The MTV Video Music Awards are notorious for producing some of the most viral TV moments in history. The VMAs simply allow celebrities to be themselves and do what they will, and this genius idea has many times led to live clashes of personality between stars, and career-defining performances.
We don’t love the VMAs because we want to witness these stars giving their most solid performances; we love the VMAs because it’s only here that we see celebs shooting their shot in hopes of achieving a viral, career-boosting story. What’s more entertaining than that?
These are some of the wildest moments the VMAs have facilitated over the years.
Miley Twerks Out (2013)
28-year-old Miley Cyrus has expressed regret many times over the decision she made to don a latex suit and twerk on Robin Thicke for a performance at the VMAs on August 25, 2013.
Miley Cyrus has done plenty to distance her career from her Hannah Montana days on the Disney channel. At this point, it seems kind of weird that people even cared about Miley’s “raunchy” dance moves, but keep in mind that this took place just about two years after Miley’s Disney show ended.
Lady Gaga Meats the Moment (2010)
Everyone remembers the meat dress–Lady Gaga’s outfit for the 2010 VMAs–which consisted entirely of raw beef. Animal rights groups were furious when Gaga wore this, and most of the world was fascinated by such a choice at the very least.
Gaga later wore the dress on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, saying, “If we don’t stand up for what we believe in and if we don’t fight for our rights, pretty soon we’re going to have as much rights as the meat on our bones.”
Yeah…I don’t think this one would fly today.
Beyoncé Shows Off Baby Blue (2011)
Queen Bey created one of the best pregnancy celebrations of all time when she performed her love song to Jay Z, “Love on Top,” at the 2011 VMAs. Her singing was incredible, her dancing was as electric as ever, and she glowed with happiness.
This was all the more impressive knowing she was pregnant with her first child, Blue Ivy, which she had revealed prior to this show.
When Beyoncé finished the performance, she unbuttoned the bottom of her jacket so she could rub her baby belly for the camera. When the audience went wild and the camera panned to Jay Z looking like the proudest new dad in the world, tears were shed all over the world.
The Chainsmokers Lose Their Breath (2016)
The Chainsmokers, better known as Alex Pall and Drew Taggart, teamed up with Halsey for their 2016 smash hit, “Closer.” At the VMAs that year, Drew decided to boldly step out in front of the DJ booth and give a live performance with Halsey.
The slightly uncomfortable dance-snuggling Drew Taggart was attempting with superstar Halsey was awkward, but pretty standard for the VMAs. I mean, Britney Spears and Madonna’s 2003 VMA kiss set the standard for surprises at this awards show, and it’s hard to top that.
The real cringe here came from Taggart’s straight-up awful live singing. He handles the vocals on the recordings just fine, but this was the moment we all found out why he doesn’t perform live that much, and we’re okay with that.
Don’t even get me started on the previously mentioned Britney Spears/Madonna kiss, the time G-Eazy tried to smooch Spears and she denied him on stage after they performed together, or the unforgettable moment when Kanye West took the microphone from Taylor Swift to essentially tell everyone he thought she robbed her Best Music Video award from Beyoncé.
What Will We See This Year?
This year, we’re going to see performances from the likes of Doja Cat, Olivia Rodrigo, and Lil Nas X. If any group of performers can top the hilarious and unexpected antics that celebrities have pulled at the VMAs in the past, it’s this generation of Millennial/Gen-Z meme lords and super trolls. We just need to wait for this year’s VMAs to air on September 12 to find out what they’ll do!