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What Award Is Presented To Winners At The Mtv Video Music Awards What Award Is Presented To Winners At The Mtv Video Music Awards

Music Awards

What Award Is Presented To Winners At The Mtv Video Music Awards

Written by: Gabriellia Lowder

Experience the pinnacle of music excellence at the MTV Video Music Awards, where talented artists are honored and celebrated for their remarkable achievements. Join us as we present the coveted Music Awards to the well-deserving winners.

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Table of Contents


The MTV Video Music Awards, also known as the VMAs, is one of the most prestigious and highly anticipated music awards ceremonies in the world. It celebrates the best achievements in music videos and honors the artists, directors, and producers behind them. The event, which was first held in 1984, has become an iconic and influential platform for recognizing talent and creativity in the music industry.

Over the years, the VMAs have gained a reputation for their electrifying performances, unexpected moments, and controversial incidents that have made headlines around the globe. From unforgettable live performances to memorable acceptance speeches, the VMAs have never failed to captivate audiences and leave a lasting impact on pop culture.

The awards show is not only a celebration of music, but also a showcase of fashion, art, and cultural trends. It brings together some of the biggest names in the industry, including artists, musicians, actors, and influencers, creating a star-studded event that sets the stage for unforgettable moments, surprising collaborations, and groundbreaking performances.

The VMAs have been a significant cultural phenomenon, not only for their impact on the music industry but also for their role in shaping popular culture. From Madonna’s infamous “Like a Virgin” performance to Beyoncé’s groundbreaking “Formation” video debut, the VMAs have provided a platform for artists to push boundaries, challenge norms, and make powerful statements through their music and visuals.

Throughout its history, the VMAs have continued to evolve and adapt to the ever-changing music landscape. The categories have expanded to include a diverse range of genres and styles, reflecting the dynamic nature of the industry. The show has also embraced technological advancements, incorporating digital innovations and social media engagement to connect with a global audience.

In this article, we will delve into the rich history of the MTV Video Music Awards, explore the significance of the awards, highlight the categories and nominees, discuss the selection process, delve into the design of the iconic Moon Person trophy, showcase previous winners, and recall some of the most unforgettable moments in the history of this esteemed music awards ceremony.


History of the MTV Video Music Awards

The MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) was first established in 1984 by the cable television network MTV as a way to celebrate and honor the artistry and creativity of music videos. The inaugural event took place at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City and was hosted by Dan Aykroyd and Bette Midler.

At the time of its inception, music videos were rapidly gaining popularity as a medium for artists to visually showcase their songs. MTV, which was launched in 1981, played a pivotal role in the rise of music videos by dedicating a significant portion of its programming to airing them. The VMAs became an extension of MTV’s commitment to promoting music videos and recognizing the talent behind them.

From its early days, the VMAs adopted a unique and edgy approach that set it apart from other music awards shows. It aimed to capture the rebellious and creative spirit that was synonymous with MTV and the music video era. As a result, the VMAs quickly gained a reputation for pushing boundaries and delivering memorable, unscripted moments.

One of the most iconic moments in VMA history occurred in 1984 when Madonna performed her hit single “Like a Virgin” while rolling around on the stage in a wedding dress. The provocative and boundary-pushing performance cemented Madonna’s status as a pop culture icon and set the tone for future VMAs.

Over the years, the VMAs continued to evolve and adapt to the changing music landscape. The show embraced different genres, recognized emerging artists, and reflected the cultural shifts happening in society. It became a platform for artists to showcase their creativity, make powerful statements, and create unforgettable performances.

As the popularity of the internet and social media rose, the VMAs embraced these platforms to engage with a global audience. The show became more interactive, allowing fans to vote for their favorite artists and share their thoughts in real-time. With the advent of online streaming, the VMAs expanded its reach beyond traditional television, allowing viewers from around the world to experience the show.

Today, the VMAs continue to be a highly anticipated event that celebrates the intersection of music, fashion, and culture. It remains a showcase for groundbreaking performances, unexpected collaborations, and memorable moments that shape the music industry and popular culture.

In the next sections, we will explore the significance of the VMAs, the various categories and nominees, the selection process, the iconic Moon Person trophy, previous winners, and some of the most unforgettable moments in the history of the show.


