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5 Of The Most Memorable VMA Performances Ever

by Photo of Emily Maas

Check out some of the craziest, coolest, performances ever to hit MTV’s VMA’s!

5 Of The Most Memorable VMA Performances Ever

Since 1984, shiny silver astronauts have been awarded to musicians at MTV's Video Music Awards. These awards are distributed to MTV's top performers in music video categories covering everything from best choreography in a video to best rock video.

This year's ceremony takes place in NYC's Barclay's Center. The only currently scheduled performance is Lady Gaga, who will be performing a single off of her anticipated album, ARTPOP. Her performance of "Paparazzi" back in 2009 has earned her a spot on this list. 

Over the years many artists have taken home their own glamorous astronauts. With the VMAs under a month away (August 25), it's hard not to look back and reminiscence on some of the best performers to hit the award ceremonies' various stages. 

Without further ado, here is a list of some of the craziest, strangest, and best performances to take place at the VMAs. 

1. Madonna, "Like A Virgin" (1984)

This performance, which took place during the opening year of the ceremony, was shocking for music fans in 1984. The young Madonna, described as being a "new performer" by Dan Aykroyd, grinded across the stage in a wedding dress singing "Like A Virgin" in the most suggestive way possible. This moment surged Madonna forward into a sure-to-be superstar as well as grounded the VMAs as an important cultural presence.

2. Michael Jackson, Medley (1995)

The King of Pop's medley at the 1995 VMAs is definitely worthy of the the term "epic." The performance featured Jackson dancing to multiple hits of his such as "Billie Jean," "Beat It," "Smooth Criminal," and many others. Between Slash's awesome guitar solo, and MJ moonwalking in his signature sparkly black cardigan, it's a performance not easily forgotten. Not to mention all the explosions and smoke.

3. Eminem, "The Real Slim Shady" (2000)

This particular performance takes us five years in the future, to a time where Eminem topped rap charts and the "Boy Meets World" middle part was just beginning to fade. Eminem started his catchy hit "The Real Slim Shady" outside of Radio City Music Hall, where the awards were taking place that night, with easily over 100 clones at his side. He then took his clones inside and down the aisles of a screaming audience, cementing his spot in the future of the MTV music scene.

4. Madonna, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera, "Like A Virgin/Hollywood" (2003)

This infamous VMA performance is the moment where Madonna, dressed as a groom, kissed her two brides, Britney and Christina, on stage. The performance, which included a remake of Madonna's iconic VMA rendition of "Like A Virgin," also featured the song "Hollywood." The best part clearly is JT's face throughout the video, especially in the shot after the Britney-Madonna kiss (3:53), where he's trying particularly hard to look emotionless. 

5. Lady Gaga, "Paparazzi" (2009)

This particular performance doesn't seem very shocking at first. Sure, there's some weird outfits and an awesome gothic-themed set, but really nothing seems out of the ordinary until that wheelchair gets rolled on stage. From then on it's a downslide of weird as little monsters were born all over while Lady Gaga bled out on the VMA stage.

With performances as daring and spectacular as these, who knows what we have to look forward to come August 25! Don't forget to tune into one of the biggest pop culture events of the year.

Let CHARGED.fm help you find Lady Gaga tickets!


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