The VMAs this year were curated with a lot of high tech, future realistic graphics and set designs but lacked the creative substance as it has in years past.
The awards are given based on fan votes, so it is pretty easy to predict who will be winning based off of their popularity – pop stars like Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, and the Chain-smokers came home with awards last night for their recent hits.
Performances included the likes of Lil Nas X, who sang “Panini” off of his album “Rodeo” to a futuristic backdrop. Bad Bunny, Lizzo, Megan Thee Stallion, Taylor Swift, Missy Elliot, and Ice T among others also performed.
The VMAs have, in years past, been the stage for some truly iconic performances and pop culture moments, though nothing last night measured up (not for lack of talent) to those instances aired in years past.
A list of the top VMA moments, below, shines light on some old music memories.
1. Lady Gaga’s 2009 performance of “Paparazzi”
This set was only recently released to YouTube by MTV this summer, so for the first time in a decade, fans can watch Gaga’s breakthrough rendition of her own song “Paparazzi” in high quality. The moment to remember was the end of the set (although it would have been iconic regardless) when Gaga suddenly started dripping fake blood and pretends to be dead, suspended from the ceiling in true pop goddess fashion.
2. “Imma let you finish”
In the same year that gaga dripped blood on stage, Kanye also shocked the world when he hopped on stage and interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for best female video award for “You Belong with Me.”
"Imma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time," West said.
This of course started a long feud between Kanye and Taylor, but in his defense, the “single ladies” music video by Beyoncé was done in a single take and is arguably the best music video of all time.
3. Britney Spears dances with a snake with her 2001 debut of “Slave 4 U”
Britney Spears was indisputably the pop girl of the late 90’s early 2000’s, making herself present on the scene in every way possible. This performance, which included classic sexy dancing on Britney’s part – as well as a live yellow python – broke Britney out of her teenage era and into her hot young adulthood.
4. Gaga’s 2010 meat dress and album announcement
Lady Gaga makes the list again, which is only fair considering the signer wore a literal 40 pound meat dress to the award show. People were disgusted, shocked, impressed; she turned heads. She accepted the award for best music video in the dress, from Cher, and then made the album announcement for “Born this Way.” Talk about a game changer.
5. Miley Performs essentially Naked; Twerks on Robin Thicke in 2013
During the “Bangerz” era, the world was totally infatuated with Miley Cyrus and everything she did – primarily obsessed with her drug loving, twerking, bald party girl aura. All of this came to stage in 2013 when she twerked with Robin Thicke while performing “We Can’t Stop.”