The MTV Video Music Awards are not your parents’ award show. Ditching the stuffy pretense of most televised award shows, the VMAs prove that music’s biggest names can party… and how.
Home to some of the most shocking moments in musical history, the award show will return to MTV on Sunday, August 22. Here are 5 of the most scandalous moments that preceded the 2014 VMAs:
1. Miley Cyrus & Robin Thicke – “We Can’t Stop”/ “Blurred Lines” (2013)
Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke’s performance was so out of control, people are still talking about it. With all the twerking and grinding that went on during the medley of two of last summer’s biggest hits, there was more tongue-wagging by the public than by Miley herself. Just this week, the Parents Television Council warned: “The 2013 VMAs were a public relations kerfuffle for your network that I feel certain you will not wish to repeat." We think MTV would beg to differ.
2. Lady Gaga – “Applause” (2013)
Lady Gaga making her live debut of “Applause” was one of the wildest we’d seen in VMA history… until Miley showed up in a teddy bear onesie later that same night. While the “Do What U Want” singer’s performance was sadly overshadowed by Mileymania, she still went all out at the opener, wearing a cardboard square over her head and staring straight into the camera lens. Still, nobody’s got pipes like Gaga.
3. Madonna – “Like a Virgin” (1984)
After Miley’s show-stopping performance nearly three decades later, it’s understandable if Madonna’s performance of “Like a Virgin” no longer seems wild. But in 1984, Madge writhing on a giant wedding cake in a totally ‘80s wedding gown was pretty shocking to the general public. She might not have been the craziest, but the Queen of Pop set a standard that many have tried (and some have succeeded) in matching over the past 30 years.
4. Britney Spears, Madonna, Christina Aguilera & Missy Elliott – “Like a Virgin”/ “Hollywood”
While “Lady Marmalade” seems to get all the love, no group performance has ever been as talked-about as Madonna, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Missy Elliott taking the stage. First with a nod to “Like a Virgin,” Madge traded her gown for a tuxedo of sorts and got the crowd going with a performance of “Hollywood.” But she really had the audience’s jaws on the floor after she exchanged lip locks with two of her fellow performers.
5. Beyonce – “Love on Top” (2011)
Beyonce didn’t have the juiciest of VMA performances, but she certainly had one of the sweetest. Even before dropping her smash visual album, Queen Bey proved she knew how to make a surprise announcement in 2011. Introduced by two other stars from the list – Gaga (as Jo Calderone) and Brit Brit – the singer wrapped her performance of “Love on Top” by revealing her growing pregnancy belly... which people subsequently accused her of faking.