These 10 Iconic Moments In VMAs History Live On Forever

Britney! Gaga! Beyoncé!

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Many iconic pop culture moments have occurred the MTV Video Music Awards. From Britney’s 2003 smooch session with Madonna (which they recently recreated), to Lady Gaga’s bloody 2009performance of “Paparazzi,” here are 10 iconic moments the world is still discussing.

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At the 1995 VMAs, Michael Jackson performed a rousing medley of greatest hits, including “The Way You Make Me Feel” and “Scream.” While performing “Black or White,” he surprised the crowd by bringing out Guns N' Roses’ Slash to perform a guitar solo.


At the 1997 VMAs, singer Fiona Apple left her heart on the stage in a legendary way. While accepting her award for Best New Artist, the singer said in her speech that “this world is bullsh*t” and that no one should “model your life” around celebrities or trends.

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Britney Spears has several iconic moments at the VMAs, and this slithering performance at the 2001 award show tops the list. Clad in an olive green bralette and bejeweled shorts, Spears performed her hit, "I'm A Slave 4 U," while holding an albino python. Yes, a python.

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This was a kiss heard around the world. At the 2003 VMAs, Madonna performed a medley of her hits, including “Hollywood” with pop princesses Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. During the performance, Madonna engaged in an infamous smooch with each star.

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This moment still gives me the chills. At the 2009 VMAs, Janet Jackson delivered an emotional tribute to her late brother, Michael Jackson, who passed in June of that year. She performed their edgy duet, “Scream,” and recreated the dance-off from the song's music video.

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As is her style, Lady Gaga got the world talking with her performance of “Paparazzi” at the 2009 VMAs. The performance was already eccentric in the best way, then the singer suddenly appeared in fake blood while being lifted into the air and cemented this moment in pop history.

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This Beyoncé performance is still so sweet. While performing “Love On Top” at the 2011 VMAs, the singer confirmed that she was pregnant with her first child, Blue Ivy, by revealing her baby bump. The camera then cut to her husband Jay-Z, who was joyously smiling.

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I remember this. At the 2017 VMAs, Fifth Harmony may have shaded Camila Cabello's departure from the group. During their performance of “Angel,” a person in a matching costume was dramatically pulled offstage. Of course, fans assumed the ladies were shading Cabello.

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Whenever Ariana Grande is on stage, you know the mic is always on. Her buttery vocals were on full display at the 2018 VMAs when she sang “God Is A Woman.” For her performance, she staged an all-female version of The Last Supper and wore a stunning two-piece gold look.

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This vibrant performance from Lizzo truly cemented her as an It Girl. At the 2019 VMAs, the singer performed her singles “Truth Hurts” and “Good as Hell,” with an inflatable butt in the background. Yeah, Lizzo’s just that girl.

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