Significance of the Awards

The MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) hold significant cultural and artistic importance in the music industry. Here are a few reasons why the awards are considered highly significant:

Recognizing Visual Excellence: The VMAs celebrate the artistry and creativity displayed in music videos. Music videos serve as a visual representation of an artist’s vision, allowing them to tell a story, express emotions, and communicate their artistic identity. The VMAs provide a platform that recognizes and honors the directors, choreographers, and visual artists who contribute to the visual excellence of music videos.

Shaping Pop Culture: The VMAs have a history of creating moments that have a profound impact on pop culture. From Madonna’s iconic performance of “Like a Virgin” to Lady Gaga’s outrageous fashion choices, these moments have not only garnered attention but also shaped fashion trends, inspired other artists, and influenced societal conversations. The VMAs serve as a breeding ground for innovation and creativity that leaves a lasting impact on popular culture.

Showcasing Musical Talent: The VMAs bring together some of the biggest names in the music industry, providing a platform for both established and emerging artists to showcase their talent. Winning a VMA is a significant achievement for artists as it recognizes their musical contributions and helps them gain exposure, credibility, and wider recognition within the industry.

Fostering Artistic Collaboration: The awards show encourages collaboration and experimentation by bringing artists from different genres together. This results in unique, unexpected performances and collaborations that push artistic boundaries and captivate audiences. The VMAs have witnessed memorable collaborations such as Beyoncé and Jay-Z performing “Drunk in Love” and Aerosmith teaming up with Run-D.M.C. for a groundbreaking rendition of “Walk This Way.”

Impact on Digital Culture: The VMAs have successfully embraced digital culture and technology, making it a truly interactive event. With the rise of social media and online streaming, the VMAs have adapted by incorporating live streaming, real-time fan voting, and interactive social media content. This connectivity with fans worldwide amplifies the reach and impact of the awards, making it a truly global event.

Encouraging Social and Political Discourse: The VMAs have often become a platform for artists to address pressing social and political issues. From advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights to raising awareness about racial injustice, artists have used their VMA moments to shed light on matters of global significance. This not only contributes to the discourse but also encourages viewers to engage with important social issues.

The MTV Video Music Awards have established themselves as a cultural phenomenon that goes beyond simply honoring music videos. With their ability to shape popular culture, celebrate artistic excellence, and provide a platform for meaningful artistic expression, the VMAs continue to hold great significance in the music industry and popular culture as a whole.


Categories and Nominees

The MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) features a wide range of categories that recognize various aspects of music videos and their creators. Each year, a panel of industry professionals and experts selects the nominees based on the quality, creativity, and impact of the videos released during the eligibility period. Here are some of the categories commonly featured at the VMAs:

  1. Video of the Year: This category honors the overall excellence and impact of a music video, taking into consideration its direction, cinematography, visual effects, and storyline. The nominees for Video of the Year represent the most influential and outstanding videos of the year.
  2. Best New Artist: This category recognizes breakthrough artists who have made a significant impact in the industry with their debut music video or body of work. It celebrates fresh talent and innovative creativity.
  3. Best Collaboration: This category acknowledges the successful collaborations between artists or groups, highlighting the synergy and creativity that results from their joint efforts. Nominees in this category often represent unexpected and groundbreaking musical partnerships.
  4. Best Pop Video: This category focuses on videos that fall under the pop genre, celebrating the artistry and popularity of the artists and their visual representation of their music.
  5. Best Hip Hop Video: This category recognizes the best music videos in the hip hop genre, celebrating the creativity, storytelling, and visual impact of hip hop artists.
  6. Best Rock Video: This category honors videos in the rock genre, paying tribute to the artists and their ability to create visually compelling narratives that complement their music.

These are just a few of the categories that are typically featured at the VMAs. Each year, the event organizers may introduce new categories or adapt existing ones to reflect the evolving trends and genres in the music industry.

Nominations for the VMAs are highly anticipated and generate excitement among artists and fans alike. Artists who receive nominations are recognized for their artistry, creativity, and impact on popular culture. The nominees represent a diverse array of musical genres, allowing for a vibrant mix of talent and styles in each category.

While only one winner is chosen for each category, being nominated for a VMA is considered a prestigious honor in itself, as it highlights an artist’s contributions and achievements in their respective field. The awards serve as a platform to showcase the diversity and talent within the music industry and provide recognition for the hard work and dedication of the artists and their creative teams.


