Another year has gone by, and it’s time for a new edition of the famous MTV VMA’s, but are you going to watch them? I don’t want to sound like one of those people who are stuck in the past, always going on and on about how bad today’s music industry is, but at least when it comes to MTV, we can agree that they’re not what they used to be. Actually, they’re very far from their glory days. I remember watching the channel all day, checking out all the new videos that were coming out, until they decided that the MUSIC channel par excellence would only focus on horrible reality shows that have nothing to do with music.
Now, don’t hate me, but I really think that, as the quality of their content went down, so did the iconic awards show’s. I mean, the moments we call iconic these days are some rapper interrupting a pop star’s acceptance speech, another pop star twerking, and this last pop star being called out by another “star.” What’s iconic about that? The award shows from MTV’s golden age were truly iconic, so here are some moments that’ll help you remember the good old days.
Will all the Slim Shady’s please stand up? (2000)
Who doesn’t remember that amazing performance by Eminem (in his golden days too) singing “The Real Slim Shady” next to a full army of look-alikes? This was really innovative in the history of music awards.
Britney Spears dancing with a python (2001)
Speaking of glory days, what about Britney Spears’ “I’m a slave 4 u” performance the following year? What made it make pop history was when she danced with Banana, the yellow python, (yes, it had a name). If you don’t think too much about the use of animals, which I don’t really support, (there was a lioness as well on stage) and that these days we’d call it cultural appropriation, this was really Britney at her best.
Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley’s kiss (1994)
Now, one moment that I’d consider more cringey than iconic is that strange and awkward kiss between the then-married Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley. As he said right before, nobody thought they would last, and it didn’t because they got divorced soon later. Still, what everybody talked about that particular moment was the uncomfortable expression she had and that everything looked extremely forced. Pure gossip and controversy, but the King of Pop really knew how to be on everyone’s lips, … Well, only Lisa Marie’s back then.
Madonna and Britney’s kiss (2003)
Kisses make the world go round. This is perhaps the most iconic VMA moment of all time. It was when we all learned that Britney wasn’t the innocent and wholesome girl-next-door we thought she was. Yes, I have to say I was shocked, but then I also felt bad because why was nobody talking about the fact that Britney’s pop rival Christina was there and kissed Madonna as well? Perhaps this was the moment when Britney really became the only Princess of Pop.
Diana Ross touching Lil’ Kim’s breasts (1999)
What would it be like if something like this happened in 2018, the #MeToo era? It all went down when Lil’ Kim was presenting the Best Hip Hop Video award with Diana Ross, who after making an entrance worthy of the diva she is, saw Lil’ Kim’s exposed boob and decided to playfully jiggle it.
Michael Jackson accepting an award that didn’t exist (2002)
Going back to the King of Pop, this moment, in particular, was a mix of pity, confusion, tenderness, and then, of course, tons, of condescendence. Britney Spears was introducing him, and she mentioned that there was no doubt Michael was the artist of the millennium. But poor Michael probably didn’t hear the rest and thought he’d won the nonexisting award of Artist of the Millennium. In fact, they were just celebrating his birthday.
I just hope, for the sake of our entertainment and pop culture history, that this year’s awards don’t have the same tacky and cheesy attitudes and give us really memorable moments like these, which ended up defining our generation.
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