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The VMAs: A Brief History and 2023 Recap 👩‍🚀

Updated: Sep 21, 2023

Written by Kiri Hassinger


A Brief History

Picture this: It’s September 1984, and MTV’s Video Music Awards just debuted in New York City. Stars such as Madonna and Rod Stewart showcased iconic live performances, while Cyndi Lauper, Michael Jackson, and David Bowie all took home Moon People-shaped awards. 🧑‍🚀


Year after year, MTV would bring viewers showstopping performances and awards to the year’s best artists. Here’s a look back at our favorite performances and winners from the past few years:


In 2020, a year best remembered by our time spent in masks and inside, Lady Gaga landed a sick award as the Artist of the Year, and her song “Rain On Me” with Ariana Grande brought in awards for the Song of the Year and Best Collaboration. Other winners include BTS, who won Best Group, Best Choreography, and Best Pop for their song “On”; Taylor Swift with Best Direction for “The Man”; and Miley Cyrus’ “Mother’s Daughter” for Best Art Direction. 😷


2021 promised a return to normalcy for

some, but the VMAs promised a thrilling show for all viewers. Justin Bieber started the night with the most nominations and finished with Artist of the Year and Best Pop. Olivia Rodrigo’sDrivers License” stole our hearts and the show with Best New Artist, Song of the Year, and Push Performance of the Year. Harry Styles nabbed Best Choreography for “Treat People with Kindness,” and BTS went home with Best K-pop for “Butter.” 🧈


Let’s be honest, Nothing was really normal until 2022. Taylor Swift blessed us with Red (Taylor’s Version) at the end of 2021, and “All Too Well” (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version)" won Video of the Year, Best Longform Video, and Best Direction. “Happier Than Ever” by Billie Eilish won Song of the Year, Harry Styles took home Best Cinematography for “As It Was,” and Album of the Year for Harry's House. BLACKPINK won the first-ever award for Best Metaverse Performance. ❤️


The 2023 VMAs

The time has finally come! The wait is over! So, let's talk about the 2023 VMAs. We could go on and on about the whole night, but we should probably start at the beginning: the pink carpet. 💖

These looks were stunning! We were living for Olivia's super shiny, 150,000 Swarovski crystal dress! She was definitely glowing the whole night, especially during her performance of "Vampire"/"Get Him Back!" Olivia was nominated for awards in six different categories, and ended up taking home the award for Best Editing in her music video "vampire."🧛‍♀️


But Olivia wasn't the only one who lit up the pink carpet! Saweetie, Cardi B, and Sabrina Carpenter also kept the night glistening with their shiny outfits. We loved seeing so much pink on the carpet last night, but we loved seeing our faves perform even more! 💃


From Shakira's mega-medley to Fall Out Boy's "We Didn't Start The Fire," the night was full of amazing performances from all of our faves. Be honest, when Demi Lovato came out singing "Heart Attack - Rock Version" during her medley did your heart stop like ours did? How amazing was she? Diddy performed an amazing Hip-Hop Medley and accepted the Global Icon Award for how he has shaped the music we listen to today. As he should! 🌎


Finally, let's talk about the winners of the night. Taylor Swift won awards in nine different categories! She won the award for Video of the Year for the second year in a row! Her music video for "Anti-Hero" deserves every bit of recognition that it got, including Song of the Year, Best Pop, Best Direction, Best Cinematography, and Best Visual Effects. After being featured on some of the year's most popular songs, Ice Spice took home the award for Best New Artist. KAROL G and Shakira took home the award for Best Collaboration for their song "TQG," SZA won Best R&B for "Shirt," and Stray Kids nabbed the award for Best Kpop with "S-Class."


To round off a recap of such an amazing night, we have to mention how amazing and supportive Lil Nas X was the entire night! We loved it when the camera would show him jumping and cheering for whoever was performing.

He's so us. 💕



What a magical night! We loved seeing all of our favorite artists strut down the pink carpet, perform incredible medleys, and win well-deserved awards! What was your favorite performance of the night? Did your fave win an award? Let us know on out Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok!


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