) We’ll be tuning in to MTV on Sunday at 9 p.m. to find out.
[Images: Getty Images]
The high-concept promo for the 2011 Video Music Awards’ Britney Spears tribute (which may be teasing a performance by Janet Jackson) has company: a titillating series of promos for Lady Gaga‘s upcoming VMA performance (just announced yesterday). The black-and-white spots are a striking contrast against both the clue-filled symbology of the Britney promo and the captivating grotesquerie of Lady Gaga’s videos (most recently “Yoü And I”)?that is, unless it’s a hint itself, at the Amy Winehouse tribute that is said to be in the works.
In one of the spots, Gaga removes her bra on-camera as she recasts “Yoü And I” in a lounge-jazz mold, not unlike the Sinatra-fied renditions of Pearl Jam‘s “Jeremy” and Cypress Hill‘s “Insane In The Brain” that Toby Huss (“Artie, The Strongest Man In The World” on The Adventures Of Pete And Pete) turned out for 1994’s “MTV Keeps You Plugged In” ad campaign (not to mention his medley, in the same style, of the Best Song From A Movie nominees, at the 1994 VMAs).
This morning’s announcement of Lady Gaga as a performer at this year’s Video Music Awards is the latest sort-of confirmation of a big VMA rumor that’s been going around since reality-TV production coordinator Johnathan Woodbeck tweeted it the day after the Britney Spears VMA promo, above, premiered. According to Woodbeck’s tweet, the show will contain a star-studded tribute medley with one song from each of Britney’s albums, followed by the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award (presumably the Video Vanguard Award?) by none other than Madonna. The rumored performance lineup (via Lainey Gossip):