Selection Process

The selection process for the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) involves multiple steps to ensure fairness, transparency, and the recognition of exceptional talent. Here is an overview of the typical selection process:

1. Eligibility Period: The eligibility period for the VMAs usually covers videos released between a specific time frame, typically from June to June of the following year. Only videos released within this period are considered for nomination.

2. Nomination Process: A panel of music industry experts and professionals, including music video directors, producers, artists, journalists, and music industry executives, is responsible for selecting the nominees in each category. These individuals have in-depth knowledge and expertise in the music industry and possess a keen understanding of the criteria for excellence in music videos.

3. Voting Process: Once the nominees are announced, the voting process begins. The VMA voting system typically involves a combination of fan voting and industry voting. Fans have the opportunity to vote for their favorite artists and videos through various platforms, including MTV’s official website, social media, and the MTV App. In addition to fan voting, industry professionals, including music industry insiders and MTV’s voting academy, also participate in the voting process.

4. Winner Selection: The winners are determined based on the combined results of fan votes and industry votes. In most categories, the artist or video with the highest number of votes is declared the winner. The winner selection process is closely monitored to ensure fairness and accuracy.

5. Announcement of Winners: The winners of each category are announced during the live broadcast of the VMAs. The awards ceremony is a highly anticipated event, often featuring live performances, celebrity appearances, and memorable moments.

It is important to note that the exact selection process may vary from year to year, as the event organizers have the flexibility to introduce new elements or modify existing ones to reflect changing industry trends and preferences.

The selection process for the VMAs aims to recognize the most exceptional and impactful music videos and the talented individuals who contribute to their creation. Through a combination of expert evaluation and public participation, the awards ceremony strives to celebrate artistic excellence and honor the artists who have made significant contributions to the music video landscape.


The Moon Person Trophy

The Moon Person trophy, formerly known as the Moonman, is the iconic award presented to winners at the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs). The trophy has become synonymous with the VMAs and represents the pinnacle of achievement in the music video industry. Here are some details about the Moon Person trophy:

Design: The Moon Person trophy features a silhouette of an astronaut planting an MTV flag on the moon. The original design was created by Manhattan Design in 1984 and has undergone slight modifications over the years. The trophy stands tall and is crafted from a shiny, silver-colored material, symbolizing the celestial connection with the moon.

Name Change: In 2017, the Moonman underwent a rebranding and was renamed the Moon Person to reflect gender-neutral inclusivity and diversity. The change was made to be more inclusive and recognize the contributions of all artists, regardless of gender or identity.

Symbolism: The Moon Person trophy represents the pioneering spirit of exploration and innovation in the music industry. It embodies the boldness, creativity, and boundary-pushing nature of music videos. The silhouette of the astronaut planting the MTV flag on the moon symbolizes the path-breaking achievements of artists in the visual realm of music.

Recognition and Prestige: Receiving a Moon Person trophy is considered a significant honor and a validation of an artist’s talent, vision, and hard work. It signifies recognition and respect from peers, fans, and the industry at large. The trophy serves as a tangible representation of an artist’s success and highlights their impact on popular culture.

Evolution: Over the years, the Moon Person trophy has evolved to reflect the changing times and represent the progressive nature of the VMAs. It embodies the ever-evolving artistic landscape and continues to inspire the next generation of musicians, directors, and visual artists.

Legacy: The Moon Person trophy has become an iconic symbol of the MTV Video Music Awards, representing the spirit of innovation, creativity, and artistic excellence in the music video industry. It holds a special place in the hearts of artists and fans alike, evoking a sense of pride, accomplishment, and nostalgia.

The Moon Person trophy is not only a physical award but also a symbol of the impact that music videos have had on popular culture. It celebrates the incredible creativity and storytelling abilities of artists and acknowledges their contributions to the visual arts within the music industry. The Moon Person trophy continues to inspire and motivate artists to push boundaries and create groundbreaking music videos.


Evolution of the Trophy Design

Since its inception in 1984, the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) Moon Person trophy has gone through several design evolutions, each reflecting the changing times and evolving creativity within the music industry. Here’s a look at the notable milestones in the trophy’s design:

1984-2000: The original Moon Person trophy design featured a classic representation of an astronaut planting an MTV flag on the moon. The trophy stood tall and had a shiny silver finish, symbolizing the connection with the celestial body. This design embodied the pioneering spirit of the music video industry and represented the strive for artistic exploration and innovation.

