Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award

Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award
Awarded for lifetime contributions to MTV culture through the performing arts
Country United States
Presented by MTV
First awarded 1984
Last awarded 2016
Official website VMA website

The Video Vanguard Award, also known as the Lifetime Achievement Award, is given to musicians who have made a profound effect on the MTV culture, honoring an artist's body of work. The award was renamed in 1991 as the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. The honor is also given to music video directors who have created some of the most acclaimed music videos in pop culture. The first Vanguard awards were presented in 1984 at the inaugural Video Music Awards, although it's not an annual award.[1] Recent recipients of the accolade include Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, Kanye West and Rihanna.

List of recipients

Year of receiving, name of the recipients, and additional notes
Year Recipient(s) Notes Ref.
The Beatles created short films for several of their songs. Among them, A Hard Day's Night, directed by Lester. David Bowie worked with Mick Rock to shoot some of the earliest music videos in the 1970s. Bowie, the Beatles and Lester won the first passel of Vanguard Awards. [2]
Byrne was honored for his work with Talking Heads. Godley & Creme were acclaimed music video directors. Mulcahy was honored as the director of The Buggles' "Video Killed The Radio Star", the first video played on MTV. [3]
Madonna found immense popularity by pushing the boundaries of lyrical content in mainstream popular music and imagery in her music videos, which became a fixture on MTV. Her videos have depicted controversial subjects such as teen pregnancy, racism, religion, sex, and violence. [4]
Gabriel also won Video of the Year in the same night. [5]
Michael Jackson changed the music video from a mere promotional tool featuring musicians playing instruments and singing, to a piece of art with a storyline, or as Jackson liked to put as 'short films'. His video "Thriller" influenced and changed music videos into what it is like today. [6]
Presented by Madonna, honored George Michael for his music videos from Faith. [7]
Her music videos from the 1980s became a catalyst for MTVs developing demographics. Her Broadway-style choreography and militant iconography were well received by critics and audiences. She was acknowledged as a role model for youth (especially young women) for imbuing her performances with a socially conscious message. [8]
Renamed Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award from this year. [9]
The group's frontman Axl Rose finished his acceptance speech by saying "And, oh yeah, this has nothing to do with Michael Jackson. Thank you." [10]
Given as Lifetime Achievement Award. [12]
LL Cool J became the first rap artist to receive this award. [14]
Chuck D of Public Enemy delivered a glowing appraisal of the band before presenting them with the award. Upon receiving the award, Adam Yauch took the opportunity to speak his mind on some political issues, condemning military aggression in the Middle East. [16]
Given as Lifetime Achievement Award. [19]
Presented by Kanye West in honor of his work as a music video director. [20]
Presented by Lady Gaga, as her male alter ego Jo Calderone. The award was given after a choreographed tribute of Spears' biggest hits. She was also close to giving Gaga a kiss, a recreation of her infamous kiss with Madonna, but rejected it saying "I've done that already". [21]
Presented by Jimmy Fallon. The award was preceded by a fifteen-minute performance of his greatest hits, including a mini reunion with NSYNC. Timberlake also won Video of the Year in the same night. [23]
Presented by her husband Jay Z and daughter Blue Ivy Carter after a sixteen-minute medley of her self-titled fifth studio album. [24]
Presented by Taylor Swift. During his acceptance speech, West announced he would run for president in 2020. [25]
Presented by Drake after several medley performances during the ceremony. [26]

See also


  1. 1 2 Ehrlich, Brenna (August 15, 2013). "Justin Timberlake's Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award". MTV News. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  2. "MTV Video Music Awards 1984". MTV. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  3. "MTV Video Music Awards 1985". MTV. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  4. "MTV Video Music Awards 1986". MTV. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  5. "MTV Video Music Awards 1987". MTV. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  6. "MTV Video Music Awards 1988". MTV. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  7. "MTV Video Music Awards 1989". MTV. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  8. "MTV Video Music Awards 1990". MTV. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  9. "MTV Video Music Awards 1991". MTV. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  10. "MTV Video Music Awards 1992". MTV. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  11. Willman, Chris (September 11, 1992). "With 3 Awards, Van Halen Tops U2, Nirvana and Chili Peppers". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  12. "MTV Video Music Awards 1994". MTV. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  13. "MTV Video Music Awards 1995". MTV. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  14. "MTV Video Music Awards 1997". MTV. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  15. Tardio, Andres (August 29, 2015). "Kanye West Will Join These Elite Rappers As A VMA Vanguard Winner". MTV News. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  16. "MTV Video Music Awards 1998". MTV. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  17. "MTV Video Music Awards 2000". MTV. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  18. "MTV Video Music Awards 2001". MTV. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  19. "MTV Video Music Awards 2003". MTV. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  20. "MTV Video Music Awards 2006". MTV. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  21. "MTV Video Music Awards 2011". MTV. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  22. B. Vary, Adam (August 28, 2011). "MTV 2011 VMAs: Lady Gaga, in Drag, Cannot Stop Mugging Through Britney Spears Tribute". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  23. "MTV Video Music Awards 2013". MTV. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
  24. "MTV Video Music Awards 2014". MTV. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  25. "'I Have Decided in 2020 to Run for President'". People. August 30, 2015. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  26. "Drake Presents Rihanna With the Video Vanguard Award at the 2016 VMAs". Billboard. August 29, 2016. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
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