With MTV’s Video Music Awards only being days away and being one of the only big nights in music getting us through August, we felt this was a good time to take a stroll down memory lane.
While this year we see the likes of Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, The Weeknd, Taylor Swift, Eminem, Juice WRLD, Future, and Drake gracing the category of Video of the Year we wanted to dig into the archives and revisit our VMAs Video of the Year winners from 2000 and onward. What was Missy Elliott serving us in 2003, what Queen Bey bop was dominating in the year 2009, or which artist has the most wins in this category? We have the answers.
So while you’re counting down the days to see your favorite artists perform at this year’s VMAs we are here to remind of all the wonderful and wild music videos of years past.
1 2000: Eminem - The Real Slim Shady
Please stand up, please stand up! Eminem is amongst the elite group of artists who have won multiple Video of the Year awards. Along with Slim Shady in this category are icons such as Rihanna, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift. P.S. we will always love the Kathy Griffin cameo in this video.
2 2001: Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya and P!nk (ft. Missy Elliott) - Lady Marmalade
This femmé fatale collaboration, of epic proportions is perfect for the Moulin Rouge soundtrack. The movie premiered in 2001.
3 2002: Eminem - Without Me
Guess who's back... back again. The quirky, comic book themed, music video snagged Shady another Video of the Year win shortly after his first win in 2000.
4 2003: Missy Elliott - Work It
First of all this video deserved its 2003 win for the multiple Adidas and Baby Phat tracksuits alone. From Missy Elliott's choreography, to the image of her literally swallowing a Lamborghini, to the way she brings her lyrics to life.. the music video is nothing short of amazing.
5 2004: OutKast - Hey Ya
Truly one of the most iconic videos of the early 2000s. Andre 3000's monochromatic, Johnny Carson Show-esque moment has us forever saying "shake it like a Polaroid picture."
6 2005: Green Day - Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Come through 8mm film filters! The 2005 win for Green Day makes perfect sense. The video perfectly encapsulates the emo aesthetics of Billie Joe Armstrong's punk rock sound for another generation... eyeliner and all.
7 2006: Panic! At the Disco - I Write Sins Not Tragedies
If this iconic piece of media does not instantly take you back to the days of being angsty in your childhood bedroom, as your boombox is cranked up at full blast, playing your New Panic! At the Disco CD... we don't know what will. The freaky, circus themed video, and Brendon Urie's brief reference to A Clockwork Orange paired against the stark contrast of a "nice" wedding truly screams all things pop punk. Ugh get us to a Hot Topic immediately!
8 2007: Rihanna (ft. JAY-Z) - Umbrella
Until Rihanna came along nobody has ever made an umbrella seem remotely cool or sexy. From the green screen water effects to a chrome body-painted Rihanna flashing across our screens the "Umbrella" music video is masterful.
9 2008: Britney Spears - Piece of Me
Ok so, we can't believe it took until 2008 for Brit to win Video of the Year... I mean hello the "Oops I Did It Again" video literally took place on Mars. Anyhow, the video for "Piece Of Me" is a big middle finger to the paparazzi and the nightclub women's restroom choreography scene is perfect, hairflips and all.
10 2009: Beyoncé - Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)
Choreo, choreo, choreo! This Beyoncé video is at its legendary status because its seemingly effortless. The dancing is absolutely out of this world and evokes every emotion that Queen Bey is singing about. Sometimes its as simple as Bey and a black leotard.
11 2010: Lady Gaga - Bad Romance
2010, the year Lady Gaga took over the world. The "Bad Romance" video truly raised the bar for all music videos to come. The production for the video feels more like a short film than a music video. Gaga takes us through a twisted story and intertwines every element of drama, high art and surprise along the way. This trend only continues after Gaga's landscape changing video.
12 2011: Katy Perry - Firework
With Katy Perry literally shooting fireworks out of her chest, how could this video not win!? The video is beautiful and represents so many moments of people finding their strength. The video depicts a gay couple kissing, which serves as a powerful moment for a song so ingrained in the mainstream at the time.
13 2012: Rihanna (ft. Calvin Harris) - We Found Love
This power anthem paired with the visuals of the ups and downs of one wild couple makes for one wild music video. Nothing is off limits in the video. From drug infused evenings to fights the next morning, Rihanna sets an atmosphere that the viewer can really feel.
14 2013: Justin Timberlake - Mirrors
The stunning video tells the story of one couple's history. We are taken through all the moments of this couple's relationship as Timberlake's melancholy voice rings out. The whole 8 minute and 20 second video takes us on quite a journey.
15 2014: Miley Cyrus - Wrecking Ball
Not only was the video incredibly controversial after it's debut, but Miley Cyrus had just come back on the scene with a whole new "grown-up" outlook. The stark, yet powerful video is pretty fantastic... even when Miley is licking a sledge hammer.
16 2015: Taylor Swift (ft. Kendrick Lamar) - Bad Blood
Talk about badassery and
\a pretty fierce girl gang. Taytay enlisted the likes of Selena Gomez, Gigi Hadid, Zendaya and various other famed powerful women in order to create her James Bond-inspired action/ thriller short film.
17 2016: Beyoncé - Formation
Beyoncé’s “Formation” is the ultimate juxtaposition between historical racism and modern-day racism. As images of a sunken, post-hurricane Katrina, lower 9th ward, New Orleans flash across our screens, we are also seeing images of Beyoncé and Blue Ivy in clothing that emanates symbols of the Confederate South. The video touches on police brutality, as a young Black child dances in front of a row of militant cops, while we are also seeing formidable images of Beyoncé dancing with Black women as she calls out, “Ok ladies now let’s get in formation.” The images in this music video make the viewer question how much has really changed, as “Formation” calls out how systemic racism is repeated in a modern context while reminding us of where it all started.
18 2017: Kendrick Lamar - HUMBLE.
From invoking images of The Last Supper to everything in between this, Kendrick Lamar video is a stunning piece of commentary on society.
19 2018: Camila Cabello (ft. Young Thug) - Havana
Clever, comical and hot! Camila serves us with a whole incredible plot throughout the music video and transports us to a sultry evening in Havana.
20 2019: Taylor Swift - You Need to Calm Down
In 2019 Taylor Swift whipped up a star-studded music video that demonstrated her allyship with the LGBTQ+ community. With cameos from Todrick Hall to the Queer Eye Fab Five, to Laverne Cox, Taylor's message to end hate and embrace love was loud and clear. Plus amidst her message, Taylor simultaneously put her feud with Katy Perry to rest.