2001-2012: In 2001, the Moon Person trophy underwent a redesign, featuring a more contemporary and sleeker look. The shiny silver finish remained, but the silhouette of the astronaut was refined to have a more dynamic and streamlined appearance. The new design reflected the modernization of the music industry and the ever-changing landscape of music videos.

2013-2016: In 2013, the Moon Person trophy underwent another evolution, with a renewed focus on capturing the essence of the MTV brand. The astronaut silhouette was modified to have a slightly bolder and more stylized appearance. Additionally, the base of the trophy was redesigned, featuring the MTV logo and a distinctive texture, adding a touch of modernity to the overall design.

2017-Present: In 2017, the trophy underwent a significant transformation, not only in its appearance but also its name. The trophy was renamed the Moon Person to be more gender-neutral and inclusive. The design retained the essence of the astronaut planting the MTV flag on the moon, but with a more refined and contemporary look. The sleek lines and shiny silver finish were further emphasized, representing the continued drive for innovation, creativity, and boundary-pushing within the music video realm.

The evolution of the Moon Person trophy’s design reflects the constant evolution of the music industry and the VMAs themselves. The changes in the design showcase the creative adaptability of MTV as they strive to stay relevant and capture the spirit of the times. The trophy serves as a symbol of artistic excellence and a testament to the impact of music videos on popular culture.

Each iteration of the trophy design represents a new chapter in the VMAs’ history, reflecting not only the trends and aesthetics of the era but also MTV’s commitment to pushing boundaries and embracing change. The Moon Person trophy continues to be an iconic symbol of achievement and recognition within the music video industry, inspiring artists to push their creative boundaries and make their mark on the visual landscape of music.


Previous Winners

The MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) have celebrated numerous artists and music videos over the years, showcasing the diverse talent within the music industry. Here are some notable winners from various categories in recent years:

Video of the Year: This prestigious award recognizes the overall excellence and impact of a music video. Recent winners include Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” featuring Kendrick Lamar (2015), Beyoncé’s “Formation” (2016), and Camila Cabello’s “Havana” featuring Young Thug (2018).

Best New Artist: This category celebrates breakout artists who have made a significant impact in their debut year. Recent winners include Cardi B (2018), Billie Eilish (2019), and Doja Cat (2020).

Best Collaboration: This category honors successful musical partnerships. Recent winners include Beyoncé and Jay-Z for “Apes**t” (2018), Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello for “Señorita” (2019), and Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande for “Rain on Me” (2020).

Best Pop Video: This category recognizes outstanding music videos in the pop genre. Recent winners include Ariana Grande’s “No Tears Left to Cry” (2018), BTS’s “Boy With Luv” featuring Halsey (2019), and Taylor Swift’s “Lover” (2020).

Best Hip Hop Video: This category honors exceptional music videos in the hip hop genre. Recent winners include Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.” (2017), Cardi B’s “Money” (2019), and Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage” remix featuring Beyoncé (2020).

Best Rock Video: This category acknowledges outstanding music videos in the rock genre. Recent winners include Twenty One Pilots’ “Heathens” (2017), Panic! At The Disco’s “High Hopes” (2019), and The Killers’ “Caution” (2020).

These are just a few examples of previous winners at the VMAs. Each year brings forth fresh talent and exceptional music videos that captivate audiences and make a lasting impact on pop culture. The VMAs continue to recognize and honor the artists, directors, and creators who push boundaries and innovate within the music video medium.

Winning a VMA is a significant achievement for artists, as it acknowledges their artistic vision, cultural impact, and the hard work that goes into creating a memorable music video. It also serves as a platform for emerging talent to gain wider recognition and propel their careers to new heights.

The VMAs have a rich history of celebrating excellence in music videos and have played a pivotal role in shaping popular culture. Each year, the awards show continues to highlight the best and most innovative music videos, showcasing the ever-evolving creativity within the music industry.


