Photo by Stephen Lovekin. Taylor Swift and Todrick Hall – Video for Good
MTV Video Music Awards, Show, Prudential Center, New Jersey, USA – 26 Aug 2019

What Will The MTV VMAs Be Like This Year?

The 2020 MTV Music Awards will be held, as is tradition, in New York City this year. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on June 29 that Brooklyn will be hosting the MTV VMAs on Sunday, August 30, at the Barclays Center. 

The 2020 MTV VMAs will be unlike any before. 

Even with the VMAs being held live, Gov. Cuomo has cautioned that, “The event will follow all safety guidelines, including limited or no audience.” What will that be like, we wonder? For those of us who have been viewing the awards from home for years, nothing will change. But for presenters, it might be a little strange to see 19,000 empty seats in the arena. Maybe they’ll put in cardboard cutouts of their favorite celebrities. Who knows?

If there is limited capacity (which is what MTV is anticipating) it’s likely only nominees and presenters will be in the room—six seats apart, of course. 

Today, we are looking back at the best moments from past VMA shows that will get your hyped for the VMAs on Sunday, August 30.

A special congratulations to our alumni who have been nominated for an MTV VMA award this year! 

Alumni Contributions to MTV VMAs

Hannah Lux Davis was nominated for Best Director for Doja Cat: Say So. This video was also nominated for Song of the Year and Best Push New Artist. Hannah also directed Demi Lovato: I Love Me, which received two nominations: Best Visual Effects and Video for Good.

In all, Hannah Lux Davis directed two videos that earned five nominations.

Jhair Lazo was Mixing Engineer and Julio Ulloa was an Engineer on the single, Anderson.Paak: Lockdown, which was nominated for Video for Good.

Julio was also an Assistant Engineer on the Eminem album, Music to Be Murdered By, which features the single, Godzilla, which received two nominations including Video of the Year and Best Hip Hop Video.


Top Unforgettable MTV VMA Moments

We’ve pulled together some memorable moments from the MTV VMAs over the past three decades.




At the first Video Music Awards in 1984, Radio City Music Hall welcomed some of rock music’s greats. When Madonna took the stage in a lacy wedding gown to sing “Like a Virgin,” not only was it a bit shocking, it was an iconic moment.





Pop queen Britney Spears announced her departure from Disney innocence in her 2001 performance of I’m a Slave 4 U with a yellow python draped across her shoulders. 




Speaking of Britney Spears, in 2003, she would join Madonna and Christina Aguilera for a trio of Madonna’s hits Like a Virgin and Hollywood. Madonna and Britney shared a passionate kiss that “eclipsed the entire performance.”




Kayne West interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video in 2009, claiming that, “Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time!” His outburst sparked a feud between the two which lasted years.



Lady Gaga’s wardrobe choice in 2010 was probably one of the most shocking of all time: Her entire gown and stilettos were made completely of meat. She later told Ellen DeGeneres that she hoped to make a statement: “I am not a piece of meat.” The ensemble is now on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (jerky style, of course).




Beyoncé announced her pregnancy of her first daughter in 2011, cradling her baby bump as she performed her song Love on Top.




Presenters take their time on the VMA stage seriously—using it to start fights and throw verbal tomatoes at each other. In 2015, Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus had their own “girl fight” on stage.



Luckily, the VMAs are also a place to make up. Taylor Swift presented Kanye West with the 2015 Video Vanguard Award, joking about the way he rushed the stage on her in 2009. They ended the night in 2015 with a hug.



P!nk brought the audience to tears during her Video Vanguard Award acceptance speech in 2017 when she spoke to her daughter, Willow, who was in the audience. “Baby girl, we don’t change. We take the gravel and a shell, and we make a pearl. And we help other people to change so they can see more kinds of beauty,” she said.

Share your favorite VMA moments with us on social!

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