Memorable Moments in Award History

Throughout its history, the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) have produced countless memorable moments that have become engrained in pop culture. These moments often involve surprising performances, unexpected encounters, and controversial incidents. Here are a few standout moments that have left a lasting impression:

Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” Performance (1984): Madonna’s provocative performance of “Like a Virgin,” in which she rolled around on the stage in a wedding dress, sparked controversy and captivated viewers. It solidified Madonna’s status as a pop culture icon and set the tone for future VMAs.

Metallica & Guns N’ Roses Clash (1992): The 1992 VMAs saw tension between the metal bands Metallica and Guns N’ Roses. A backstage altercation between the members of both bands highlighted the clash of egos and rivalries within the music industry.

Beyoncé’s Feminist Statement (2014): During her performance of “Flawless,” Beyoncé featured a backdrop that displayed the word “FEMINIST,” sparking a global conversation about feminism and gender equality. It became a defining moment for the modern feminist movement.

Kanye West Interrupts Taylor Swift (2009 and 2015): Kanye West caused a stir in 2009 when he interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video, stating that Beyoncé deserved the award. This moment became a cultural touchstone and led to years of controversy between the two artists. West once again interrupted Swift during her acceptance speech in 2015, reigniting the public’s fascination with their ongoing feud.

Lady Gaga Meat Dress (2010): Lady Gaga made a bold fashion statement when she arrived at the 2010 VMAs wearing a dress made entirely of raw meat. The dress sparked intense debate and cemented Gaga’s reputation for pushing boundaries in both her music and fashion.

Miley Cyrus’ Controversial Performance (2013): Miley Cyrus shocked viewers with her provocative performance of “We Can’t Stop” and “Blurred Lines” alongside Robin Thicke. The performance generated widespread controversy and marked a significant turning point in Cyrus’ public image.

Beyoncé’s 15-Minute Performance (2016): Beyoncé delivered an awe-inspiring 15-minute medley performance at the 2016 VMAs, showcasing songs from her groundbreaking visual album, “Lemonade.” The performance was praised for its artistic vision, cultural commentary, and powerful imagery.

Logic’s “1-800-273-8255” Performance (2017): Logic’s performance of his song “1-800-273-8255,” which addresses mental health and suicide prevention, struck a chord with viewers. The emotional performance, featuring an appearance by survivors of suicide attempts, raised awareness and sparked important conversations about mental health.

Taylor Swift’s “You Belong with Me” Interruption (2009): Taylor Swift was interrupted by Kanye West during her acceptance speech for Best Female Video. This moment became a pivotal point in Swift’s career and catapulted her into the spotlight as a relatable and sympathetic figure.

These are just a few of the memorable moments that have occurred throughout the history of the VMAs. Each year, the awards show continues to provide a platform for artists to make powerful statements, push boundaries, and create moments that captivate audiences and shape the cultural landscape.



The MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) have become an iconic and influential event in the music industry, celebrating the creativity and innovation of music videos. Since its inception in 1984, the VMAs have evolved to reflect the changing landscape of music and popular culture.

The significance of the VMAs lies not only in recognizing the achievements of artists and the impact of their music videos but also in shaping pop culture. From Madonna’s groundbreaking performances to Beyoncé’s thought-provoking visuals, the VMAs have always pushed boundaries and sparked important conversations.

The various categories at the VMAs acknowledge the diverse genres and styles within the music industry, allowing artists from different backgrounds and musical genres to be recognized for their contributions. The selection process, involving a combination of expert evaluation and fan voting, ensures fairness and inclusivity.

The Moon Person trophy, with its evolving design and symbolic representation, stands as an enduring symbol of achievement and creativity within the music video industry. Winning a Moon Person is a testament to an artist’s artistic vision, talent, and cultural impact.

From memorable moments and controversies to inspiring performances and bold fashion choices, the VMAs have created a legacy that lives on in the collective memory of music fans worldwide. The awards show continues to be a platform for artists to make statements, challenge norms, and push the boundaries of artistic expression.

As the VMAs continue to adapt to the ever-changing music landscape, one thing remains constant – the celebration of music videos as an essential artistic form. The VMAs not only honor the artists and creators behind the videos but also provide a glimpse into the future of music and the visual storytelling that accompanies it.

With each passing year, the VMAs reaffirm their position as a cultural phenomenon, inspiring and shaping the next generation of artists while celebrating the legacies of those who came before. The VMAs will continue to be a must-watch event that captures the spirit of creativity, passion, and innovation within the music industry.

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